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First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:36-41)
Artist: Bianca Spriggs
Work: “Ghost Town”
Media: Poetry/Spoken Word
Location: Corner of N Upper Street & E Main Street looking at Centre Pointe
"Ghost Town" revolves around the imagined specter of an enslaved woman who was sold on the auction block at a site called Cheapside, which now functions as a bar and restaurant--a regular watering hole for weekend merrymakers. We know that slaves were sold at this location and others in Lexington. We know that the legacy of slavery in general continues to haunt our city, our state, and our nation sometimes overtly, but is embedded in all of us systemically. All of us go about our lives in fear of others without really knowing why. We don't examine the origins of the narratives we believe in often enough. We don't stop and ask ourselves, "Why am I so invested in this particular belief or practice?"
Our community in particular has recently talked about the danger in removing monuments--some of us are terrified that by taking down a statue, we will somehow erase the past. And yet, what are we doing when we erect monuments to and celebrate representatives of oppression while sites like Cheapside, while not removed per se, are so completely altered, the blood money that was once exchanged in the buying and selling of people is now obscured by burgers and cocktails and revelry? So, it seems to me that people are very selective about what they want to remember. After all, how many of us wish to acknowledge let alone celebrate that which makes us uncomfortable?
This poem explores what happens when remnants do what they do best: stick around. They won't or can't move on. They linger despite our not acknowledging them. How would the saddest among them interact with us? What do they remember that we don't? My argument is that there is no closure for a ghost like the Cheapside haint. But by learning more about her narrative which echoes the narratives of so many like her, as a community, maybe we can point her (and ourselves) in the right direction even though there are no clear-cut answers or destinations. The idea is to be inclusive of our past while we navigate our present. To encourage ourselves to identify with and continue to learn from the not-so distant past. What patterns are still in place? Who is still marginalized? Where do their voices belong? By calling down the narratives of the neglected, I want to challenge audiences to explore their own boundaries, keep these stories close, let them guide us in our decisions so we don't continue to ignore those among us who are suffering and who have no voice.
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested
Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely." He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him. (Mark 14: 43-46)
Artist: Diane Kahlo
Media: Mixed Media
Location: 3rd Street Stuff, 257 N. Limestone #1
In 1993, activists began to notice of pattern of abductions and murders in Juarez, Mexico, a city just across the border from El Paso, Texas. Since that date, more than 1,500 girls have disappeared. Hundreds of brutalized and sexually-violated bodies have been found in shallow graves, while hundreds remain missing. In December, 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in Santiago, Chile found the Mexican government guilty of failure to prevent and to adequately investigate the murders of Claudia Ivette Gonzalez, age 17; Irma Monreal Herrera, age 15; and Laura Berenice Ramos, age 15; three of the eight victims whose bodies were found in the Algodonero Field in 2001. The court sentenced the Mexican government to investigate the crimes, bring those responsible to justice , to publicly announce its responsibility, to publish its sentence in public records, and to build a monument to the victims. It is the first time the court has ruled against Mexico on a human rights complaint, and it is the first ruling by the court that recognizes gender-based violence.
The government has completed only three parts of the sentence: they have published the sentence, given some compensation to the victims and have erected a memorial. Girls and women continue to go missing and the violence continues with impunity. In fact, Juarez is not longer the most dangerous city for women in Mexico. This kind of gender-based violence has grown in all areas of Mexico.
This altar is a tribute to the disappeared girls of Mexico. The music was a collaboration with Juan Carlos Bueno and Christina Aragon.
Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin
When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.” (Luke 22: 66-71)
Artist: Natalie Baxter
Work: You Say That I Am
Media: Fabric and Polyfill
Location: Fayette Cigar Store Inc, 137 E. Main Street
Jerusalem is in a state of chaotic frenzy and Jesus is at the epicenter. His friends have abandoned him out of fear and he’s in a hostile crowd of people demanding that he end the debate over his identity. They asked, “Are you the Son of God?”
His answer, “You say that I am.”
The debate over guns in this country—heightened this election season—has proven to be an emotional and complicated one. Hillary, Trump, Bernie, Cruz: where do you stand? Which side are you on?
You Say That I Am is part of a body of work by Natalie Baxter called Warm Gun that applies sewing skills she learned from her Appalachian grandmother to create soft sculpture guns – traditional symbols of masculinity and Americana – that challenge gender norms, gun culture and violence.
Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about!" As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazorean." Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man!" A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away." At that he began to curse and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: "Before the cock crows you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly. (Matthew 26: 69-75)
Artist: Lucy Becker
Work: Appalachian Waltz, written by Mark O’Connor
Location: Corner of MLK Blvd. and Main Street, looking east on MLK
The Appalachia Waltz, written by Mark O' Connor, is an introspective piece that demonstrates Peter's denial. While the piece begins with energy and grace, the music begins to reveal a more somber tone; thus relating to Peter's deep feelings of sadness.
Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate
The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.... Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barrabas... [and] handed [Jesus] over to be crucified. (Mark 15: 1-5, 15)
Artist: Shawn Gannon
Work: Pilate Undecided
Media: Mixed Media, Copper, Canvas
Location: Central Christian Church, 205 E. Short Street, outside left of the entrance facing the church parking lot
Pilate condemning Christ to death is the beginning of the traditional 14 Stations. It does seem easier to palate with some context, as we approach this point in the inevitable, cruel destiny of a charismatic leader, with a message of eternal hope and salvation for those who treat each other as they wish to be treated. But, would we really go back in time and prevent Judas and Pilate from crucifying Jesus? After all, the salvation of the world is contingent on the Crucifixion. Pilate is responsible for Jesus' death, but he is also responsible for trying to prevent it. Whether or not persons punished are responsible for the crimes of which they are accused is not the only factor to be taken into account sometimes. That can be an uncomfortable truth, as it was for Pilate in the case of the charismatic carpenter. Pilate was responsible, to be sure. But so are we. As we are all responsible for our neighbor's well-being today.
Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said,"Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him repeatedly. (John 19: 1-3)
Artist: Eric Scott Sutherland
Work: “Half-Hawk the Behemoth”
Media: Poetry/Spoken Word
Location: Lighthouse Ministries, 185 Elm Tree Lane, looking at the Louis Armstrong Mural
The poem “Half-Hawk the Behemoth” describes a man presumed to be homeless. His appearance is so unusual that it stirs feelings of terror and distrust, seeming to step straight out of your worst nightmares. The poem is about how we are quick to judge, often times based upon superficial characteristics. His story mirrors Jesus’ at the sixth station because he is being judged negatively by people that do not know him and are assuming his guilt. The fishing pole is the symbol of hope. It reminds me of the “teach a man to fish” parable from the Bible. It signified a certain street sense, an innate intelligence, and a will to survive in this strange figure. In the poem, the reader is left to decide at the end. Is he really as crazy as he looks? Or could he be, like Jesus, ultimately a savior?
Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross
When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him." ... They cried out, "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (John 19: 6, 15-17)
Artist: Whit Whitaker
Work: Pilate’s Dream
Media: Voice and piano
Location: The benches by the gate of the Old Episcopal Burying Ground facing Third St. The only person of color to be buriedthere is Reverend London Ferrill, a former slave who served atthe First African Baptist Church. Old Episcopal Burial Ground, 251 E. Third Street
A troubled and conflicted Pontius Pilate laments on a dream. Pilate's Dream soon becomes a reality as the man in his dreams, a Galilean called Jesus the Christ is being led on a death march while bearing the weight of the of the cross (as depicted by the toll of the heavy dark music). The scene shifts briefly from the past to faceless person asking the question, "Were You There?" before suddenly shifting back to a moment in time where the human Jesus reflects on His reluctance at Gethsemane and expresses the loneliness of feeling like a Motherless Child without His mother Mary by His side. Jesus is brought back to reality when His thoughts are abruptly interrupted by shouts from the crowd - CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM! - and Jesus realizes that He is truly a Poor Wayfaring Stranger bearing the weight of the cross for our sins as he walks the long painful journey to His death.
Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross
They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mark 15: 21)
Artist: Donald Mason
Work: No Church in the Wild, by James Brown, Shawn Carter (Jay Z), Michael Dean, Christopher Francis, Phil Manzanera, Terius Nash, Charles Njapa, Joseph Roach, Kanye West, Gary Wright
Media: Spoken Word
Location: at the bus stop at E. Third Street and Elm Tree Lane
With this Station of the Cross, the song "No Church in the Wild" resonated with me as to what Simon, the Pyrenean, was feeling being called into carrying the burden of the cross. He explains himself standing by, walking through the fire, being lead by Christ's love and wanting to be part of his code. I wanted to capture that emotional connection through some of the most powerful lyrics I have been exposed to.
Excerpt of “No Church in the Wild”
Human beings in a mob
What's a mob to a king?
What's a king to a god?
What's a god to a non-believer?
Who don't believe in anything?
(Will he) make it out alive?
All right, all right
No church in the wild
I live by you, desire
I stand by you, walk through the fire
Your love is my scripture
Let me into your encryption
Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time, people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23: 27-31)
Artist: Steve Pavey and Geoff Maddock
Work: Becoming Human
Media: Photography Exhibition
Location, Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third Street, 2nd Floor art gallery, Gallery hours: Tues-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 1pm-5pm. To view artists’ work outside of gallery hours, please visit: http://www.geoffmaddockphoto.com and http://www.stevepavey.com
To be human means to remain connected to our humanness and to the reality of the universe. It means to abandon the loneliness of being closed up in illusions, dreams and ideologies, frightened of reality, and to choose to move towards connectedness. To be human is to accept ourselves as we are, with our own history, and to accept others as they are.
- Jean Vanier, Becoming Human
This exhibit serves to explore the face-to-face intimacy cultivated by the medium of photography - how photos allow us to cross borders, to explore a world of empathy and understanding beyond our own limited view, and to place oneself on a grander scale of human comprehension.
