Every 3 years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints invites artists to submit artwork for a competition. It's a beautiful show and it was a treat to go with my parents, brother, and our lil' family to visit the exhibit and see my painting that was juried into the show. "Welcome Children to the Garden" is 30x30" oil on wood, and has a beautiful custom frame created by craftsman and artist Dave Brown (Springville & Orem...let me know if you'd like his number). The exhibit is open and free to the public until October 19th.
Here is my full statement (the statements are changed and shortened for the exhibit), enjoy the full version below and the intent of my heart while creating it:
After his father Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life, Nephi felt a great desire to better understand the symbolism for himself. The angel showed Nephi the Virgin Mother Mary, “the mother of the Son of God”, and his understanding of the Tree of Life and it’s representation became clear. Throughout time, his musings & yearnings have inspired many to search and receive personal revelation.
As I ponder the culmination of the Garden of Eden...before Adam and Eve were placed there to learn, grow, and tend to it’s creations...I wonder what may have occurred in that sacred space. Before each of our sacred temples are dedicated, Open Houses welcome all to visit within. There they receive a glimpse into our Heavenly Parents’ plan for us, our potential, and the great love they have for each of their children. Cultural Celebrations are organized over months of planning, testimonies are planted & cultivated, and a night of festivities & worship culminates the event.
Similarly, I imagine the possibility of the animals joining our Parents in welcoming each of their children to the Garden. I can see our Mother with Her arms outstretched like the many golden branches of the tree. There, might we have partaken and witnessed the great love of God: our parents & our Savior Jesus Christ, as we celebrated, sang hosannas, made covenants, and wished our earthly parents, Adam and Eve, all of our confidence, gratitude, and love. What a joyous and epic beginning to this great earthly journey we may have enjoyed.