The Sistine Chapel Visits Phoenix         

Get up close and personal with one of the world’s art wonders

by RaeAnne Marsh


Get up close and personal with one of the world’s art wonders

Get up close and personal with one of the world’s art wonders

Michelangelo’s masterpiece — for which the word is not nearly adequate — draws audiences at the Vatican that span age, ethnicity and world view to experience and enjoy the surpassing brilliance of the art.

But even those who have had the good fortune to visit the Sistine Chapel in person have not really been afforded a proper opportunity to fully experience the wonder of the painting.

This frustration was the inspiration for Martin Biallas, founder and CEO of Special Entertainment Events (SEE™), to create the touring “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition” that has chosen Phoenix as one of its destinations.

Each of the fresco’s 33 scenes is reproduced in actual size, each presented individually on a seamless surface that allows you to examine or immerse yourself in the image. The vitality of images as well as the texture of plaster they adorn is faithfully captured.

The truism holds that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; while this exhibition does not inspire the awesome majesty felt by being in a holy place, it inspires an awesome appreciation of Michelangelo’s mastery of artform and holy storytelling.

Tickets are sold in one-hour blocks (but there’s no “time’s up” forced exiting) and visitors can wander at their own pace with or without an audio guide.

The Traveling Exhibit Offers Guests a Safe Way to Experience an Italian Renaissance Masterpiece

The Croft Downtown, located in the historic Warehouse District, will play host to the public exhibition from Nov. 20 to Feb 14. The 17,000-square-foot venue accommodates physical distancing guidelines provided by public health administrators. Guests will be required to wear a mask at all times, and managed entry/exit (as well as timed-ticketing) will limit the amount of visitors in the exhibit at one time.

Revered for its likeness and globally acclaimed, the exhibition has brought unique experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors around the world, in locations such as New York City, Shanghai, Berlin, Bogota and Vienna. Phoenix and The Croft will be joining the ranks of the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, and the Mall of America outside of Minneapolis, as cities and venues currently hosting the attraction.

Among these reproductions are masterpieces like The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement. The exhibit brings visitors within just a few feet of the frescoes, producing a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “People all over the world have been amazed to see Michelangelo’s work up close in such detail, and we’re glad the people of this state and region will have that opportunity as well,” says Bialla, who is also the original creator of the award-winning “Titanic” and “Star Trek” exhibitions and of other successful global traveling exhibitions.

Art enthusiasts and the devout alike will find the exhibit provides an opportunity to encounter Michelangelo’s work in a contemporary, uncluttered, self-timed and in-depth way. Guests may enhance the experience with a downloadable premium optional audio guide, with accompanying narrative available in English and Spanish.

Adding to the experience, the exhibit features a small theater showing educational videos about Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel.

Open daily, except Tuesdays, tickets may be purchased in advance or same-day for single parties and groups. Tickets will be limited to ensure social-distancing standards. Tickets for general admission are $18, with discounts for senior citizens. The exhibit’s hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For FAQs and to buy tickets, click here.

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