Provo art exhibit paints more inclusive view of Christ

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Local rare book and art gallery, Writ and Vision, pushed boundaries to paint a more inclusive view of Christ through “The Mosaic of Christ” art exhibit, which ran through Feb. 24.

Esther Candari, Writ and Vision director of programming, said the exhibit contains a wide range of pieces, such as Latino interpretations of Christ and Chinese watercolor.

“This idea of a mosaic is that there’s lots of little pieces that make up the whole,” Candari said.

The Meetinghouse Mosaic, a nonprofit organization made up of Latter-day Saint women who aim to promote diversity in Latter-day Saint art, presented the idea of hosting the art exhibit at Writ and Vision to Candari about a year and a half ago, she said.

The Meetinghouse Mosaic’s goal was to broaden people’s views on religion and deity.

“Historically, we’ve had some pretty narrow depictions of the way that we paint, sculpt and draw depictions of Christ,” Candari said.

After the submission period, jurors curated art pieces submitted by artists worldwide. Navajo artist Tyrone Whitehorse said participating gave him the opportunity to portray Christ drawing from his Native American roots.

“Very rarely do we see many Native American artists portraying Christ himself or many Christian themes,” Whitehorse said.

Blending his Latter-day Saint beliefs and the cultural teachings he grew up with was a strengthening experience, Whitehorse said. To him, the color of Jesus’ skin is not as important as Christ’s role in bringing people closer to God, he said.

“For people of color to see the Savior through cultural lenses helps us feel a little bit closer to what we feel like Christ is in our hearts and the way he manifests himself to us,” Whitehorse said.

As people visit the gallery, Whitehorse said he hopes they will discover Christ’s individual love and message for them.

“Even though he is a singular being, he transcends all of that … I think that he can touch all of us on a very individual level,” he said.

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