Member Artists Giving Church Publications a More International Look

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“Member Artists Giving Church Publications a More International Look,” Ensign, Feb. 2008, 76–77

Member Artists Giving Church Publications a More International Look

A growing number of artists and photographers from around the world are being used to give the Church magazines and other official Church publications a more international look.

The Curriculum Department of the Church first issued a call for professional artists and photographers in the October 2005 issue of the Liahona. Since that time, the group of talented Church members from many countries has grown steadily, and a database of these contributors has been created. A later request for professional artists from around the world to illustrate religious scenes, in particular New Testament stories, added to the database.

“The objective of [creating and using] the database is to increase the cultural accuracy of art and to accurately reflect the international Church in Church publications,” said Tadd Peterson, who oversees the project as a lead designer in the Graphics Division of the Curriculum Department. “We also are striving to feature the artistic talents of members of the Church worldwide.”

As part of the New Testament project, the Liahona staff sent out a call for contributors to create and submit paintings and illustrations that could potentially be used in Church publications to support the New Testament theme for 2007. Art was used from artists in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Peru, and South Africa.

Currently there are more than 200 photographers, artists, and designers from 31 countries included in the database.

Contributors have provided photographs for a number of Church magazine articles as well as for several localized missionary publications that accompany Preach My Gospel, a manual used by missionaries throughout the world.

The use of international art helps produce a sense of unity among members around the world, said Brother Peterson. The art depicts cultural diversity and various styles, yet there is a unified respect and love for the teachings of the gospel as well as reverence for the sacred subjects.

“These pieces of art have great value to all members in that they truly represent a worldwide church,” Brother Peterson said.

The most effective method for submitting a request to be included in the database is to send contact information and samples of artwork or photography for review by e-mail to cur-artist-photographer@ldschurch.org. It is also possible to send copies (please do not send originals) of art or photography, contact information, and a short work history by mail to:

Artists and Photographers Database

50 E. North Temple St., Rm. 2474

Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA

Freelance assignments are based on location, experience, style, and the resources available to the artists or photographers.

Art submitted to the international artists and photographers database represents the talents of artists from throughout the world, such as this painting depicting Christ’s millennial reign by John Zamudio of Peru, entitled Dejadlos.

From South Africa, Louise Parker’s piece beautifully depicts a scripture from Proverbs in the Old Testament.

A pastel work by Stephanie Offermann of Germany depicts Christ kneeling in prayer.

Jefferson Cabral of Brazil’s painting is of David of the Old Testament.