Art&Soul of Oakland County will be hosting its grand finale as a pop-up event on Saturday, April 29 at Galerie Camille, 4130 Cass Avenue, Detroit from 6-9pm.

A traveling monthly photo exhibit is part of Art&Soul of Oakland County’s mission to activate a movement and a shift in thinking about foster care children. Art&Soul partners with award winning photographers to capture the soul of the hardest to place: older children looking for a forever family.

Jext Telez, a Detroit based guitar effect pedal company, has donated 10 music pedals for 10 Detroit-based artists to customize for the April 29 event. Save the date and plan to see art, bid on a one of a kind music pedals, meet amazing artists, the featured children and enjoy live music from Greater Alexander.

A grassroots initiative started less than 2 years ago, Art&Soul is the brain child of Melissa Parks – a mother, artist, art teacher, and social entrepreneur. Since May 2016, Art&Soul set out to increase the rate of adoption in Michigan in the Foster Care and Adoption system, and they have. Several of the featured children in the traveling photo exhibit and booklet have been placed with pre-adoptive families!

Because of people that care, many doors opened making possible the POSITIVE change for children’s futures. For both the 2016 and 2017 editions, 100% of the highlighted children were and will be touched in some way by our community. There are 13,000 children in foster care in the state of Michigan with 800+ in need of a forever family.

Jext Telez enjoys international success by bringing classic rock fuzz sounds, based on the famous Beatles guitar sound, into today’s music.  Its founder, Bob Ebeling, created the “blank canvas” products that are the focus of these 10 Detroit area artists for these one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork.

Melissa T Parks, founder and CEO of Art&Soul shares that, “Together we can build a movement where our community takes action and I truly believe “Every Child is a Work of Art.”

In an effort to broaden the reach for 2017, Art&Soul has partnered with Orchards Children’s Services, Judson Center, and 18 award winning photographers to feature 20 older foster children looking for a forever family.


Photographed Ara Howrani

Road trip anyone? If you are looking to take the “road less traveled,” there is no better companion than Brendan. This budding 13-year-old car enthusiast is ready to be in the passenger seat as he explores the joy of a forever family. He is adventurous in music, sports, and food he loves! Whether as your co-pilot on a family trip or a bike ride to the ice cream shop, Brendan is your guy!

Brendan’s heart is as big as his smile. He is full of surprises as his active exterior is complimented by his love of nature. Protecting the world, people, and animals defines Brendan. This future scientist loves going to the zoo and discovering all there is to learn about spiders, snakes, and reptiles. Enjoying nature alongside a family would only make the road trip more memorable! Do you have the map to his heart?

Orchards Children’s Services Case Worker: Dawn Davis, 248 530-5408, [email protected]