SALT LAKE CITY—Six artists have been selected as winners of Visitors’ Choice Awards in the international art competition sponsored by the LDS Church History Museum.
During the past five months, visitors cast over fourteen thousand votes for their favorite works of art in the Museum’s Ninth International Art Competition: Make Known His Wonderful Works. The winning artworks are among 198 pieces created by Latter-day Saint artists from 28 countries for the triennial competition. The art will remain on display at the Church History Museum through October 14, 2012.
Receiving $500 cash awards were Casey Childs of Pleasant Grove, Utah, for his oil painting, Greater Love Hath No Man; Lester L. Yocum of Glen Burnie, Maryland, for his oil painting, While Mary Sleeps—Morning; Robert T. Barrett of Provo, Utah, for his oil painting, The Lost Lamb; Howard Van Lyon of Mesa, Arizona, for his oil painting, From Fear to Faith; David A. Koch from Richmond, Utah, for his oil painting, Feed My Sheep; and Alexander C. Rane, of New Haven, Connecticut, for his sculpture John the Baptist.
Casey Child’s painting depicts John Taylor’s emotions in the moments before the Prophet Joseph Smith was killed at the Carthage Jail. Joseph, his brother Hyrum, and Willard Richards are shown at the door trying to keep the mob from entering the room. Childs writes that his painting is “not only a visual representation of Joseph’s love for his friends and for the work to which he dedicated his life, but also of his friends, who would do all in their power to protect the Prophet.”
Lester Yocum’s painting illustrates a tender moment between an infant Jesus and his earthly father Joseph. Joseph is seen holding Baby Jesus in the early morning hours. Yocum suggests that Joseph is allowing Mary to rest and could be thinking “I will lay aside my preparations for the day and comfort the Son of God.”
Illustrated in Robert Barrett’s painting is a shepherd who has found a lamb that had been lost. Barrett describes the joy the shepherd feels when he finds his lamb and carries it back to safety. “Just as a shepherd cares about each of his sheep,” Barrett writes, “our Father in Heaven cares about each of His children and does not want any to be lost.”
The subject of Howard Van Lyon’s painting is the Savior, calming a stormy sea. The boat carrying Christ and His frightened disciples has partially filled with water, but Christ is seen rebuking the storm, saying “Peace, be still.” According to Van Lyon, the painting “depicts a range of emotions that we may all relate to when trials come.”
David Koch’s painting depicts the scene recorded in John 21 when the Savior appears to His disciples at the sea of Tiberias and admonishes them to “Feed my sheep.” Koch writes, “When we come to Christ, we are invited to show Him how much we love him by feeding His sheep.”
Alexander Rane’s bronze sculpture of John the Baptist was the only sculpture to receive a Visitor’s Choice Award. Rane states that religious themes inspire his art, and it is his purpose to “show the figure as a symbol of something greater, such as a message of truth.”
Museum guests used interactive kiosks in the gallery to vote for their favorite pieces of art. This year the museum also offered an online voting tool that allowed the public to view the gallery and cast their votes from home. Casey Childs, Lester Yocum, Robert Barrett, Howard Van Lyon, and David Koch were voted as favorites using the museum kiosks, and Alexander Rane’s sculpture won the online vote.
According to curator Rita Wright, nearly every one of the works in the exhibit received a vote. The exhibit is popular with museum visitors because it features a wide range of subjects and styles.