Centerville boy recipient of Portrait of a Soul painting inside new Shriners hospital



Four families of children who have suffered burn injuries or craniofacial disorders recently celebrated the unveiling of their son or daughter’s portrait at Shriners Children’s Ohio on the Dayton Children’s campus.

Each painting was commissioned by the local non-profit organization, Portrait of a Soul. The organization was established by philanthropists Lee and Sue Schaefer with the mission of “healing emotional wounds that reflect the great worth, beauty and inner vision of these brave children.”

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Xin Farley, 10, son of Angie and Julian Farley of Centerville, was painted by professional, internationally-recognized artist Kevin Muente. The Farley family took home the original painting to display atop Xin’s bedroom book shelf, while a replica of the portrait will be displayed inside Shriners alongside the other three portraits.



The Farleys adopted Xin, originally from China, and he’s been growing up in the Dayton area for almost seven years.

“I think the portrait turned out really great,” Angie Farley said. “It captures, you know, his heart and spirit. I think it was a really, really great experience.”

Xin can be shy at first, Angie said, but at Friday’s reveal, she could tell he was really happy with how his portrait turned out.

Upon the unveiling of the portraits to be displayed in the Shriners Dayton hospital, Muente said:

“My portrait of Xin hopefully shows off all the things I like about him. He’s precocious, and with that he carries off just the perfect amount of skepticism. I loved the looks he would give me when he wasn’t buying any of my kidding around. He’s inventive, smart and gentle. I could tell he’s a kind soul so I positioned him protecting a rare axolotl with a blue diamond sword from one of his favorite games. Watch out world Xin is building his own bright future.”

In January, Shriners relocated from Cincinnati to Dayton. Shriners is now located in a smaller facility within the Dayton Children’s campus, though the two hospitals are still operated separately.

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A special project that became a beloved tradition when Shriners was located in Cincinnati, the Portrait of a Soul program partners with children and adults with physical and mental challenges and elite portrait artists, according to the program’s website. Through this partnership, artists will create a classic, fine art portrait that represents the children’s victories as young heroes of beauty and esteem.

The Farley family has had a long journey within Shriners. Angie said the Portrait of a Soul program is a way for children like Xin to see their uniqueness in a positive light.

“It’s good for the community to see that,” Angie said. “I think it’s just putting it out there that, you know, everybody’s different or unique and that we all need to be accepting of one another.”

Shriners provides all levels of pediatric burn treatment, as well as cleft lip and palate, plastic and reconstructive surgery for children up to age 18, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.



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