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New exhibit showcases how religions shaped American history

Acts of Faith exhibit opens at the Eiteljorg Museum

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis called “Acts of Faith: Religion and The American West” features paintings, cultural objects, and displays of various faiths, including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Sikh religions spanning more than 200 years. 

“People want to have these compassionate caring conversations, and they just need the space and place to do that,” said Jessica Nelson, a guest curator.

At a time where religion divides, Nelson says a traveling exhibit on religion could be a way to spark conversations.

“I think there’s lots of moments to think about how religious violence has impacted people, but also how religion has been a force for bringing community and togetherness in different places,” said Nelson. 

Nelson showed a mural of New Mexican Indigenous people carrying a statue of San Ysidro, a patron saint of farmers for Catholics. Right next to the mural sits a late 19th century statue that would have been used at that time. It depicts the saint plowing fields with an angel by his side.  

There are 20 diverse narratives. These narratives included Native Americans, African American migrants, Jewish traders, and Chinese immigrants. 

“I think this will give a whole lot of deeper reflection of how and what it means to be American,” said a unnamed visitor. 

The exhibit runs until August 4.