The Sistine Chapel makes it to Sunland Park Mall


Annabella Mireles

“Stories From Genesis” is separated in several parts and shows the creation of the universe, creation of man and original sing, and the fall and first rebirth of man through the stories of Noah.

Itzel Giron

Meagan Elizabeth García, Arts & Culture Editor

The city of El Paso is getting a new cultural kick with “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition.” In this 90 minute experience, patrons get to experience Michelangelo’s famous work featured in the Sistine Chapel without having to go through any tourist chaos or pay for big travel expenses.  

Located on the second level of Sunland Park Mall is an old storefront that was transformed into the suite where the exhibit is currently being held.  

Upon entrance, the space is dark and highlighted with ambient music and lighting. To mimic a real church, rich classical music is played softly in the background while exhibitiongoers get to peruse the dozens of works featured throughout the room. 

 Whether it was choosing the cities to premiere it in or choosing the building where it would be held, plenty of thought went into the planning of this exhibition. 

“Coming in and being able to offer something that we assumed we would hit a big population and also coming to a place where it would be appreciated, was the reason we came to Sunland Park Mall in El Paso,” said Niko Plesons, who works with Fever, the company hosting the event. 

Even the layout of the room was intricately planned so that exhibitiongoers could enjoy a slow-paced showing of the Sistine Chapel without being in Vatican City. 

Plesons explained that the CEO of Special Entertainment Events with Fever visited the Sistine Chapel himself in Vatican City and was displeased with the experience. From heavy crowding to a rushed tour that restricted photography, he wanted something different.  

“He wanted to give people a chance to see things, not only 60 feet over their head like you would in the actual chapel, but five feet in front of their face,” Plesons said. “Blown up, life size and allow people the time to enjoy it on their own.” 

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  • This 90-minute experience allows viewers to walk around the exhibit and read about the meaning behind each of Michelangelo’s paintings.

  • “Rehoboam” also known as Rehabeam, is a painting that depicts a small child whose mother is holding him.

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Michelangelo’s most renowned works are blown up, draped across the top wall to imitate the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and arranged throughout the room in an accessible way for people to view. Aiding in the well-planned flow of this exhibit are descriptions and QR codes that, once scanned with a cell phone, provide people with an audio tour for the accompanying pieces. 

At the end of the interactive exhibit, is a conveniently placed merchandise table that sells clothing, tote bags, prints and more to help viewers commemorate their visit.  

“If you’re interested in art and you want to come see something that you wouldn’t be able to see unless you went across the world, come check it out,” Plesons said.  

The exhibit opened Sept. 30 and will be available for viewing until Jan. 1 at Sunland Park Mall. Tickets are $22 for regular patrons and 20 percent off for students.  

For information on dates, tickets and hours of operation, visit 

Meagan Garcia is the arts & culture editor and may be reached at [email protected].