Opening Sunday, April 3, 2-4pm
runs through April 30, 2016
Napier, Wells, Faust, Darr, and Clark Families
and Michael Schmidt, MA

Joan Staufer, Coordinating Artist

also on exhibit Marie Jungling


Starting in August 2015, artist Joan Staufer began meeting individually with the Napier, Wells, Faust, Darr and Clark Families. Together they made artwork, wrote and collected objects expressing their journeys as blended, adopted and foster families. For the first several sessions Joan brought artist Michael Schmidt with her to record the families at work.

“A Work In Progress” – Michael Schmidt Artist Statement

When Joan Staufer and I met with the families during the initial meetings for this project, they were given charcoal and paint with which to work but little instruction on how they should proceed. Within minutes of their beginning, I became interested in how each family member contributed to the task of problem solving their way through to developing the paintings you see in this show. I felt privileged to be present at these meetings, each family being uniquely different. My own paintings are a witness to that time, focusing in on different dynamics I quietly observed while they worked. The families’ art works in this exhibition are an expression of the collective spirit, energy, and creativity of everyone involved who helped make them come about. Their works are from the perspective of an insider looking out, sharing with us something of themselves. My own paintings not only document something of the progress that took place leading to their finished works but by extension also act as a metaphor for thinking about families as a work in progress. A work of art can’t be made without a series of choices that coalesce into a unifying result. A family can’t move forward in life without creating a unity out of which each member becomes part of a whole, striving to grow and improve as one generation succeeds another, Just as a work of art is never truly finished, I think the same can be said about families. In this way, my paintings strive to capture these families making art at the same time as it can be seen that they are striving to exist as works of art themselves, forever in progress. – Michael Schmidt

The Napier Family

“Though the struggles are real. I wouldn’t change it for the world! I love all my family to the moon and back!”

The Faust Family

“Do you ever wonder what your purpose in life is? I used to think of this all the time. It was not until I was given these children that I discovered what my purpose was.”

The Clark Family

“Each one of us comes from a different time, place and set of circumstances. But our past is beautiful…it’s what makes us who we are.”

A Forest of Families is a celebration of blended, adopted and foster families brought to you by Coshocton Job and Family Services as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. The exhibit is generously sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Coshocton, Coshocton Rotary Club, Junior Woman’s Club, McWane Ductile, Kraft Heinz Company and the  Coshocton Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *