Making Known His Wonderful Works

Contributed by  Anna Marie Davison, Halifax Nova Scotia Stake

  • 8 June 2012

“I’m still basking in the glow of attending the Awards Ceremony and opening reception of the LDS Church History Museum’s Ninth International Art Competition in Salt Lake City,” writes Anna Davison, a creative quilt designer and teacher from Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia and one of five Canadian artists in the show.

The competition is held every three years, and this year’s theme was “Make Known His Wonderful Works” (D&C 65:4). Latter-Day Saint artists from many lands and walks of life expressed their heartfelt messages about the gospel through the universal language of visual art in honour of the faith they share. They were asked to send their art pieces to the museum where three jurors examined each submission. From 1150 entries, about 260 passed the first round of judging. Some 198 selected pieces including paintings, quilts, sculpture, metal works, pottery, ceramics, stained glass and other artistic media, are currently exhibited at the Church History Museum until October 14, 2012.

Anna found it surreal to sit in the Assembly Hall filled with other artists, their families and friends. She noticed that one could not escape the history of the building--the small size of the crowded wooden pews and the short railing surrounding the upper balcony--show that people were smaller in the mid 1800’s. Although the Awards Ceremony focused particularly on twenty Merit Award recipients and fifteen who received Purchase Awards, each of the artists had a moment of acknowledgment by the audience. “It was remarkable to stand among international and nationally known artists,” says Anna.

The opening reception was held at the Church History Museum where the main and second floors were filled with the exhibits. She focused her attention on the quilts and was awestruck by the exhibits and very humbled to be included among them. The competition theme was interpreted literally and figuratively and was inspired by scriptures and personal experiences. Anna’s theme was “Make Known His Wonderful Works through Communication Devices”. The top of her quilted wall hanging shows how God communicates with us. As technological advances have made it possible to transmit information to all parts of the world, the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ has gone out to ‘every nation, tongue and people’. The lower portion of the wall hanging shows various communication devices, the year each device was invented, and the Church’s membership at the time, from the discovery of electricity to the development of the iPad in 2010.

Other Canadian artists include Brandon Daniel Hearty, a Merit Award winner for Matriarch, Dena McMurdie for Nauvoo, Pauline Margaret Claydon for The Word and Tannea Michelle Zollinger for Cardston Temple.

All selected artwork may be viewed in the Image Gallery at history.lds.org/artcompetition.