Wearable art is next on menu at Bethlehem House of Bread
Artists create clothes for upcoming fashion show
Man does not live by bread alone, although the Bethlehem House of Bread, a food pantry set up in the former Metzger United Methodist Church, has done a good job of supplying a wide assortment of food to about 40 families each month as well as providing weekend backpacks full of food to 18 needy Metzger Elementary students plus snacks for students since it opened last November.
Now its organizers have cooked up a Wearable Art Fashion Show & Sale set on May 10 as a creative fundraiser for the food pantry.
Organizers include three former Sherwood School District employees: Kris Field-Eaton of Tigard, who was the Talented and Gifted Program coordinator for many years as well as a huge supporter of chess programs in both cities; Dana Murphy, an artist who taught in the Sherwood School District's English Language Learners program before retiring; and Kate Kelleher, a longtime Hopkins Elementary counselor who also is retired and is now teaching her Love & Logic parenting classes both at Bethlehem House of Bread and in her new office in downtown Lake Oswego.
The three women got together March 26 at the pantry to try on some of the clothes and plan how the fashion show - complete with runway - will be set up in the former sanctuary, which until recently was filled with pews that found a good home in another church.
"The show was my idea," Murphy said. "This is our first event in this space. We've got a pretty dynamic group of friends, and we are thrilled to have so many fabric and jewelry artists.
We have a piano in the former sanctuary, so there will be music during the show, and people can enjoy refreshments and look at more clothes after the show and purchase them too."
Murphy, who will be the commentator during the fashion show, added, "This also is an opportunity to get more people into the House of Bread to see what we're up to."
There is a lot going on inside and outside the former church these days: Murphy and Field-Eaton recently taught a five-week Seed to Supper class after getting training from the Oregon Food Bank and Oregon State University; for the second year in a row, a community garden will grow out back with families given the opportunity to reserve raised beds and grow produce; and the Oregon Human Development Corp. has rented three rooms for its Youth Source program that is working with 130 teens to help them get training and jobs.
In addition, five students are doing internships at the House of Bread; and Dana Miller, a teacher at Archer Glen Elementary in Sherwood, has been collecting books that are handed out to children who visit the pantry with their families.
As for the fashion show, many clothing artists from around the metro area are providing fashions and will have booths set up afterwards when guests may purchase them.
Artists include Murphy with up-cycled and hand-painted clothes from her Dana Murphy Designs; Tami Lo Basso of Sherwood's children's fairyland outfits; Jolene Taylor of Tigard's hand-painted wooden jewelry; Chloe Findtner of Sherwood's flower headbands and accessories; May Lee of Tigard's clothing and scarves from her Etsy shop, RufflesnCream; and Chareeya Wilkerson of Tigard's upscale jewelry.
Other designers include Judee Moonbeam of Portland's vest, skirts and accessories made with piecework collages and silk-screening; and Allyson Barlow of Portland's faerie wings from her Little Wing Faerie Art.
The morning of the fashion show will be a little hectic at the pantry: It is opening day for the community garden, when families will come with seeds ready to start growing vegetables, and teens from the Youth Source program will be selling plants that they have been raising in the pantry's Garden Room.
And the pantry won't get quiet after the fashion show - future events in the works include a labyrinth walk, summer solstice music events, an Empty Bowl fundraiser in which people can purchase ceramic bowls made by artists and enjoy soup made from ingredients from the garden in September, and Bread Tread, a 5K fundraiser walk in Cook Park in Tigard in October.
"We're also looking at some kind of harvest festival event to enjoy the final bounty of the garden before it goes to seed in the fall," Field-Eaton said.
All these events are in addition to the food bank being open every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.
The fashion show is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 10, with doors opening at 12:30 p.m.; the artisan booths will be open from 2 to 6 p.m.