Schaffhausen Girls' Artwork Goes On Display
Amara, Sophie, and Cecilia Schaffhausen may be gone, but their spirits -- and visions -- are still very much alive. On Friday night, those visions went on display, as an art gallery showcased the girls' artwork for the first time.
It's almost surreal to walk into a room filled with the beautiful artwork created by three girls who met such a brutal end at the hands of their own father. But their mother showed us this art show is not about tragedy.
"I really like this one," said Jessica Schaffhausen, as she pointed out her favorite pieces of artwork created by her three daughters.
She is beaming.
"She does some just amazing work," Jessica said.
Surrounded by her daughters' artwork, she is not a mother in mourning. She's a proud parent.
"What really amazes me is how incredibly talented they were," Jessica said.
She's showing the world all the wonderful things her daughters could do.
"It is amazing to see it all up in one place," Jessica said.
Fresh flowers, crisp colors, creations crafted by Amara, Sophie, and Cecilia. More than one hundred pieces are on display at Gallery 120 in River Falls, Wisc. -- all vivid visions of childhood innocence.
"The whole process started, honestly, when I was in the depths of my grief. Right after the girls died, I started having all of their artwork that I could access framed," Jessica said.
At first, she planned to give them to close friends and family members. But she decided to share them instead.
Each one evokes one tiny moment in time.
"I remember Amara sitting there and spending the hours detailing -- you can tell some of the pieces are very meticulous," Jessica said.
And Jessica wants to share not just the artwork, but the stories that go along with them.
"She (Cecilia) says this is of three snowmen chasing bad men, but they melted while I was painting. She was just very clever that she would come up with those things," Jessica said, describing one of Cecilia's paintings.
But one piece stands out because it's not necessarily art at all. It's a simple, handwritten note every mother has received a thousand times. It reads, "I love you with all my heart. Happy Mother's Day. Love, Amara."
"I just really like the idea of sending little pieces of them out into the world to keep living," Jessica said.
And she'll be able to do just that through a silent auction for much of that artwork that also began on Friday night and runs through August 21st. The proceeds will go towards a memorial playground for the girls, which the media previewed on Thursday. Since then, organizers have raised about $120,000 in just 24 hours. That means they're nearly halfway to their fundraising goal.