Living Gallery and Easter 09

Saturday we drove over to Jason’s college to attend the Living Gallery that he was a part of this year. A famous painting is depicted on stage, and the “living” part of the living gallery are the people who are positioned into place as some of the characters in a painting. Musical numbers are performed while the paintings are on stage, and in between the painting and music there is a play going on. This year the crucifixion and Easter story were depicted through the eyes of Joseph of Arimethea, “an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus” in order to bury it in his own tomb. (Mark 15:43.) He had been “a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews” (John 19:38), and the play depicted the struggle he probably underwent from being a secret disciple to making this bold request, which would have then branded him as a follower or at least a sympathizer.

Everything was so well done. The music was beautiful and touching. The story realistically portrayed not only Joseph’s struggle, but the effect of the events of the crucifixion on everyone from Pilate and his wife to the disciples. Then the confusion, disbelief, and finally understanding joy of His own when they learned He was alive! When the program ended with the Hallelujah chorus, though I am not a hand-waver in worship by nature, even I felt like raising my arms or at least placing my hand over my heart. I smiled as a little child somewhere near us was humming along — I wanted to sing along myself! And I did, in my heart.

The painting Jason was in was Ecce Homo (meaning “Behold the Man“) by Antonio Ciseri.


This is just the painting: I don’t have any pictures of the performance with the live people in place — understandably we weren’t allowed to take pictures during the performance. It would have distracted from the music and program. Jason portrayed the guy at the far left with his hand on his hip.

But up close he looked more like a zombie:


Striking his pose:


For some of the paintings, like Da Vinci’s Last Supper and Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee (one of my all-time favorites), at first they had the live people moving a bit, then the lights flashed off, then when they came back on the people were all “frozen” in place like the painting. For most of the paintings they also did different things with the lighting that brought out different aspects of it. The live people gave it 3-D effect. I found it ironic that my child who was the least “still” of my three had to stand still for this production. I don’t know how any of them held their poses for so long, but Jason said each scene was only up for about 3 minutes. It sure seemed longer! I don’t think I could have done it. Some of them, like the ones in the sculpture of Sansovino’s Descent from the Cross (couldn’t find a picture) were held in harnesses because the Christ figure was in a horizontal position while being taken down from the cross.

All together 9 paintings and 3 sculptures were portrayed. They did a wonderful, amazing job, and it blessed my heart immensely.

It was a great way to celebrate Easter as well!

Easter morning we had our traditional Resurrection Rolls with breakfast, a good Easter service at church, a good dinner, our unique Easter egg hunt, a bit of a nap, a great musical and narrative presentation at church Sunday night, and strawberry shortcake to top the evening off!

Hope you had a blessed Easter as well.


Jesse is out of school for Easter break this week, and Jim took off to begin painting the house — but it is raining today. I’m in high gear preparing for the ladies’ meeting tonight and the luncheon in a couple of weeks.
Happy Monday!

18 thoughts on “Living Gallery and Easter 09

  1. This sounds like an awesome performance. I am not a “hand waver” as you say but I feel when the spirit moves you to express yourself, you should not quench it. Even if you sang quietly or mouthed the words, I know the feeling of just this need.
    The music at church Sunday was wonderful and I felt so much when we sang, “I know that He is with me, whatever men may say…..just the time I need Him, he’s always there…..He walks with me and talks with me…” I love that song. To serve a living Savior who is with me always…words just can’t express the wonderful peace this gives.
    Thanks for sharing this,
    Mama Bear

  2. Ohhhhhh I would so LOVE to go to that Living Gallery! How blessed Jason was to be able to perform in that! What a great experience! And I’m sure the experience was even BETTER for you because he was IN it! That is just awesome!

    I have never heard of those resurrection rolls! I’m going to try those next year! With Luz!

    I was laughing at your BIG boys still hunting those Easter Eggs! That is GREAT! Let them keep doing it right up until grand kids come along to take over the tradition!

  3. I’ve seen that type of thing done with the Last Supper painting. It must have been special for you guys to see Jason in it. He really looks “painted.” I love your tulips.

  4. I would have loved to see that performance! I saw a brief video of something similar, but I would love to see it live.

    And congrats! You’ve won Punny Monday again!

  5. I chuckled about the same thing – my Andrew has not been still since conception I do believe!!! And he had to remain absolutely still in a painting! My daughter leaned over and said “We’ll know which one is Andrew – he’ll be the one who can’t stay still. 🙂

  6. Hi Barbara,
    I’ve never heard of a living gallery before. It sounds so interesting.
    I’m like you when I hear the Hallelujah Chorus. I used to sing it in a choir at the university (they’d open it up at Christmas time for non-students to perform). When we’d get to the end I would be so overwhelmed with ‘Christ in me’ that I could hardly sing it because I was choking up. He amazes me!
    Glad your Easter was great.

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  8. He looks amazing. Truly like being painted. I’ve seen the Last Supper done. It is really neat how they can make a painting come to life.

    Your tulips are lovely.

  9. What a small world! Months ago I came across your blog by just doing a word search…I think for ideas for church banquets and such. I’ve been a reader ever since. My daughter is a senior at BJU and was one of the make-up artists for this years Living Gallery. Although we live in MI we flew in to be with her for Easter and attended the Living Gallery last Friday. It was awesome and a wonderful message of the gospel! My daughter wishes now that she would have been involved with this before now…but is thankful to have been involved as a Senior. ❤

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