Authors, artists and sculptors visit BYU bookstore Friday

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    By Janessa Cloward

    The BYU Bookstore will be buzzing with activity Friday as hundreds of Women”s Conference guests mingle among dozens of prominent artists and authors signing and showcasing their work.

    The bookstore invited 33 authors and 26 artists to a signing in honor of BYU Women?s Conference. The signing began Thursday and will continue Friday. Linda Brummett, manager of general books at the BYU Bookstore, said those invited were selected because the religious nature of their work inspires so many women in the community.

    Ardeth Kapp, former General Young Women President was signing her books Thursday. Kapp?s latest book, ?Better Than You Think You Are?, was ranked number three on the Deseret Book bestseller list. She said the goal of her book is to help people understand their true identity.

    ?We didn?t come to earth to understand who we are,? Kapp said. ?We brought our identities here with us.?

    Kapp said she wanted people to understand their worth does not depend on worldly standards of success and failure, but on their identities as children of God.

    Simon Dewey, an artist famous for his renditions of the Savior, unveiled four new paintings Thursday and will also be in the BYU Bookstore Friday. Dewey said he considers his artistic talents a stewardship. He said with each painting, he strives to capture people?s testimonies on canvas.

    Dewey said he has painted the Savior for five years. He said the hardest part about painting the Savior is balancing strength and sensitivity.

    ?I want to show balance,? Dewey said. ?That He was manly and strong, powerful with the priesthood, but also very tender, holding children and loving everyone.?

    Dewey said it is important for children to see paintings of the Savior at home as well as at church.

    ?My wife always says, ?and the child went forth and became what he saw,?? he said. ?If that?s true, then if I can be putting these images on people?s walls everyday, I believe it leaves an indelible impression and they carry that with them.?

    Sculptor Dee Jay Bawden will be working on his newest project as he shows his work Friday in the BYU Bookstore. Bawden has been sculpting professionally since 1975 and has done dozens of sculptures of prophets and the Savior. He said sculpting the Savior was his favorite.

    ?Very few people sculpt the Savior with the same passion and intensity as I do because I?ve been doing this for so long,? he said.

    Bawden completed his first full figure sculpture of the Savior in 1981 and gave it to President Spencer W. Kimball. Since then, he has done 13 ?Christus? statues as well as the first forensically correct bronze casts of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

    Several other artists and authors, including Greg Olsen, Derek Hegsted and Del Parson will be in the Bookstore Friday signing and showcasing their work.

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