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Catholic Vancouver March 6, 2018

Artist behind famous Homeless Jesus unveils latest project

By Agnieszka Ruck

The Visitation by Timothy Schmalz. It was commissioned by St. Mary's Visitation Parish in Michigan. (Photo submitted)

The creator of the famous Homeless Jesus statue has just released yet another unique work of art.

Timothy Schmalz, who has crafted more than 200 original statues in public spaces around the world, has just finished and installed his latest work: the Visitation.

The 44-inch-high bronze figure shows a pregnant Elizabeth kneeling before Mary and leaning her cheek against Mary’s womb.

Schmalz “has had the concept in mind for several years,” said his secretary, Tony Frey. When St. Mary’s Visitation Parish in Michigan called him to inquire about a statue, Schmalz felt it was time to finally bring the idea to life.

St. Mary’s commissioned the piece for its new Rosary garden. The Visitation sculpture took the artist eight months to create and is currently the only one of its kind. Bronze castings of it are for sale and valued at $6,900 USD.

Schmalz, a Toronto-based artist, has a connection to Vancouver: one of his Homeless Jesus statues was installed just outside Holy Rosary Cathedral in the spring of 2017. The life-size statue depicts a homeless man with wounds of crucifixion lying on a bench.

At the time, it was one of 50 identical statues on display around the world, including in Dublin, Johannesburg, and Vatican City. He arrived in person to watch as Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, blessed it May 4.

Timothy Schmalz creates clay figures of Mary and Elizabeth for The Visitation. (Photo submitted)