TERRE HAUTE, IND. (WTWO/WAWV)– Forgiveness. Hope. Responsibility.
Those are just a handful of the 11 hidden words in the new mural in the parking lot for the CANDLES Holocaust Museum, which was revealed on Sunday by the museum in conjunction with Arts Illiana.
The mural, named “Eva’s Peace Garden,” is dedicated to Holocaust survivor and founder of the museum, Eva Kor. The mural contains 11 words related to forgiveness and healing.
Troy Fears, the executive director at the museum, said the words have a deep significance for him and his staff.
“We use those eleven words that are in the painting each and everyday,” Fears said. “We’re talking about hope, and forgiveness, and healing, those type of words that Eva used and that we use as an organization.”
The artist, Becky Hochhalter, said she enjoyed watching the public search for the words.
“Having people interact with it and becoming more engrossed in it, learning things is one of the things that I like to do in my artwork,” she said.
Fears said the plans date back to 2021.
“This has been about a year-long process of deciding what we want to do to honor Eva,” he said.
Hochhaulter said the project was meaningful to her because of her history with the Holocaust.
“I actually had two Holocaust survivors as neighbors for many years,” Hochhaulter said. “I feel like this is meant for me [to do this mural,] because we were friends with these Holocaust survivors, so I think it has even more meaning to me because of that.”
Fears said the struggle to find the words is symbolic of the museum’s mission.
“To have those words in this painting, and to be difficult to find, is exactly what we wanted,” he said. “The path to forgiveness, the path to healing is not easy for anyone, so it’s not easy to find these words.”
The museum is open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.