Artist Marty Eichinger modeled the goatherd, in station eight, on a Portland boy. (Courtesy Eichinger Studios)
Artist Marty Eichinger modeled the goatherd, in station eight, on a Portland boy. (Courtesy Eichinger Studios)

The Cloisters on the Platte, the retreat center built by billionaire Joe Ricketts 30 minutes south of Omaha, Nebraska, has as its centerpiece a half-mile long Stations of the Cross that boasts 60 larger-than-life bronze figures, all created by six artists based in Oregon and Colorado.

It’s like one of the grand Catholic projects of the Middle Ages in its size and public access — although Nebraska is a bit of a drive for Oregonians.

That’s part of why the stations’ various artists decided to join together to make smaller casts of the unique stations available for people to buy.

“There was some feedback from people who went through the retreat weekends there,” said Portland-based sculptor Marty Eichinger, who created stations six and eight.

Parishes will be able to buy the entire 14 stations with all their figures; individual stations also will be made available, as will individual figures in each station. For instance, Eichinger is making the small goatherd from his station number eight, “the women of Jerusalem,” individually available — and also the figure of Jesus from that station, bent under the load of the heavy cross.

Eichinger’s station six, “Veronica wipes the face of Jesus,” includes the striking figure of Veronica, who is looking up to the heavens as she holds her cloth, which bears the imprint of Christ’s face. Veronica is another individual figure that will be available for purchase.

Ricketts, the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, is the father of Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts and owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. He told the Omaha World Herald that the end result of the Stations of the Cross at the cloisters exceeded his “wildest dreams in terms of beauty and emotional impact.”

For more information, go to www.eichingersculpture.com/stations-of-the-cross-sculpture