Local artist empowers CASA kids through art

Marina and Georgina are twin sisters. They are both shy teenagers who don’t open up easily. When the girls were 2 years old, they were found at home alone. Shortly thereafter, they were removed from their neglectful mother, parental rights were terminated, and the girls were placed in foster care.

Now age 17, the sisters still live in a foster home, but enjoy the love and support of a caring, committed foster family. Marina plans to become an attorney and help abused and neglected children in the future. Soft spoken Georgina loves school and wants to be a doctor someday.

Marina and Georgina are two foster teens who recently enjoyed one-on-one painting lessons with renowned local artist Lance Green. Green is an instructor at Bemis Art School, he also teaches painting privately, but he has a special appreciation for working with vulnerable kids who he can empower through art.

Green spent several weekends with the group of teens (Marina, Georgina, 13-year-old Johnathan, and 18-year-old Alex) providing personal instruction, guidance and encouragement. “The first day, they entered the studio a little timid, faces down, little eye contact and no confidence,” said Green. “By our 3rd group session they were sharing ideas with each other, complimenting their follow artists and sharing some of their memories, hopes and dreams with me.”

When the classes concluded, the kids donated their paintings to CASA. Along with other art donations, including professional works from Lance Green, an auction was held in support of CASA programs for abused and neglected children.

The auction was part of a Great Gatsby-themed benefit event organized by The Circle of Impact: a women’s giving group dedicated to helping ensure the financial prosperity of CASA. The Circle supports CASA’s operating budget each year, as well as contributes to the CASA endowment fund, which they established with the first gift in 2005.

The fundraiser, held at Johnny Martin’s Car Central, was attended by 90 people dressed in 1920’s era attire. Guests were inspired by the foster kids’ stories and their impressive paintings; paddles were raised high and often in a friendly competition in support of the teen artists.

“I am extremely proud of these kids, said Green. “Not just because their artwork is awesome, but because they have survived some horrific experiences and continue to grow and learn and have goals to become amazing adults.”

CASA greatly appreciates the support of so many caring friends for lifting the lives of these teens.

Special Thanks To:

  • Foster teens: Marina, Georgina, Johnathan, and Alex (not pictured for reasons of confidentiality).
  • Artist, Lance Green
  • Circle of Impact members with special thanks to event co-chairs: Staci Blair and Laura Teeters; and committee members: Ann Reed, Ellen Powers, Heather Darrigan, Kathleen Ricker, and Kat Jorstad.
  • Event Underwriters:
    Elite Auto Salon
    Gold Hill Mesa
    Little London
    Humanitas Wines
    The Food Designers
    Johnny Martins Car Central
    Booz Allen Hamilton

Leave a Comment