A philosopher once said... 'The family is one of nature's masterpieces'. Tonight we meet a Fort Wayne artist whose masterpiece has just gotten bigger.
Kat Rohrbacher's parents have always encouraged her artwork. From grade school right through her years of study at the Chicago Art Institute, Ron and Gina were always right behind their daughter. But as an adopted child this South Side High School grad always felt something missing from her otherwise very happy life.
Kat never met her birth parents, knew nothing about them. But they were never far from her mind. It showed in her artwork. “I became obsessed with pregnancy my mom had never been pregnant so I'd never been around it, you know I didn't know the person that even carried me. So I did this big series on pregnancy like I started out with me and made myself pregnant.” Rohrbacher said.
Kat knew it was herself she was really searching for, the part of her she thought she'd find in her birth parents. Her search ended two years ago, on the day she turned 21, when her birth mother found her on the Internet, and called on the phone to wish her happy birthday. “The first thing I said was 'Do you regret it?', you know. I had my questions ready to go 'cause I'd been prepared for this my whole life. I'm like 'Okay, let's go!” Kat said.
It turns out Kat's birth parents, Charlie and Melanie Moore, live in New Haven, a stone's throw from where Kat grew up. They were high school sweethearts when Melanie got pregnant and gave Kat up for adoption. Melanie explained it all in that first phone call. “Oh, not only are we married, we got married a year or two after we gave you up, but like you have four full blooded brothers.. that was the most special moment.” recalls Kat.
Four brothers and, it turns out, dozens of cousins. Kat's birth dad Charlie is one of ten children. Aunts, uncles, cousins dropped out of the sky. One cousin had been Kat's good friend at South Side, they never knew they were related.
Its all been overwhelming for this young artist who is now busy exploring her new found relations, painting portraits of her brothers and cousins, seeing herself, finally, reflected in their eyes. Welcoming them all into her very private art world.
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