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Art Show Urges Faith and Compassion

By Erica X Eisen, Contributing Writer

An art show featuring pieces from around the world on faith and compassion attracted a diverse group of students, community members, and artists alike for a preview this Friday.

The popularity of the opening of the show, “Compassion: The Good Samaritan,” was due in part to how relevant the artwork is to a general audience, said Olivia J. Krusel ’15, a member of Harvard College Faith and Action, the organization responsible for organizing the exhibition.

“The fact that it’s at Harvard is a draw, but it’s something that everyone can relate to,” Krusel said.

Jade R. Luo ’14, another HCFA organizer, agreed that the show is relevant to all faiths. “It’s really cool, I think, to see and compare, whether Christian or non-Christian, this idea of what compassion is,” she said.

Rosemary Irvine, who came to Harvard from Oradell, N. J., to visit her daughter for Freshman Parents Weekend, said that she was drawn to the exhibition by its reference to the story of the Good Samaritan, her favorite Biblical parable. To her, the story lets you “see [people’s] good, see them the right way, not judging a book by its cover.”

Artist Michelle A. Paine stated that this show’s patrons said they were drawn by how the exhibition aims to make a real impact on its visitors. “I hope that there would be some sense that art is not just some ethereal, intellectual thing but something that could actually make a difference, either through a spiritual insight or through action,” she said.

In line with the theme of the exhibition, most of the proceeds from the art sales go to a charity called Compassion International, according to curator Roni Pavick.

Pavick hoped that the show would create a “visual voice” and spark dialogs about the meaning of compassion and how to act upon it.

“Every day we pass by people who need our compassion but we don’t see it,” Slovenian artist David Fartek said, in reference to the parable. “You need love to see. Maybe [the visitors] also see there is not enough compassion and they want to share."

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