DALLAS - An amateur photography exhibit is bringing Texans together from different religious backgrounds.
The goal of the show is to provide an intimate and sometimes surprising look at what people from different faiths consider a ‘sacred space.’
It's the first time Trinity Fellowship Church Pastor Keith Hileman is getting a look the 37 individual photographs that make up an exhibition called Sacred Spaces: A Sharing Through Photographs. His photo was taken inside kivas in Mesa Verde that were built by Pueblo Indians.
“What stunned me about that picture is how much we need, especially in American places where the divine and the holy are back in the center of people's interactions,” the pastor said.
Next to Hileman’s photograph is one taken by Imam Shpendim Nadzaku, with the Islamic Association of North Texas.
“I'm at the apex of this mountain,” Nadzaku recalled. “And I look up and I swear I feel like that Arabic God in Arabic, and I just pulled out my phone and ‘click.’”
Peter Poulides is the executive director of Dallas Center for Photography. For his first gallery exhibition, he asked Texans from a variety of religious backgrounds to take a picture of places they consider sacred.
“Not only does it open dialogue across people who normally wouldn't speak, but they don't have to speak,” Poulides said. “The pictures speak for them.”
From a messy kitchen considered the heart of this mother's home to a man's small, simple backyard used for meditation, the images are intimate and often challenge stereotypes and assumptions. The authors rely on their faith to guide them.
“We basically allowed ourselves to be vulnerable with each other,” Nadzaku said. “And in doing so not to judge each other, not right to wrong each other, but rather to share and to love and to grow.”
“We are created for beauty, I mean to not only make it in the world but to see it and affirm it,” Hileman said. “And this is just testimony to that.”
The exhibit opens Oct. 18 at Dallas Center for Photography off Algiers Street. It runs through Nov. 2 and is open to the public.