Winners of International Art Exhibit Announced, Exhibit Opens

  • 16 March 2012

The Ninth International Art Competition exhibit showcases nearly 200 works selected from more than 1,000 entries, including, above, Merit Award-winner The Jaredites Leaving Babel, by Albin Veselka.  Image courtesy of Church History Museum

Article Highlights

  • The exhibit will run from March 16 through October 14, 2012.
  • Visitors may view the artwork at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
  • Nearly 200 pieces of artwork in different media address a variety of gospel topics.

On Friday, March 16, 2012, at the opening of the Ninth International Art Competition exhibit, local and international artists gathered to accept awards for their LDS-themed artwork.

Merit Awards were presented for 20 artists whose pieces were deemed “outstanding,” while another 15 artists earned Purchase Awards, meaning the Church History Museum, which sponsors the competition, acquired the piece for its collection.

Elder Marlin K. Jensen, Church Historian and Recorder, attended and made a brief statement before the awards were presented.

The art exhibit opened today, March 16, 2012, and runs until October 14, 2012, at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Museum employees hope holding the exhibit during conference will allow many who travel to Salt Lake City during that time to experience the LDS-themed art.

This year’s competition, Make Known His Wonderful Works (D&C 65:4), drew 1,149 entries from around the world in a variety of media, including sculpture, quilts and other textiles, paper art, and paintings. The museum will display 198 of the pieces.

Bountiful, Utah, USA, resident Ann Adele Henrie submitted a mixed-media piece, Balm of Gilead, which won a Purchase Award. Her first entry to the competition, it depicts the Savior with His arm around a young girl, while a man kneels at His feet, kissing His robes.

“I’ve seen a lot of paintings where Christ is elevated and people are just about to reach out to Him, but no one’s touching Him,” Sister Henrie said. “I want [people] to feel that very real and personal touch to their lives—a real, powerful kind of peace that’s strong enough to make a difference.”

According to Rita R. Wright, Curator of Art and Artifacts at the museum, the entries are judged according to artistic merit and thematic compliance. The works reflect a variety of media and cultural traditions bearing testimony of the Lord’s wondrous works, she said, and often use symbols to represent and instruct.

For example, Ukraine native Valentyna Musiienko’s Kyiv Ukraine Temple, which won a Purchase Award, re-creates in colored paper the symbols found in the temple.

Brandon Daniel Hearty—a Merit Award winner from Alberta, Canada—uses an oil portrait of his great-grandmother (Matriarch) as a representation of family history and intergeneration connections. He chose a broad topic, he said, in order to relate to others in addition to Church members.

“It’s a humbling experience to have your efforts recognized by an institution like the Church,” he said. “For a lot of artists, it’s sometimes hard to find that spot where you feel appreciated. The Church encourages the growth and development of the arts in a way that we can contribute to the Lord’s kingdom.”

Alexandra Gomez Chaves, of Bogota, Columbia, agreed that the competition is a way to bear testimony. She created her piece, Merit Award-winner Living Waters, with the help of her mother, who passed away shortly before the exhibit opened.

“The people who see this artwork . . . will see the testimony that Jesus Christ and His gospel are a fountain of living water,” she said. “In this piece, they will see all the love that a mother can teach her children because this mother takes the pitcher and teaches her daughter to teach the gospel.”

The exhibit is displayed in the east, central, and west galleries of the Church History Museum, located directly west of Temple Square. It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free, and patrons are encouraged to bring their families. They may vote for their favorite work, and six Visitors’ Choice Awards will be given in September, based on patrons’ votes.

Soon, individuals will be able to watch interviews with 11 different artists involved in the competition on the Church History website (English only). The videos will also show at the museum.

The Church History Museum is also planning an online exhibit, which will make the 198 entries available in English to those who don’t live locally or who have entered the competition but are unable to attend.

For more information about the exhibit, visit or call 801-240-4615.

See a complete list of winners below (Name; Location; Title of Art Work):

Merit Award Winners

Daniel Edward Borup; Idaho, USA; Joseph's Prayer

Judith Campion; Washington, USA; Abraham

Luisa Alexandra Gomez Chaves; Colombia; Living Waters

Casey Childs; Utah, USA; Greater Love Hath No Man

Victor Escobar; Utah, USA; Cast upon Me All Thy Cares

Laura Erekson; Virginia, USA; O Earth, Earth, Earth, Hear the Word of the Lord

Rihao Hsiao; Taiwan; The Realization of Redemption

Brandon Daniel Hearty; Alberta, Canada; Matriarch

Melody Smith Johnson; Utah, USA; The People Can Fly

Donna Moyer; Utah, USA; Let Me Come Dwell with Thee

Jeffery Robert Pugh; Utah, USA; Early Spring, 1820

Walter Clair Rane; Oregon, USA; They Were All Filled

J. Kirk Richards; Utah, USA; Christ and the Fishermen (Lovest Thou Me More Than These)

Mary Jane Smith; Connecticut, USA; I Love to See the Temple Chest

Nick Stephens; Utah, USA; The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Daniel Henri Toone; Utah, USA; Worlds without Number

Leroy Glen Transfield; Utah, USA; Ascension of the Beggar

Albin Veselka; Idaho, USA; The Jaredites Leaving Babel

Andrew Watson; Montana, USA; Rhythms of the Planets

Ashton Young; Utah, USA; A Damsel Came to Hearken (Rhoda)

Purchase Award Winners

Lee Patricia Bennion; Utah, USA; The Smell of a Kiss

Kristal Coles; Arizona, USA; Return

Linda Vance Etherington; California, USA; Cease Not to Call Upon God

Ann Adele Henrie; Utah, USA; Balm of Gilead

David Andre Koch; Utah, USA; Feed My Sheep

Clayton Michael Lefler; Utah, USA; Yes

Emily McPhie; Arizona, USA; The Penitent and Humble Seeker

Valentyna Musiienko; Kyiv, Ukraine; Kyiv Ukraine Temple

Dena McMurdie; California, USA; Nauvoo Temple

Joan Layton Merrell; Missouri, USA; All Things Denote There Is a God

Jennifer Yvonne Paget; Utah, USA; As a Tender Plant

Julie Rogers; Utah, USA; Charity Never Faileth

Archie Delkar Shaw; Utah, USA; Overlooking Nauvoo

Jodi G. Warner; Utah, USA; Facing Outward, Reflecting Inward: Temple Buildings Teach

Elspeth Caitlin Young; Utah, USA; I Will Send Their Words Forth (Jacob the Teacher)