Each year on Good Friday, it was tradition for City Church to turn its art gallery space into an experiential version of the Stations of the Cross. “It’s an opportunity, in a contemplative way, to walk through the final hours of Jesus’ life and enter into the story of Jesus’ life and death — living it, reflecting on it, and seeing how it impacts our life now,” says Courtney Pinkerton, community pastor of the church, which is now called Church in the Cliff. When the church moved from Uptown into our neighborhood, it began meeting in the Kidd Springs Recreation Center and lost its permanent gallery space. So when the discussion turned to Good Friday, “somebody probably just made a joke and said, ‘DART Stations of the Cross,’ and the next thing you know we were like, ‘That’s a great idea,’” says Church in the Cliff’s artist in residence, Scott Shirley. Between Mockingbird and Westmoreland are 14 DART rail stations along the red line, and the church is creating a meditative guide for each station that corresponds with one of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Participants can either stay on the train or follow the guide to occasionally disembark and have an “art experience,” Shirley says. (For example, one station shows the scene where Jesus is stripped of his clothes, and people can exit the train to donate clothes to a nonprofit.) Some public art will be detailed in the guide, but other stations might have “guerilla art,” Shirley says, where not even the church will know beforehand what artists have planned. “Having that sense of uncertainty where you don’t know if something is set up or not — an art experience or experience of life? — that’s something that shocks people into considering their environment,” Shirley says. “The idea is people are then forced to reconsider spaces they normally take for granted, and at the same time reconsider issues.”
Find the DART Stations of the Cross mediation guide at churchinthecliff.org. The guide can be followed anytime during Lent, the Christian season leading up to Easter Sunday, but the public art and “guerilla art” experiences will be on Good Friday, April 10, between 4-8 p.m.