Utah County art devoted to Christ

Ari Davis
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Josh Berndt
Utah County art devoted to Christ

Visitors ponder on the "Carrying of the Cross" scene at the Ashton Gardens' Light of the World Garden. (Josh Berndt)

Josh Berndt
Utah County art devoted to Christ

A depiction of Christ in the scene "He Who is Without Sin." (Josh Berndt)

Josh Berndt
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"Christ Walking on the Water," as seen at night during Luminaria. (Josh Berndt)

Josh Berndt
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"Christ talking with Doubting Thomas." (Josh Berndt)

Ron Richmond
Utah County art devoted to Christ

Ron Richmond's "Triplus, Number 3" is one of the more modern style works of Christ on display at the BYU Museum of Art. (Ron Richmond)

Minerva Teichert
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"The First Vision" is a work created by Minerva Teichert in 1934 on display in the "To Magnify the Lord" exhibit. (Minerva Teichert)

William Dyce
Utah County art devoted to Christ

William Dyce created this piece called "St. John Leading Home His Adopted Mother," which hangs in the "To Fulfill All Righteousness" section of the collection at the BYU Museum of Art. (William Dyce)

Ary Scheffer
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"The Denial of Peter" painting was created by artist Ary Scheffer in 1855 and gifted by Donald Greenwood in 1976. (Ary Scheffer)

BYU MOA
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"Jesus and the Woman at the Well" is a piece on display at the Museum of Art. The artist and date the piece was created are unknown. (BYU Museum of Art)

Sir Edward John Poynter
Utah County art devoted to Christ

Sir Edward John Poynter created "The Prodigal's Return" in 1986, which is on display in the exhibit. (Sir Edward John Poynter)

Harmensz Van Rijn
Utah County art devoted to Christ

The "Head of Christ" piece, located in the "Patterns of Piety" section of the exhibit was done by Harmensz Van Rijn of the Circle of Rembrandt. These artists were students of Rembrandt who would sit together with the master himself often painting the same models and learning from each others' work. It was painted in warmer tones to show the kindness and gentleness of Christ as a friend, as well as the Lord and Savior. (Harmensz Van Rijn, Circle of Rembrandt)

Ari Davis
Utah County art devoted to Christ

The "Last Supper" done by Emil Janel was brought to the museum by Mr. and Mrs. Harry William Hind. The carvings offer patrons a powerful depiction of the emotions and character of Christ and each of his twelve apostles. (Ari Davis)

Ari Davis
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"The Crucifixion: A Triptych" was commissioned for the women's prison in London during the suffragist movement. As a result, artist Bernard Sleigh created the piece with its audience in mind. The crowd around the Savior includes knights, kings, peasants and magistrates to demonstrate that all men are subject to the Savior of the World, and even includes a self-portrait of the artist and his family hidden among the crowd. (Ari Davis)

Ari Davis
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"The Prophet" is a unique piece. A sculpture done by Robert Bullough, traditionally known more for his paintings, is engaging in its style. While it's been in the Museum of Art's collection for decades, there is no record of it ever being on display until now. (Ari Davis)

Ari Davis
Utah County art devoted to Christ

"Dead Christ from an Entombment Group" is one of the oldest pieces in the exhibit, done around 1470. It was donated by Gloria Teichert who had married into an upper-class German family, which had this piece handed down in its collection. Pieces like this at the time were often meant to be interactive pieces to aid believers in connecting with the themes and events of the Savior's death and resurrection. "On Easter Sunday, this same lifeless Christ sculpture would have been lifted out of the tomb in celebration, perhaps paraded around, and people would have celebrated the very real fact that what had been a lifeless Savior had been resurrected and taken on new life," said Ashlee Whitaker, BYU Museum of Art religious art curator. (Ari Davis)

Ari Davis
Utah County art devoted to Christ

Here at the entrance to the "To Magnify the Lord" exhibit, patrons can see the strong blue wall color meant to reflect the bright royal blues used in religious chapels and cathedrals throughout Europe. (Ari Davis)

Art exhibits at the BYU Museum of Art and the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point provide a new way to engage with the message and life of Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving Point garden designer Esther Henrichsen prepared the space at Thanksgiving Point to receive the new “Light of the World” sculpture garden, which opens for the season on March 25.

The garden gives visitors a way to conceptualize the stories and ideas about Christ they learned while they were growing up, according to Henrichsen.

“I think the most impactful thing has been families with children walking through,” Henrichsen said. “Most people have been naturally reverent, and showing their children this is this story or that story, so in that way it’s very illustrative.”

Henrichsen said she believes artwork can enhance beliefs and strengthen faith in Christ. She said her experiences seeing art in church as she was growing up helped her build her own testimony.

“I’ve always known that my testimony grew with aesthetics, so that’s always been an important part of building my testimony,” Henrichsen said.

While she acknowledged that everyone might not have those same experiences, Henrichsen learned these types of endeavors are worth it if even a few of those who visit the garden leave with a deeper connection or understanding of Christ.

The “Light of the World” garden exhibit was imagined and created by sculptor Angela Johnson who, in a video on her Light of the World website, said she began sculpting later in life. It was as she developed this new skill and passion that the idea for the “Light the World” garden was born.

“It was as though the finger of God had touched my heart and told me it was now the time to develop a talent I didn’t know I had,” Johnson said.

Johnson created the Light the World Foundation, a nonprofit corporation with the aim of building faith in Jesus Christ through art, in 2003 as her sculptural interests deepened. The garden exhibit, which holds 15 scenes from Christ’s life and 35 statues in all, will be a fixture at Thanksgiving Point for years to come.

“This is a gift, and Thanksgiving Point has taken it on,” Henrichsen said.

BYU Museum of Art religious art curator Ashlee Whitaker also demonstrates her passion for sharing the message and spirit of the Savior through art.

Whitaker said she was inspired by seeing the impact Christ’s life had on the history of the world. Her experiences led her to create a gallery to showcase the devotion of artists throughout history.

“All of these ideas came together in this exhibition showing how, over six centuries, artists have sought to magnify the Lord to make him great, to help us understand him, to see him in new ways, and in doing that have also used their talents and capacities to create timeless works of art,” Whitaker said.

Visitors to the MOA’s “To Magnify Christ” exhibit, located on the lower level of the BYU Museum of Art, descend into a gallery space of vibrant blue. Whitaker said the exhibit designer was inspired by the domes of European churches and cathedrals.

The exhibit, which opened in fall 2016, demonstrates six centuries worth of artwork from BYU’s collection centered on the life and character of the Savior Jesus Christ. The exhibit will be the first long-term exhibition of the museum’s religious collection.

The exhibit features more than 75 original paintings, divided into three sections, “Word and Witness,” “Patterns of Piety” and “To Fulfill all Righteousness.” Each section explores a different approach devoted artists and worshipers have employed throughout the centuries to draw closer to Christ through artwork.

Whitaker said she hopes it will be a place visitors can come to think, ponder and reflect on the Son of God.

“The religious collection will always be a priority at the Museum of Art,” Whitaker said. “We’ve acquired so many marvelous artworks, and I believe and hope that will continue so we’ll always have something on display.”

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