Care Net opens new Long Haul Gallery in Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers: Denise Thomas plays the keyboards while her daughter Lauren shines light on the pages during an opening reception on Thursday evening for the new Long Haul Gallery at the Care Net Center of Greater Orleans. More than 100 art pieces are for sale to help support the center.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2023 at 12:06 pm

ALBION – A new art gallery has opened at the Care Net Center of Greater Orleans. Many artists are featured in the gallery and their paintings, photography and other creations will support the center at 168 S. Main St. in Albion.

Wende Swick, the center’s executive director, started to consider a gallery after Margaret Gerhardt, wife of Care Net board president John Gerhardt, donated two paintings as a fundraiser for the center. (Swick previously worked as an exhibit curator for an art center in Old Forge.)

Other artists contributed art work, and Chris Marlowe donated about 45 paintings from his own art collection, as well as some of his own work.

The result is about 160 pieces of artwork on display in the new Long Haul Gallery. The name was picked to represent Care Net’s willingness to be with someone through a  crisis pregnancy and long after.

Care Net also has been in the community for 32 years and plans to stay for many years to come, Swick said.

Long Haul also was picked as a name because the artwork is in a long hallway at Care Net.

The Long Haul Gallery features artwork from many artists. Some of the artist featured include A. DeVity, Alfred Renz, B. Doyle Maher, Betty Angell, Betty Merring, Carole Mitchell, Cbabi Bayoc, Cheryl Knight-Knapp, Christopher Marlowe, Colin Harris, D. McCou, Delia Delgado, Dick Brown, E. Hesse, Erin Townsend, H. Lohn, Hannah O’Connor, Hellinga, Henriette Ronner, J. Combe, Jack Broer, Jacqueline Lighthall, James K. Bonnar, Jamie Dianne, Jamie Dianne, Janine Miller, Joseph Correle, K. Jann, Katie Becker, Kurt Gardner, Linda Derwick, Lisa Behrend, Lloyd Schafer, Lou Smith, Margaret Gerhardt, McKenzie, Miles, Myles, Ninandre Bogue, Rachel Grout, Ricky, Robert Peter Kyle, Ruth Coverston, S. Terrigino, S. Van De Water, S.H. Letchworth, Sandy Broer,  Sharon Sugar, Sun Lee, Tony Barry, Tracy Bugna, Vonnie R. Kinney, W. Ritter, Wende Swick, Zoe Cusson and unknown artists.

Provided photos (left): This young visitor was one of about 100 to attend the opening reception on Thursday evening. (Right) Joyce Foley, a Care Net board member, checks out the art displayed in the new gallery.

(Left) Margaret Gerhardt stands next to the two paintings she donated to help start the new gallery. (Right) Margaret and her husband John Gerhardt cut the ribbon on the new gallery.

Care Net staff include from left: Joanie Vendetti, nurse manager; Wende Swick, executive director; Sharon Sugar, office manager; and Lee Anne Jedamski, client services manager.

Care Net is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The center offers pregnancy testing, education and limited ultrasounds. Besides pregnancy testing and support, Care Net also offers STI testing and parenting classes for both males and females.

Care Net gives out material aid such as diapers, wipes, blankets and clothing up to size 24 months, when available.