In this exhibit, photographers Maddock and Pavey guide the viewer through the many shades of human experience, imploring observers to not only take in the scene presented through the images, but to examine their own journey of becoming human in light of the storied faces in each photograph. The photographers invite an interactive element, encouraging viewers to write their own impressions, emotions, and interpretations beneath each piece.
Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”] (Luke 23: 33-34)
Artist: Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova
Work: Unlearn Fear and Hate
Media: Laser Cut MDF Portrait Station
Location: exterior wall of Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third Street
One of the difficulties contained within the Tenth Station is understanding Jesus' act of forgiveness in the face of death. In saying "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do," Jesus asks us to dwell on the act of forgiveness and its consequences. Thus, we might wonder whether forgiveness necessarily results in the interruption of violence. Or does forgiveness offer only a temporary stay against unjust power?
In creating our UNLEARN FEAR AND HATE piece, we drew on a number of traditions: Byzantine iconography, Affrilachian poetry (these words are from a poem by Frank X walker, "Love Letta to de Worl'"), and contemporary debates about the meaning of history and national identity. To unlearn fear and hate is to work towards an end to violence. To unlearn fear and hate is to say yes to love, peace, and justice for all.
Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23: 39-43)
Artist: Alexis Meza
Work: “Wooden Box”
Media: Poetry/Spoken Word in English and Spanish
Location: outside of the Fayette County Coroner’s Office, 247 E 2nd Street
"Wooden Box" is a poem written by Alexis Meza in which she expresses her experience as being an immigrant struggling with feeling categorized as a criminal for wanting to have a better life in a country that is not her birth place.
This poem shows the struggle of feeling like you don't belong anywhere at times and feeling the need to going back home, but not certain if it is going to be alive or dead. It also shows how despite of the struggles, the hope and strength of the immigrant to keep going is very much so part of the adventure of being away from home.
Alexis is originally from Veracruz, Mexico and migrated to the US when she was 9 years old with her family. She hopes to one day be able to return to Mexico and re-root into her culture and her community, but also embracing her life here in the US.
background music: "Denzel Sprak” by Blue Dot Sessions from the album Cloud Cover
Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19: 25-27)
Artist: Lori-Lyn Hurley
Work: Jesus Sees His Mother
Media: Acrylic, Mixed Media
Location: Hive Salon, 156 Deweese Street
This station is a small shrine-like structure built around a painting of Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of God standing at the foot of the cross. I am exploring the idea that the sacred feminine has always been a part of the ministry of Jesus, and Christianity, but because of cultural attitudes, has been hidden in plain sight. This station invites viewer interaction. In order to fully experience all that is there, one must come closer and pull away the veils that obstruct vision.
Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last.
(Luke 23: 44-46)
Artist: Andrew Perkins
Location: Lexington Public Library, Central Library, 140 E Main Street, 4th Floor looking down to pendulum suspended in atrium
Meditation was written in memory of Mark Higashimura, a friend I had just started to get to know. We were part of an interdenominational Christian group on campus and were both new to the group when we met. In the short time I knew Mark, I learned that he served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and suffered from PTSD. The morning I learned that Mark committed suicide, I was overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions - the horrors and futility of war and the fragility of life. I sat at the piano the next day and composed this piece. The choir sings no words because, at the time, I really didn't know what to say about it all.
Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. (Matthew 27: 57-60)
Artist: Becky Alley & Candace Chaney
Work: The Book of Sorrows
Media: Handmade Book
Lexington Public Library, Central Library, 140 E. Main Street, 4th Floor, Aisle 18, in the empty shelves behind the poetry
By the time we reach the final station, Jesus’ immense suffering has ended. In the Christian tradition, Jesus carried not only his own sorrows and afflictions, but all of humankind’s. This concept led us to imagine all of the different kinds of suffering humans have and do experience, and to ponder the nature of sorrow and its purpose, an inquiry which led us to a 19th century prison in England where writer Oscar Wilde was jailed for the crime of homosexuality.
In a bitter, beautiful, darkly sublime letter to the lover who condemned him, Wilde writes extensively of sorrow.
“While there were times when I rejoiced in the idea that my sufferings were to be endless,” writes Wilde, “I could not bear them to be without meaning.”
He further wrote:
“Prosperity, pleasure and success, may be rough of grain and common in fibre, but sorrow is the most sensitive of all created things. There is nothing that stirs in the whole world of thought to which sorrow does not vibrate in terrible and exquisite pulsation. The thin beaten-out leaf of tremulous gold that chronicles the direction of forces the eye cannot see is in comparison coarse. It is a wound that bleeds when any hand but that of love touches it, and even then must bleed again, though not in pain.
Where there is sorrow there is holy ground. Some day people will realise what that means. They will know nothing of life till they do.”
The Book of Sorrows invites the viewer to meaningfully and ceremoniously lay their sorrows to rest by writing about one or more enduring sorrows, regrets, or afflictions on a piece of paper and sealing it in one of the envelopes within the book. No one will ever read the sorrows contained within. The Book of Sorrows will be permanently buried on “holy ground” in a yet to be determined location.