Travelling Art Exhibit
"The One Called Jesus"
The collection “The One Called Jesus”, a travelling art exhibition displayed inside a 53 foot trailer, brings the life of Christ alive through an impressive and evocative collection of coloured clay sculptures. The sculptures are the work of Maurice Gaudreault, a northern Ontario man who worked on the collection over an 18-month period in 1996-97. He died in August of 2000 at the age of 67.
During the summer of 2013 Sister Thérèse brought the impressive collection to St. Boniface School in Maryhill to be viewed by the students through the week and then the parish after mass on the weekend. Sister Thérèse approached Past Grand Knight, Br. Mike Runstedler, in March of 2014 not knowing if the program would be able to continue because due to the age of the trailer and the kinds of repairs that were required to get it road worthy it was no longer able to pass a safety. As a result, the rest of the presentations that were scheduled had to be cancelled for the rest of the school year. The diocese of Hearst provides a minimal yearly budget for the trailer; however this did not cover a complete renovation of the trailer to keep this program ongoing.
Having seen this inspiring art exhibition the summer before, Br. Mike knew that this program had to continue. This exhibit is very impressionable and it is a very powerful expression of our faith that without a doubt has brought renewal and faith back to the many people who have seen it. This is a project that has gone on for 12 years simply because of the donations of those who have viewed the exhibition.
Volunteers & Donors
Each school or/and church hosts the event on site and schedules every classroom from JK to grade 12 for a 40 minute presentation geared according to ages and curriculum. Five groups visit on a school day from 9:00 to 2:00. Parents can visit at the church over the week-end, before the morning bell or during lunch hour. The stories of Jesus come alive through the impressive collection of clay sculptures produced by Canadian artist Maurice Gaudreault. It is an historical, reverent treatment of the life of Jesus.
There are 50 sculptures in the collection, one of three major projects that Gaudreault completed. The others are I Still Remember, a tribute to pioneers of the north, and Wildlife.The exhibit has three themes that tell the story of the life of Christ. One is The Hidden Life of Jesus, the second is The Public Life of Jesus and the third is The Passion of Jesus. Sculptures in the first include the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Baptism of Jesus and Jesus is Tempted by the Devil. The next has sculptures like the Miracle of the Loaves, the Woman Adulteress, the Raising of Lazarus, the Good Samaritan, the Last Supper and the Washing of the Feet. Sculptures that comprise the Passion exhibit include Jesus is Flogged and Crowned, Jesus Dies on the Cross, the Resurrection, The Ascension and Pentecost.
The One Called Jesus is now in the care of the diocese of Hearst, Ont. This art exhibit has been travelling through the various Catholic School Boards since in Ontario since 2002. Fourteen Catholic Boards and ten Catholic Dioceses and their churches have already hosted the religious exhibit including most recently London (2008-2009), Windsor-Essex (2009-2010), St. Clair (2001-2012), Huron-Perth (2013), and currently Waterloo (2013-2014). Sr. Terese Turcotte has been travelling with the trailer for over a decade now.
Br. Mike Runstedler took this project under his wing and in a co-operation with Sr. Thérèse spearheaded the renovations to the new trailer. Upon making some phone calls to Br. Knights and other members of the community who had a variety of skills, a plan was put in place to transfer all of the sculptures into a new redesigned trailer, so that Sr. Thérèse’s work and evangelization could continue. With the help of Council 6024, other Knights of Columbus councils in the area, Erb Transport, and various members of the community, a completely refurbished and updated trailer was designed and created so that the program could continue. Erb transport generously donated the trailer and made several modifications which included adding a door to the side and stairs at the back.
There was a considerable amount of time and thought put into this project to ensure that the trailer is wheel chair accessible and installed down the center of the trailer there is a display case that allows visitors to view every little detail of every sculpture. However due to the nature of shifting loads while driving, extra care was taken during the installation phase to ensure that the display case and none of the sculptures move, which did increase the costs considerably. While the trailer and some of the other renovations were donated there were many other costs that were not. The exhibit was designed so that it is wheelchair accessible, however due to budget restrictions some of the renovations had to put off to a later date. The trailer still needs some kind of lift that can allow wheelchairs to be lifted into the trailer so that it can be viewed.
On October 5, 2014, a grand opening was held for the trailer with many of the volunteers who contributed to this project. Bishop Miehm, the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton blessed the trailer and all of the volunteers during a small ceremony.
Although the trailer is open for viewing, it still requires continued funding. Sr. Thérèse relies on the donations of others to cover the expenses of moving and showing the trailer around the province. Please consider providing financial support to Sr. Thérèse and this travelling art exhibit “The One Called Jesus” by either donating to the Diocese of Hearst or by going to the Maryhill Knights of Columbus website at knightofcolumbus.ca, clicking on the “Donate” button, and requesting that the money is to be directed towards this project. All donations will receive a tax receipt.