Joseph Smith Memorial Building hosts Spiritual and Religious Art Exhibit

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This holiday season, one art exhibition will bring visitors from all walks of life to celebrate Christmas.

The Inspirational Art Association will host the 3rd annual Christmas Art Showcase in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake, Nov. 28 through Nov. 30, to help visitors get into the Christmas spirit.

“We are honored and excited to bring this renaissance of art together and share the collective power of its inspiration, especially during this Christmas season,” said Sandra Rast, Inspirational Art Association president, in a news release. “There is such a need for wholesome content in today’s society, and we hope individuals and families will come and be inspired.”

Last year between 10,000 to 15,000 visitors walked through the showcase, and this year even more are expected. Leaders of the community such as general authorities of the LDS Church, government and community leaders, high profile business men and women, commercial art buyers, collectors and many families enjoyed the showcase last year.

The showcased artists include Liz Lemon Swindle, Sandra Rast, Linda Curley Christensen, Julie Rogers, Joseph Brickey and Del Parson.

Nationally renowned artist J. Kirk Richards will join his fellow artists from around the country to contribute religious art to the showcase.

“(People) will come and see the work and the work will speak for itself; it will move them,” Richards said. “I hope they feel the spirit of Christmas.”

Richards will sell several original small pieces as well as signed copies of his illustrated book about the Nativity, which not only focuses on the birth of Christ, but his life and ministry.

“I put it together so that I could read the story of the Nativity with verses from the scripture to my kids,” he said. “It stresses the importance of the birth of Christ; why it was important and really what Christmas is all about.”

Richards explained the meaning behind his small painted angels in his pieces, more than just symbols of the holiday season.

“They’re divine intervention in our lives,” he said. “The power of God as made manifest in many many ways in our lives, and angels are a symbol of that.”

Annie Henrie, a recent BYU illustration graduate from Bountiful, is excited to have her art displayed in the showcase.

“With Christmas at the darkest part of the year, I wanted something that brings the light and warmth and sacredness we feel at Christmas, to preserve that and have it in people’s homes,” Henrie said.

Henrie used mixed media such as oil, acrylic, charcoal, gold leaf, old music pages and more in her artwork. Her art depicts Mary with angels, the baby Jesus, Christ healing a woman, and more angels.

“Angels symbolize and represent the people in my life that were my angels; people who said the right things and lifted me up and really helped me at a point where I needed it,” she said.

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