Chartiers Creek Creative is dedicated to the memory of my sister, Cheryl “Cherie” Schmidt, who sadly passed away in 2011.

Cherie was a good person, someone everyone enjoyed knowing. She was warm-hearted, slightly mischievous, funny to a fault, smart, hard-working, creative and oh so particular! She was an incredibly talented artist in almost every way that a person can be an artist. She was a sketch artist, a painter, a scrapbook artist, a paper crafter, a card maker, a guitarist, a keyboardist, a tambourine girl and a singer.  She could do everything, and I mean, she could nail it with precision. Even her laugh was an art form, something that could make you smile from the inside out. She was bright, intuitive, and ever curious about everything. She had a level of patience that I always admired, and was a natural teacher, generous in that she was always happy to show anyone how to do anything she could do.

She hoped to move here with me when I bought my house in Scott Township, but it was not meant to be. She was in the hospital during my closing, and passed away exactly 3 weeks later in hospice, with her son John and me at her side.

Through The Tears…

Shortly after Cherie’s memorial, I began painting a mural in my new dining room, and discovered that this experience was having a very positive impact on my mood; it helped with the overwhelming grief. I learned that I cannot cry and paint at the same time. Doing art feels good, even when you lose one of your dearest friends in the world and can barely breathe or get out of bed in the morning.

(I made the good feelings last by painting the mural with a very small paint brush.)

My experience with painting at that time was a turning point in my life and in my understanding of how to cope with grief and alleviate stress. Art saved me, in essence because it is a life-giving activity. I’d like to think that Cherie had a little something to do with that. And from that experience, I now know first-hand how it can help other people. The purpose of Chartiers Creek Creative is not about selling art pieces for millions of dollars, it’s about enriching our community and providing life-giving social activities that can bridge divides, and give us a sense of greater internal peace. In turn, we can channel those good vibes into unifying our community in ways that it has never been unified before.

Not a day has passed by that I don’t think of Cherie, gone too terribly soon. But her memory lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her, and it is with great respect and love that I dedicate the Chartiers Creek Creative art center to her memory.

Because doing art feels good.

With love,

Leann Schmidt