More than 100 Dallas donors and supporters gathered at the Museum of Biblical Art to break ground for the new Via Dolorosa, a sculpture garden of 15 life-size bronze statues that depict the passion and resurrection of Jesus by the late artist Gib Singleton.
Guests — including Faye Briggs, Roberta and D. Harold Byrd Jr., Diane and D. Harold Byrd III, Shirley and George Shafer, Dawna and John Walsh, Denise and Graham Hoppess, Bonnie and Paul Zueger, and Nona and Dr. Wayne Yakes — joined museum co-directors Scott Peck and R.J. Machacek on the north lawn to visualize exactly where the garden will bloom and to listen to remarks from the directors.
“Three years ago, Faye Briggs hosted a backyard party featuring the work of Gib Singleton and small versions of the sculptures.” Peck said. “In one night, we raised more than $300,000. We’ve now raised over $1 million in cash and in-kind gifts to begin the project.
“Without such incredible community support, this project would never have become a reality.”
Via Dolorosa, translated to “way of suffering,” will emulate the Mediterranean garden style and commemorate the last hours of Christ’s life and the 14 stages of Jesus’ journey to Calvary. A final sculpture depicts the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus. Via Dolorosa is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.
The original set of Singleton’s Stations of the Cross are located in the gardens of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and it is a top tourist attraction. The Museum of Biblical Art hopes that Via Dolorosa will become an equally significant landmark in Dallas.
Following remarks, groups of donors came forward to ceremonially break ground for the new sculpture garden then headed into the museum for some celebratory sips and bites.
The Museum of Biblical Art is unlike any art museum in the world. It has a simple mission: to display art with a Biblical theme, including bronze sculptures, drawings, fine prints and oil paintings. Nothing of its size exists in the United States.