The Phoenix Art Museum's new exhibit features art by abused or neglected children

Art has always been a way to express oneself or escape from a difficult situation.

The Phoenix Art Museum along with Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona has opened an exhibit until Nov. 14 themed "The Soul of My Roots/El Alma de Mis Raices."

"We focus on bringing art to children who have experienced abuse, neglect or homelessness," said Free Arts program coordinator Erina Meneses.

Some of the teen boys used another exhibit at the museum, Border Crossing: Mexico and the American Southwest, as an example for their own art.

"All of the children that we worked with in this series like I said, are from Central and South America," said Meneses.

The paintings are very expressive and many of them interpret a certain feeling from each of the boys before they left their home.

"We have one of the paintings where a gentleman shared with us that the way that he painted the moon and that particular night, that is his memory of when he was leaving, the night before he went on the journey," said Meneses.

This was the last memory this young boy had of his hometown before coming to the States.

Meneses said the paintings express religion, warriors, their culture and gratitude.

Right next to each painting is a small description, both in English and the boys' first language, which is Spanish in almost all cases.

"The artist statement explains where they're from, explains what they were thinking about, what they were experiencing as they were painting," said Meneses.

The paintings are not for sale and once the exhibit is over, they will return to the teenage boys.

If for some reason a boy get reunited with his family or adopted, his painting will be sent wherever he'll be staying.

The shelters offer services and a home to the boys up to the age of 17, according to Meneses.

If you would like to know more about the exhibit or Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, click here.

Editor's Note: Video of interview will be attached. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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