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Renowned Artist Phoebe Beasley Leaves Imprint on Hillsides Foster Care Children

Renowned artist Phoebe Beasley visited Hillsidesí campus to share with guests her experience teaching a two-hour workshop to vulnerable children, who are in foster care or suffer from severe emotional challenges.

Pasadena, CA, December 22, 2011 --( Renowned artist Phoebe Beasley visited Hillsides’ campus to share with guests her experience teaching a two-hour workshop to vulnerable children, who are in foster care or suffer from severe emotional challenges.

“Phoebe is someone who has come to Hillsides as a volunteer. She helped our children see beyond this particular, intense time in their lives—away from family, away from things that are familiar,” said Joseph M. Costa. He told guests that issues the children are experiencing right now are so overwhelming, “it is hard for them to sometimes appreciate that there is a tomorrow, they will be moving on, and they have reason to be hopeful about something else.”

Beasley’s workshop and interaction was able to touch the children’s imagination and engage them creatively to help them let go of their immediate concern. Costa told guests that “she was able to take their concerns and express them in such a way they can let go and move on--that’s what Phoebe has done.”

Her work has been presented to the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps by President Clinton in 1993, which was the second time she received the coveted Presidential Seal on her artwork. The first time was in 1989 when she was commissioned to do the "Official Artwork" for the inauguration of President Bush, thus, making her the only artist to twice receive the honor.

Beasley has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and was honored by the State Department for her participation in the Arts in Embassies Program. Beasley's collage artwork was part of two major touring museum exhibitions, including a group show mounted by the Smithsonian Institution entitled, In the Spirit of Martin, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And, Phoebe's work was part of a museum show in 2008 entitled, Portraying Lincoln: Man of Many Faces, based on the life and work of President Lincoln.

“When you say ‘yes,’ it opens a window of possibility; it’s the art of the possible,” Beasley told guests. As a former high school art teacher in Cleveland, Ohio, she was amazed at what the children at the foster care charity already knew about composition and collage. Beasley talked about the future and asked the children what they wanted to do in the future.

“They understood so well what I was saying. It touched my heart,” said Beasley. “You never know what the art of possible will open up.” She went on to tell the guest that their heart’s led them to the children’s charity and “for that, I am grateful and thankful and I hope you will figure out a way to be part of Hillsides...this is a special place.”

Jackie Broxton, the charity's director of major gifts and planned giving, presented Beasley with an art piece. The children used their handprints to create a framed art piece to thank Beasley for her time. The inscription on the frame read: “Thank you for extending your heart and your hand to the children of Hillsides.”

As a Pasadena charity founded in 1913, Hillsides is a family-centered community-based agency creating safe places for vulnerable children and families. Children, who are in foster care or suffer from severe emotional challenges, live in our residential treatment center, while other youngsters and youth at risk are served through various community sites, special education school and transitional living program.

Earlier in the summer, Beasley facilitated a children’s workshop using collage and assemblage technique to express their creative ideas. The children’s art work was displayed at the event to illustrate the imprint Beasley left on them through their creative expression.

Contact Information
Marisol Barrios
323-254-2274 ext. 274

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