'Futures for Children' photographs on display.

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Staff reports

SANTA FE, N.M. - ''Futures for Children: Photographs by Debbie Fleming Caffery and Kim Ashley'' will be exhibited in the New Mexico state Capitol's Governor's Gallery through June 10.

The photographers have, since 2003, spent many months documenting through striking photograph, the youth participants in the Futures for Children program.

Futures for Children is a national organization partnering with American Indian tribes to instill the values of education and leadership in young people while preserving cultural identities. Futures for Children provides mentoring and training in Hopi, Navajo and New Mexico Pueblo tribal communities to more than 15,000 American Indian students and their families. More than 200 volunteers from these communities work with Futures for Children to deliver and monitor the program in support of the organization's goals of promoting higher education, developing leadership skills in youth and providing access to educational opportunities.

The children and young adults in these photographs have all participated in the Futures Friendship program and have established a long-term mentor relationship. Caffery and Ashley depict the beauty and power that is embodied in both the Southwestern landscape and in the potential of these youth.

Caffery's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She has received many awards and her photographs, which have been the subject of numerous publications, are included in a number of prestigious photography collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institute and the George Eastman House. Ashley's lifelong interest in photography began more than 35 years ago, when he trained as a combat photographer. Specializing in Southwest and outdoor photography, Ashley opened his own studio in Albuquerque in 2005.

The exhibition is comprised of more than 40 photographs. Caffery's restrained portraits are printed in subtle black and white, while Ashley worked with color imagery to capture his subjects within the natural landscape.

The Governor's Gallery is an outreach of the Museum of Fine Arts, a division of the N.M. Department of Cultural Affairs. The gallery is located on the fourth floor of the state Capitol building. All events are free and open to the public.