For the 11th International Art Competition, artists were asked to consider the theme—Meditations on Belief—and Psalm 77:11–12: “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” David O. McKay called meditation “the language of the soul” and said “it is defined as ‘a form of private devotion, or spiritual exercise, consisting in deep, continued reflection on some religious theme.’” Here we have organized the 151 works selected for the exhibit in groupings to facilitate meditation on a number of recurring gospel topics and ideas that emerged from the varied, individual responses of artists.
Click the images to see the entire work, read the artist statement, and learn more. To view this exhibit organized by artist, click here.
"All things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth."
"And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them."
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God...and there is none like me."
"I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."
"I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me."
3 Nephi 27:13
"I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent…Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore…Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men."
Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-19
"It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you...I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."
"Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin. Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved."
3 Nephi 9:21-22
"And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name."
3 Nephi 20:31
“I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe.”
Doctrine and Covenants 29:43
"Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."
3 Nephi 9:14
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea; I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
"Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed."
3 Nephi 18:21
"I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers."
"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
Now in its 11th iteration, the International Art Competition encourages the creation of quality art by Latter-day Saints; showcases the breadth and diversity of Latter-day Saint cultural production made manifest through various styles, techniques, media, and voices; and expands the art canon from the familiar images that currently adorn the halls of ward buildings to include new approaches to depicting gospel principles.
Drawn from over 900 submissions from countries around the world, the 151 works were made by artists from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. The works come in a variety of media, from woodcut to photography, from sculpture to textile.
While the purchase awards were granted by the museum acquisition team, the artworks and merit awards were selected by a team of five jurors, themselves representing three continents: Africa, North America, and Europe. They are scholar Herman du Toit, artist J. Kirk Richards, artist Jean Richardson, scholar Analisa Coats Sato, and folklorist Elaine Thatcher. Such efforts shift our view of Latter-day Saint art from a centralized model to one that expansively captures new voices, expands our cultural legacy, and redefines our visual heritage.
For the 11th International Art Competition, artists were asked to consider the theme—Meditations on Belief—and Psalm 77:11–12: “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”
Artists from around the world responded to this theme in distinct, thoughtful, and personal ways, often bearing profound testimony through their work and accompanying artist statements. In the 151 works selected for this exhibit, a number of repeating ideas emerged: nature as a site of devotion for God and His creation; a sense of awe and humility communicated and captured in the universe and in the stars; devoted women seeking revelation, expressing gratitude, or manifesting faith; Jesus Christ—His miracles, His grace, His divinity; stories from the scriptures; explorations of family and ancestors; adversity, suffering, healing, and hope; and the temple as a place of holiness and refuge. While in no way comprehensive, this list of repeating ideas seems to summarize what it means to truly believe.