By Al Stover 

Local pastor’s art on display at Ritzville Public Library


August 30, 2018

ARTIST EXHIBIT. East Adams Library District is hosting an art exhibit at the Ritzville Public Library featuring paintings by Menno Mennonite Church interim pastor Lyn Hershey. This painting featuring a landscape with a dilapidated structure is one of many paintings by Hershey on display at the library. -Journal photo by Al Stover

The East Adams Library District (EALD) is hosting an exhibit featuring paintings by Lyn Hershey at the Ritzville Public Library. Hershey currently serves as a pastor at the Menno Mennonite Church.

Hershey noted some of the paintings on display are a compilation of older and recent work. EALD will host an artist reception for the exhibit on Sept. 14 from 2-4 p.m.

He was born and raised in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and has been married to his wife Jeanie Hershey for 60 years. He and Jeanie have enjoyed living in Adams County and meeting people through the church.

Hershey works in various mediums, including water colors, oils, acrylics on canvas and glazing.

He has been painting for several years, dating back to when he was a teenager. His family has ties to art, as his sister was a high school teacher and artist, while his father used to sketch. Hershey’s son, Mark Hershey, now makes wooden frames for his father’s painting.

Hershey never became a professional artist because of his pastoral duties. He sporadically paints throughout his life, and has distributed paintings in Philadelphia and Indiana when he worked in race relations through the Mennonite Church.

Hershey said one of his memorable works was a portrait of Civil Rights Activist and journalist Myrlie Evers-Williams, who sought justice for the murder of her husband, Medgar Evers. He later presented the portrait as a gift to Evers-Williams.

He resumed painting when he moved to Crooked River Ranch in Oregon and started using water colors to paint landscapes of the coast. He later donated the paintings to the church to sell in auctions. He has also sold paintings through commissioned work and donated the funds to the church.

For a current project, Hershey is working on a series of paintings depicting old buildings and mine shafts in Idaho. He uses black and white photographs from Wayne Sparling’s book “Southern Idaho Ghost Towns” as references, then adds color.

Hershey hopes to use the paintings in a calendar. One reason he paints old buildings is because they will someday disappear. Painting them provides Hershey with a chance to keep the structures alive through his work.

He enjoys painting because it allows him to add some of his personality in the work. He recalled a time when he took paint lessons while living on the Oregon coast, and the teacher advised him to put some of himself into his painting.

“You can take pictures, but there’s something about painting where you put yourself into it,” Hershey said.

He hopes Ritzville residents who view his work and attend the artist’s reception at the library will be inspired to take start painting.

The library exhibit is not the only place where people can view Hershey’s work. He said he plans to donate paintings to the Mennonite Country Auction on Oct. 8.

For more information about the artist reception, contact EALD at 659-1222.


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