Children of Abraham Art exhibit unites different faiths

“We are all children of Abraham. It’s how we’re united specifically, as a human family, and, particularly, as people of faith. Our faiths come from the same source: Abraham,” says Sr. Glynis McManamon, Director of Good Shepherd Arts Center.“

Children of Abraham for Peace and Justice, the title of the exhibit that ran at Good Shepherd Gallery in October, set out to demonstrate how our differences can actually be what unite us as people. 

Children of Abraham exhibit furthers message of peace and justice

The exhibit features artwork which furthers a message of peace and justice while reflecting diversity, tolerance and inclusion. Works in the ecumenical exhibition were informed by the faith and traditions of Abrahamic religions, including Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths.

Children of Abraham
Berta Goldgaber’s Hamsa represents the hand of God.
Children of Abraham
Alejandra Velasco’s embossed Virgin of Carmel.

Curator of the exhibit, Kathy Ann Duffin, said, “This exhibit was a joy to curate and arrange in the gallery. The artworks presented seemed to sort themselves out into groupings for exhibition, a testament to the notion that we of different faiths have much in common.” 

For example, a quilt by Berta Goldgaber, depicts the cups of the Jewish Passover—wine vessels through which, and into which, blessing flows. Her fabric piece was shown alongside four ceramic vessels by American Muslim artist Yusra Ali. Berta Goldgaber said the Hamsa she painted represents the hand of God in the Jewish tradition and the hand of Fatima, daughter of Mohamed the Prophet, in the Muslim tradition.

Similarly, Christian artist Mary Martin’s psalm-inspired landscape painting complemented a pastoral scene by Muslim artist Zeya Obaidi, which was inspired by a verse of the Holy Quran. These and other pieces in the exhibition came together to exude an environment of peace and hope.  

Featured artist Alejandra Velasco said, ”Judaism, Christianity and Islam all share the belief in a God who inspires love, justice and truth. Together, united in love, we can build a better world, respecting the beliefs and differences of everyone.”

Art as a form of storytelling

Gary Lang, Board President of Good Shepherd Arts Center,  believes that art is a form of storytelling. He said, “Stories connect us and make us more aware of how God works.” 

Children of Abraham
Gary Lang, Board President of Good Shepherd Arts Center, and Director Sister Glynis McManamon share a lighthearted moment at Good Shepherd Gallery.

Gary said the board of directors of Good Shepherd Arts Center and Sr. Glynis are collaborating with a number of organizations and individuals to produce 10 shows in 2019 that affirm human dignity. Among the collaborations is one with Arts and Faith St. Louis, whose mission is to build a harmonious St. Louis by establishing an ongoing, intentional relationship between the arts and the faith communities.

The final 2018 exhibit at Good Shepherd Arts Center will run from November 24 through December 15, and features the works of art teachers in North County St. Louis.

For more information about Good Shepherd Arts Center, visit

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website