Parrot Gallery

Parrot  Gallery is a project of artists and musicians worshiping at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster. Art exhibits are open for downtown Lancaster First Fridays and by appointment with church office. Regular gallery talks are scheduled with each featured artist.

Earth Requiem

A 10th Anniversary show by various CMCL artists

Friday, September 6, 2019, 5:00pm–8:00 pm

2019 marks a gala year for the Parrot Gallery at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster as it celebratess its 10th anniversary of rotating artists from the church with two-month-long exhibits. At a festive celebration on First Friday September 6, 2019, twenty–one artists and musicians will contribute their work on the chosen anniversary theme, “Earth Requiem.”

Ten years prior, on First Friday in September, 2009, the gallery launched its first exhibit of a congregant artist, photographer Joseph Gascho, and featured saxophonist Ryan Kauffman performing live jazz Since then, over 50 artists and numerous musicians have brought life and color to the Parrot Gallery on First Fridays year-round.

The gallery was the serendipitous vision of Chad Martin (pastor, 2007-20016) and artist/layperson Mary Lou Weaver Houser–the coffee reception area in the church seemed a perfect place for the congregation to view and discover the many varied artists of the church on a Sunday morning. Some artists have professional art careers; many were venturing out to offer their first one-person exhibit with the encouragement of the gallery committee. Six high school art teachers in the congregation understand well the privilege of walking alongside budding artists with encouragement and installation assistance.

Occasionally the gallery features a group show with a focus like fiber arts, nature photography, or a poetry theme by Lancaster’s former Poet Laureate Chris Longenencker,. One summer, one of the art teachers mounted a childrens’ exhibit. 

Chad Martin reflects on the rich legacy of this gallery in congregational life:

It hardly seems possible that the Parrot Gallery has been going for ten years already. When Mary Lou and I sat talking through the gallery concept, we hoped the congregation would be as excited as we were. I never dreamed that CMCL could keep up a rotation of artwork created by people in the congregation every other month for ten years … but that’s who CMCL is. The arts are such a vital way that this congregation experiences God and expresses their spiritual longing. The tenure of the gallery is an important milestone. However, creativity flourishes there all the time — new music written for a Sunday service, poets preaching sermons, pastors creating artwork as part of their vocation. It’s a huge part of how that community shares with each other and with its neighbors.

This upcoming group effort grapples with the complexities of environmental changes impacting every living being. Requiem connotes “ritual,” “lament,” “tribute,” “dirge,” “elegy, “memorial;” Visit the Parrot Gallery September First Friday to ponder the rich perspectives converging at The Parrot. The show will also be open for October 5-6 Artwalk Weekend.

“Earth Requiem” runs from September 6 through October 27, 2019.
The Parrot Gallery is open on First Fridays and Sunday mornings.
Call 717-392-7567 to make an appointment for week-day viewing.


Mary Lou