SEARSPORT — The town’s newest gallery is in a piece of living history.

The Parsonage Gallery is located on Elm Street in the Rev. Stephen & Clara Thurston House that was built in 1831 when Thurston served as pastor of the First Congregational Church.

Hence the name.

“The house was built by the Maine Ministerial Corporation in 1831 for Rev. Stephen Thurston,” said gallery owner Dr. Aaron Rosen. “It was built as a parsonage and the carriage house was a perfect space for the gallery.”

Rosen owns the house and gallery with his wife, the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Rosen.

Aaron Rosen is a professor of religion and visual culture at Wesley Theological Seminary. He is also the director of Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion. His wife is the pastor of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Ellsworth.

As the Rosens dug into the history of Thurston House, they found connections beyond the clergy.

“We discovered that the Thurstons were the aunt and uncle of Winslow Homer,” Rosen said, “so it’s got this spiritual tradition, being built as a parsonage, and the artistic heritage with Winslow Homer. It just kind of came together.”

Parsonage Gallery is currently working with 14 international artists, all of whom share a connection to works of spirituality, ecology and history. Featured artists hail from Brunswick, Maine, to London.

“We work with artists that I know from my travels,” Rosen said. “We wanted to ensure there was a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose, and to get with the theme of what we are trying to accomplish.”

The Parsonage Gallery features works from 14 International artists. Photo courtesy of The Parsonage Gallery

Rosen had dreamed of owning a gallery.

“I thought I would probably open a gallery when I retired,” Rosen said. “It just happened much sooner.”

The gallery has been open since June.