A world of hearts: Painting project at Bemidji Woolen Mills honors essential workers

Sherry Sherman paints hearts on the front door of Bemidji Woolen Mills on Friday morning. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Sherry Sherman usually paints holiday scenes on windows at Bemidji area businesses. This week she’s been busy painting hearts on the windows at Bemidji Woolen Mills as part of a worldwide effort to bring attention to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Facebook group “A World of Hearts” was launched on March 20 and now includes more than a half-million members. Folks around the globe are displaying hearts on their windows.

Sherry Sherman works on window paintings for the Bemidji Woolen Mills on Friday in downtown Bemidji. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

At the Woolen Mills, owner Bill Batchelder says the hearts that Sherman is painting are a tribute to workers who cannot stay home during the pandemic.


“It’s a thank you and a tribute to them,” he said. “Grocery workers, fireman, medical workers, police, ambulance. Every person who is required to do their job during this time.”

Sherman expects to paint between 50 and 100 hearts at the Woolen Mills. Each heart includes an icon or logo of a critical worker. Some are buffalo plaid in honor of the company’s 100th year in business.

The front doors of Bemidji Woolen Mills are painted with hearts and tributes to workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Sherman, who also has painted windows at businesses such as Slim’s Bar and Grill, Bob Lowth Ford and Larry’s Carpet, said she was happy to be able to honor workers like her daughter, who is on the housekeeping staff at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.

She’s happy to be part of the worldwide effort.

“Everybody should put up their hearts,” Sherman said.


Dennis Doeden, former publisher of the Bemidji Pioneer, is a feature reporter. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State University with a degree in Communications Management.
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