Portraits help the healing process for young patients

Shriners Hospital for Children hosted more than 200 guests as it unveiled six new works of art featuring children with burn injuries and craniofacial conditions.

Described as “art to mend where medicine leaves off,” the pieces were commissioned by Lee and Sue Schaefer, founders of Portraits of a Soul. The collaboration matches professional artists with children being treated at the Cincinnati hospital. The Schaefers select and commission each artist.

“Children with burns and craniofacial conditions are no strangers to physical pain. Treatment usually involves enduring numerous surgeries over many years,” note the couple on their website. “But the thoughtless stares, whispers and remarks from others undermine self-worth and cause deep emotional scars. We interview the artists to get to know and then paint these children, reflecting their true worth and bravery. During the process, the artist and child spend time together so the portrait truly reflects the soul beneath the scars.”

The children and their families were at the June unveiling, along with the artists. Each family received the original portrait to take home. The hospital will display framed reproductions.

shrinershospitalcincinnati.org, portraitofasoul.org

Click on a thumbnail below to view photo gallery from event.

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