KP SINGH ART EXHIBIT
AND “OUR NEIGHBOR’S FAITH”
at Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis
The artworks of Indiana artist and author KP Singh are currently
on display at the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Art Gallery
in Indianapolis. The artwork captures the spirit of historic landmarks,
promoting cultural and historic preservation.
On display are drawings of sacred places from many faith traditions,
including the Golden Temple at Amritsar; Chennakesava Temple, Belur;
Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte Chapelle, Paris; San Giorgio Maggiore,
Venice; and the “Cathedrals of Spirit” print representing
celebrated sacred architecture from around the world with a text
that offers echoes of our common and collective spiritual heritage.
In addition, there are drawings of Indiana colleges, courthouses,
historic scenes including the Statue of Liberty in New York and
the world-famous Taj Mahal at Agra, India.
The exhibit timing coincides with the series “Our Neighbor’s
Faith” being delivered each Sunday by Rev. Kent Millard, Senior
Pastor at the Church. The world religions being featured each Sunday
beginning with August 30, 2009 include Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism,
Baha’i, Native American, Christianity/Greek Orthodox, Sikhism,
and Judaism. Collectively these faiths offer a rich spectrum of
spiritual thought, richness, history and heritage, and impact on
our civilization. There are thirty-one art pieces representing the
various phases of my work as it has evolved over the last forty
years. There are early drawings, some very intricate and finely-executed
composites, and others with pencil hand-coloring adding an attractive
dimension to the artwork. The framed artwork hangs on a striking
chestnut colored backdrop.
ART AND FAITH IN SERVICE
As human beings, we are familiar with hardships and deprivation.
I remember the dark days of the Partition of India when my family
and I had to flee with our lives to safety to the newly-carved boundaries
of an independent India in 1947. I am grateful for the countless
blessings that I enjoy today at this time and place. Therefore,
it is a special personal pleasure that Rev. Kent Millard agreed
that part of the proceeds from the art acquisitions go towards the
Interfaith Hunger Initiative (IHI). The Indianapolis IHI is chaired
by Rev. Kent Millard, a respected spiritual leader in Indianapolis,
and Mr. Jim Morris, a distinguished visionary and the former Head
of the U.N. World Food Program. Serving those in need is in the
spirit of one of the principal commandments of my Sikh faith and
one of the universal foundations of our shared humanity. American
generosity at home and around the world is exemplary. We can all
serve; thousands step forward every day to serve those who are in
special need and in difficult circumstances. Serving the cause of
hunger is an equal- opportunity responsibility, a testimony of our
faith-at-work and in service, especially in the very tough economic
times our nation and world global economy is passing through. We
all can assist with the gifts that God has entrusted us and put
them to good use in faith and thanksgiving, each according to how
our spirit moves us or makes it possible.
My artwork style, subject matter, and often a little historic highlight,
gives the viewer an opportunity to connect in spirit with familiar
places, majestic monuments and historic sites that they have not
yet visited. Each piece of art serves as an introduction and invitation
to learn and appreciate the journey of our civilization through
what man has envisioned and created.
TESTIMONY OF SHARED SPIRITUALITY
I firmly believe, as many do, that the arts: music, visual arts,
sculpture, literary arts, architecture, and elements of Nature as
God’s art canvas of breath-taking splendor, have a unifying
and all-embracing power. The arts evoke familiar emotions and passions
that blur boundaries among cultures, communities, and civilizations.
There has been continuous and unmistakable exchange and transcendence
of arts, culture, ideas, and experiences that connects us to one
another at many levels and in many ways. The art and spirit have
gone a long way toward expanding our understanding and humanity.
Our sacred places are excellent repositories of all the sacred
arts and man has spared no effort to make these places of awesome
beauty and magnificence. Besides, they have been the crucible of
brilliant acts of human compassion and moral accountability that
has sustained our world from many unconscionable disasters and dark
periods throughout human history.
Dr. Kent Millard in his sermons each Sunday offers some very central
themes in each faith that resonate with the spiritual doctrines
and wisdom in Christian faith tradition and practice. His words
echo through the cathedral space and the refrains of hymns chosen
reinforce the ideas enshrined in the faith highlighted for that
day. The Sikh faith proclaims that all spiritual knowledge has originated
from the same Source of Light. As I listen to the words and music,
I am witnessing images of one colorful tapestry of faiths, cultures,
and prayers before me.
I am very excited that large numbers of worshippers at this Church
and visiting friends are enjoying the exhibit and participating
in raising some much-needed funds for the Interfaith Hunger Initiative.
Serving in faith is the first lesson of all faiths and it is incredible
when it restores our faith in each other as we celebrate the dignity
of each fellow being as that of our own. When we “do unto
the least among us,” we serve God’s children; we serve
God. Our spirit and thoughtful intentions make the difference, not
always the means at our disposal.
Kanwal Prakash Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA