arts   |  exhibits

Photo gallery to support Shalom center's efforts



Pictura and the Shalom Community Center will work together to end homelessness through the lens of a camera at 5 p.m. Friday in Fountain Square Mall.

The two organizations will present a gallery featuring photos taken by Bloomington residents of those within the homeless community locally.

The gallery is held annually, and Friday night will mark the event’s third year.

Forrest Gilmore, the executive director of Shalom, said the photos will bring to light the lives of the homeless and encourage others to consider a different perspective. Shalom is an organization that aims to support and encourage those experiencing homelessness, according to its website.

“Art and photography help us open up our perspective,” Gilmore said. “By viewing art created by people who often have been marginalized by society, we get a chance to see the world a bit differently and grow our capacity to relate to and connect with others who might be different from us.”

The photographs will be available for sale, as well as greeting cards featuring photos from last year’s artists. The profit generated from both the cards and the photos will go toward supporting Shalom and the photographers. Lauren Kniss, the gallery director for Pictura, a contemporary photo gallery, said she believes both those experiencing homelessness and the artists deserve the support given to them through this event.

“I always hope that the community sort of rallies around places like Shalom Center and supports the arts community in town,” Kniss said. “We really have a thriving community here of artists and people that are at the Shalom Center who are becoming 
artists.”

The gallery’s opening will be accompanied by a presentation from Shalom at 5:30 p.m. on the state of homelessness within Bloomington and what the center is doing to combat the situation.

Gilmore said the presentation will be an opportunity to bring people together to end homelessness.

“It’s an opportunity to find out what’s going on and to get involved and to learn more and just grow and have an 
impact,” Gilmore said.

Kniss said she believes photography allows people to consider a different perspective and bring about change.

“I think people have a very sort of visceral reaction to artwork,” Kniss said. “It can affect them in a way that they don’t even understand and can sort of act on things more than they would normally.”

Both Kniss and Gilmore said they hope the event will reach out to people and inspire them to take action. Kniss said photography is a clear way to connect people and cause change.

“It brings something into the physical world that can be hard to understand if you don’t sort of see it in front of you,” Kniss said. “It’s a great way for people to really put themselves in the shoes of these people.”

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