OC Cathedral models Sistine Chapel

Alex Iannone | Banner | Matthew Graves, junior business administration major, admires the Sistine Chapel exhibit at the Christ Cathedral's Cultural Center

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, is making its way to Orange County. The exhibition is a recreation of the Italian artist’s historical work, allowing visitors to get close and connect with the paintings on a whole new level.

Christ Cathedral’s Cultural Center in Orange County welcomed this new experience in April 2019. The exhibit displays near-original size paintings that replicate a similar experience one would expect in Rome, which is where the original Sistine Chapel is located.

World-famous masterpieces, such as “The Creation of Adam” and “The Last Judgment,” are on display and allow visitors to learn and get a closer look.

Visitors can expect an intense experience in which they can acknowledge the artwork in a whole new way. Each painting has a brief description located near the piece for all to read about its vast history.

Cindy Vu, employee of the Sistine Exhibit, said she highly encourages visitors to add the optional audio guide, as it can help enhance the experience. It is only $3 to add the audio guide to your experience. She explained that the audio guide can help bring each of the paintings and its meaning to life.

“Even when you go to Rome — of course, it is a different experience because it is the real thing — you can’t even see the little details because it is so high up and you don’t actually get to listen to every story behind each painting,” Vu said.

Nancy Manriquez, resident of Orange County, said art exhibits like this allow family bonding time, which is her favorite part of the experience.

“Being able to go through this with my mom, sister and daughter makes this memorable. Either teaching them or my mom teaching me — it is about the memories we create when we do the stuff like this,” Manriquez said.

The Sistine Exhibit has something for everyone, whether it is for other artists to get inspired, photographers to capture special moments, or even for family to do as a bonding activity. The displays of paintings help capture the significance of Michelangelo’s work.

Jacob Hernandez, senior criminal justice major, said, “Every painting has a story. These paintings show biblical references that allow us to have a strong visual of what the Bible has to say. It is intriguing to analyze the painting.”

After the paintings traveled around the world and were shown in places such as New York and Shanghai, Southern California now has the privilege to showcase these breathtaking artifacts. 

Students can visit the Sistine Chapel exhibit anytime during the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission starts at $18 and a small discount is offered for college students and military veterans. The audio guide is not included; however, it is highly recommended for visitors to get the full experience.

This exhibit is fairly new and still unknown by many, yet it has  much to offer within the 34 paintings that are displayed.

All are welcome until January 2020 to experience the world of Italian artist Michelangelo through this interactive exhibit.

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