Cross between Native American culture and Christian faith: one mural with a meaning

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — In North Rapid City, what used to be a blank wall on the side of the Woyatan Lutheran Church is now a colorful mural.

Pastor Jonathan Old Horse wanted to fill the blank wall of Woyatan Lutheran Church that overlooks parts of Rapid City. Then, he met local artist, Derek Smith.

“We told him we had a blank wall here and that we would like him to do something with it,” Pastor Jonathan Old Horse said.

Pastor Old Horse says the church wanted to show the community that even though they are a Christian Church, their Native American culture is still very important to them.

“It demonstrates that no matter what faith practice we follow that we are always Indian and that we’re always going to be Lakota and we love that and we want people to come by here and see that North Rapid is a beautiful place,” Pastor Jonathan Old Horse said.

The mural consists of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, a spotted eagle or the wanbli, a buffalo skull over the alter, and the star quilt. Each of them connecting to Native American culture.

“To me seeing murals like this and doing graffiti and doing art gave me that brief pause that little second where fear and anxiety stepped out and that one second was all it took for love to step in,” Smith said.

Smith believes this mural is crucial for the Native community because of it’s location in the North side of Rapid City.

“They can take a second out of their day and maybe think about what this means and what it means to them,” Smith said.

Smith is also the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City. To follow their latest projects you can check out the links provided.

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