SHEM’s new headquarters to include gallery window

Sweet Home Emergency Ministries has opened on Main Street and it’s showing Sweet Home’s artistic face.

SHEM reopened in the old Hometown Drug building at the beginning of the month. The SHEM Showcase gallery will be displayed in a small room under construction behind the front show window.

“It’ll help bring some life to this part of Main Street, I hope,” said Mary Brendle, a SHEM board member and the SHEM Showcase coordinator.

The gallery will open sometime in October when construction of the walls is complete, Brendle said. Each month will feature different artists.

Art will not be the only items on display, Brendle said. The gallery is open to the Chamber of Commerce, for example, one month per year to showcase Sweet Home. Other displays also may include high school art classes and other talent.

SHEM will not sell any of the art, and the display room will not be open to the public. The names and contact information for artists may be on display, so members of the public can contact the artists directly.

The goal is to showcase local artists and happenings in a manner that does not contradict wholesome Christian family values and that promote a positive expression in the heart of the community, according to a description outlined by the SHEM Board of Directors.

“Artists in Sweet Home are pretty much a hidden bunch,” Brendle said. Two of the artists who will display their work there mostly show their work in Portland.

“I’m pretty excited that Sweet Home will have a venue for local artists,” she said.

The first display will feature the work of Bernard Gross, who paints landscapes in oils, she said. He holds a master’s degree in art and has mostly shown his work in Portland.

“I think this is a really interesting thing that is coming out in Sweet Home now,” Brendle said. “Sweet Home is a wonderful place for artists.”

“It’s a nice thing,” said board Chairman Gary Englert. “They’ve done an excellent job of creating space. We’re trying to focus on a positive environment for people to come in.”

“We’re dedicated to our commitment to providing food resources to the people in the community as well as providing some emergency funds,” he said. “Our Showcase is there keeping a positive image on Main Street. We want to make sure, as residents of the community, we’re supportive of the community. We want to give back to the community and make it look nice.”

SHEM recently installed a new board, Englert said. Among continuing board members are Englert, Vice Chairman Bob Weidner, Treasurer Doris Lafond, Roger Gilman, Tim Healy and Stan VanParks. New members include Secretary Peggy Blair, a former executive director; Brendle; and Rick Ellingson.

Outgoing members are Bob Hartsock and Dick Hill.

Board member Cindy Rice is on a leave of absence, Englert said.