New Art Exhibit Looks at Holocaust Through the Eyes of Those Who Gave Hope

"A Celebration of Survival" exhibit opens to the public Friday at the Biblical Museum of Art in Dallas.

Walk into the multimedia exhibit, A Celebration of Life, at the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, and you are forced to brush history. Silkscreen panels depicted archive photos of children in death camps hang from the ceiling, forcing visitors to see them, touch them.

"Just to make people, perhaps, think," said Houston-based artist Barbara Hines. "I want the children not to be forgotten. I want them to part of the memory."

Hines' exhibit came to Dallas this week after a successful run at the Holocaust Museum in Houston. It focuses on people called "The Righteous Among the Nations," those who helped save Jewish people during the Holocaust.

"There was a message of hope, of redemption," said Hines of her work. "Whatever people did to survive, they're here to tell their story."

Hines painted 20 of the 26,000 names listed among The Righteous Among the Nations. They are men and women from all different countries and faiths.

"They're like the United Nations," Hines said, looking at the walls of the exhibit. "They were writing visas, forging documents," anything to help the Jewish people escape.

"This is my dad," Hines said of the last portrait in the exhibit. "I included him because he's a survivor."

Hines, who is Jewish, grew up not knowing her true heritage. She only found out the whole truth 15 years ago, after her own son decided he wanted to follow the Jewish faith.

"My parents were both atheist," Hines said. "They hid their Jewish background. That's how they survived."

Hines says the message depicted in her art is simple.

"It means celebrating differences, really," Hines said. "No matter what city, what town you go to, there's always a stranger."

"A Celebration of Survival" opened to the public Friday. The exhibit will run for at least the next 10 months.

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