Church History


    Make Known His Wonderful Works

    2012 International Art Competition


    March 16, 2012-October 14, 2012


    About the Exhibit


    SALT LAKE CITY–Recent works of art by Latter-day Saint artists from around the world are featured in a new three-gallery exhibition at the LDS Church History Museum. The art was selected from entries to the museum’s Ninth International Art Competition and will be on display from March 16 through October 14, 2012.

    Museum director Kurt Graham said the competition and resulting exhibition reflect the theme Make Known His Wonderful Works. This theme, taken from a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1831 and recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, was selected to encourage artists to create new works of art based on the life and influence of the Savior Jesus Christ.

    Graham said a three-member jury selected 198 pieces for the exhibition from 1155 entries received last November. The exhibition includes a wide variety of visual art mediums including paintings, sculpture, textiles, carvings, photographs, ceramics, and others.

    “We are delighted with the quality and creativity of the art work in this exhibition,” Graham said. “We hoped artists would create a wide variety of works about the life, teachings, and influence of the Savior Jesus Christ, and we received hundreds of outstanding entries.”

    Although a majority of entries came from within the United States, the exhibition includes works from Brazil, Canada, Taiwan, Nigeria, Germany, New Zealand, France, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Ukraine, Australia, and several other countries.

    According to the exhibit curator, Robert Davis, the works express many aspects of Latter-day Saint religious experience. “This is an outstanding gathering of artwork with Latter-day Saint meaning,” Davis said. “The artists delivered works that are ambitious, thoughtful, and visually compelling.”

    Davis noted that artistic styles and media in the exhibit range from tight, detailed, illustrative work to compositions that reflect contemporary trends and national traditions of folk art. There are many excellent pieces by professional artists, but there are also works by amateur artists who have produced examples of fervent expression and sincerity. Among the wide range of themes and kinds of art, the uniting elements are the beliefs and history the artists share as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Elspeth Caitlin Young is one of the artists featured in the exhibit. Her oil on panel piece, titled I Will Send Their Words Forth (Jacob the Teacher), is one of the finest entries in the competition, according to Rita Wright, museum curator of art and artifacts. “The exquisite rendering of the Prophet Jacob pondering the Allegory of the Olive Tree is not only conceptually profound but technically fabulous. It gives a face and character to this rarely depicted prophet of the Book of Mormon,” Wright said.

    Another notable entry is Linda Vance Etherington’s Cease Not to Call Upon God oil painting. The artist shows Adam and Eve grown old and having endured beautifully to the end through constant reliance on the Lord. “This painting caught my eye from the first moment I saw it,” Wright said. “I love to see an artist pondering the universal nature of the Adam and Eve experience.”

    Director Graham said the museum is in the process of choosing works to purchase for the Church’s permanent art collection and that several artists will receive prestigious Merit Awards. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square when the exhibit opens to the public on March 16, 2012. He also said that museum visitors will have a chance to vote for their favorite works, and that the top six winners will receive $500 Visitors’ Choice Awards.

    View the Online Exhibit

    View Artist Interviews