“Brush and Canvas,” Ensign, July 1997, 70–71
“Very few of the people who come to my shows ask me if I’m a Latter-day Saint—they already know I am,” says successful painter Kent R. Wallis. “They know about my devotion to my family and to the Church. They ask many questions concerning the Church’s lifestyle and family orientation.”
A former businessman, Brother Wallis knew nothing about art when he first picked up a brush 22 years ago. Today his unique and colorful paintings, which usually depict architecture surrounded by nature, appear in prestigious magazines, galleries, and art shows across the United States. He supports his family through his art, but his family also helps him. His wife and seven children help with such tasks as handling telephone calls and shipping paintings. “They frame the paintings and stretch the canvases,” Brother Wallis says.
For Brother Wallis, the brush and canvas are mighty tools for expressing the light he feels within, which in turn helps others experience feelings of the Spirit. “People tell me, ‘Your paintings bring me joy. It’s like having a ray of sunshine in our home,’” he says.
Brother Wallis serves as a Sunday School teacher in the River Heights Ward, Providence Utah Stake.—Barbara J. Jones, Salt Lake City, Utah