As I moved closer to the artistic metal piece I felt something unexpected. The face of Jesus stood out beyond everything else, and His halo a distinct feature; but what struck me was the emotion it evoked. If this weren’t enough my podcast partner, who is probably the person most in tune with spirituality and energy that I know, outwardly expressed, “Wow, I can feel the energy in this piece!” She verbalized what I was feeling. Was it because of the meaning of the piece itself? Was it the emotion infused by the artist as he was creating it? Or was it the energy of the person who commissioned it and where would be its final home? Perhaps it was all of the above. Whatever it was, being near the piece, touching, and seeing it was a highly visceral experience.
The Last Supper is one of those pieces that Gil always thought about creating but hadn’t gotten around to doing it. Sometimes I think it has to do with being a little intimidated by all the detail. I doubt that is true, as Gil seems to be honing his art to immense levels and is comfortably confident in his work. He has found his place. Actually, when it comes to art, when it is created, and when it is subsequently passed on to its permanent home I have come to believe that it is all about timing and destiny. This includes the subject itself that is turned into beautiful artwork. Someone had mentioned it once to Gil, asking if he considered making The Last Supper and he knew someday he would create his rendition of the famous painting but it was anyone’s guess when that would happen. Until, that is, a friend of mine I have known since high school contacted me and asked if he could make her one. I said, “yes, indeed!” and it was just the timing he needed to work toward creating this piece that had been on his mind for so long.
Cassandra said her husband was really interested in a Last Supper and she wanted to get him one as a gift but she hadn’t seen anything that really called out to her. We would find out later that she is very picky about the artwork she places in her home and also that she loves metal art. I passed along her contact information to Gil so they could discuss details. It didn’t sound like she was in a hurry for the piece, which gave Gil some time to find or create a good rendition in the proper format for cutting on the CNC. This part proved to take more time than he expected but eventually he had the design ready to create. We’re pretty sure she was asking about a Christmas gift, but it would be a few months from their first discussion until he was able to finally make the piece, despite hoping he could get it to her sooner. By the time the piece was finished he wasn’t even sure if she was still interested in it.
I posted photos of the piece on social media and we had several people interested in the piece. Even though photos never depict the true essence of Gil’s work, the photos of the Last Supper did capture its beauty to a great extent. Because Cassandra technically commissioned it he gave her first dibs, and the best deal. She was beyond excited that it was complete and she most certainly was still interested. Since she doesn’t come up north very often and we happened to have a trip to Albuquerque we offered to meet up with her and personally deliver it. She had intended for it to be a surprise for Dominic and had set up a meeting over a beer at La Cumbre Brewing Company on Holy Saturday to pick it up from us. Gil and I planned on spending the night so we could celebrate Easter with his family.
Expecting only Cassandra to show up, we were pleasantly surprised that she brought Dominic along. What she said made sense. She had planned on giving it to him herself at their house later that evening but decided that she would tell him about the surprise before our meeting so he could join us. “I wanted him to meet you and ask questions about the piece. I thought it would be so much more special to talk to you about your process and how you created it. If I had just given it to him, he wouldn’t know much about the background.” Indeed we all connected over the spirituality of the piece as well as Dominic’s affinity for religious art. Although I had known Cassandra for years we really had never spent much time together and this was the first time Gil had met either her or her husband. We realized very quickly the compatibility between us as couples and I wondered why she and I had never become good friends.
We apologized for the delay in getting the piece to her and she vocalized what I generally feel about the timing of things. I do believe deeply that beautiful works of art have intended owners and I believe strongly in making some sort of connection with the artist, although this is what artwork accomplishes all on its own as well. After we apologized for the delay the both of them said there was no need to apologize, as it seemed like destiny that he received this beautiful gift from his wife on Holy Saturday; it may not have been the day before the death of Jesus Christ, as is depicted in the piece, but to receive it the day after was just as special. This detail had almost been lost on me until they brought it up and then I got sort of a chill from the realization of the serendipity of the whole thing. Spirituality is a beautiful thing and when we pay attention to subtle, and sometimes not so subtle messages, we find Our Lord’s presence in the seemingly “small” things that are really big things.
We always tend to grow an attachment to some of the bigger pieces that Gil makes. I don’t know if it is because we generally house them for a time ourselves or if perhaps it’s that we hope they make their way to a good home. In this case we couldn’t be more pleased with the destination it chose. I hope that Cassandra and Dominic enjoy the same visceral experience I did when I first laid eyes on it. It is a truly special piece, and it is the first of its kind.
Gil has moved on to the next Last Supper and plans on making several more over time. We hope each and every one of them finds its own special “soul” home and that the process is equally serendipitous. We also hope the pieces connect with other people as amazing as Cassandra and Dominic!