News Release

Church History Museum Opens Exhibition of Latter-day Saint Artists

Works from the 12th International Art Competition on display

The works of some Latter-day Saint artists from around the world are on display, beginning June 9, 2022, in a new exhibition at the Church History Museum of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. The nearly 150 pieces of art were selected from 850 submissions received for the 12th International Art Competition. The exhibition is open to the public through April 3, 2023.

“Now in its 12th iteration, the International Art Competition seeks to broadcast the lived faith of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said art curator Laura Paulsen Howe. “We hope to encourage the creation of quality art, showcase the breadth and diversity of Latter-day Saint cultural production and purchase art for the Church History Museum collection that helps to represent who we are as a people.”

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This year’s theme for the art competition is “All Are Alike Unto God.” The theme draws on a scripture in the Book of Mormon (see 2 Nephi 26:33): “[The Lord] doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”

The works on display were created by artists from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, England, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, Iraq, Italy, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Ukraine and the United States, among others. These works come in a variety of media, including sculpture, ceramic, chitenge and tapa.

Among the varied themes found in this rich body of work, viewers will see expressions of inclusion, diversity, community and the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for all humanity.

The works were selected by a team of five jurors: scholar Heather Belnap, artist Fidalis Buehler, artist Rose Datoc Dall, scholar Amy Maxwell Howard and artist Nnamdi Okonkwo.

“There were over 800 pieces that were submitted this year. It was quite daunting to go through all the work, but it was, at the same time, exhilarating to see so much diversity in this art that’s being submitted,” said Rose Datoc Dall, who was one of the jurors of the art competition that takes place every three years.

Dall first entered the competition as a young artist in 1993. “Through this competition, I found my artist’s voice, and I found a way of using my art to express my faith. And that has ever since defined my career.”

“We’re grateful for the works that came in. A lot of new voices that we hadn’t heard about previously that we weren’t aware of,” said Howe.

“This is probably the third or fourth thing I’ve done, but it’s the first time I’ve done this on a, on a piece of furniture on Tuesday on wood panel … it … got me through COVID, a puzzle I did during COVID,” explained Michelle Romano, a California-based Latter-day Saint artist who crafted a chair out of wood.

“It’s a very personal and maybe autobiographical piece because it comes from the chaos of my personal, internal feeling and part that arose in my mind during the pandemic time,” said Paola Bidinelli, a Latter-day Saint artist. Bidinelli is a native of Italy who now lives in Utah. “Also, because as a family, we had the very sad experience we went through at the very beginning of the pandemic. So almost two and a half [years] ago, my dad passed away in hospital in Italy.”

“I love the idea of expressing myself and creating gospel art, but my background is graphic design. And so, my work tends to be a little more graphic, a little more contemporary,” said Steve Newman, a Latter-day Saint artist who lives in Utah. “I wanted to depict living water, the waters flowing down in a contemporary way, but also hands. And of course, I wanted to do hands where black hands and white hands and brown hands. But I didn’t I really didn’t want to be super literal about it.”

“I’ve tried to incorporate native designs into a piece. Usually, it’s a little bit of a struggle, but this one I had the image that I wanted, and then I just sat down and started sketching, and very few revisions on it just kind of all flowed and made sense very quickly,” said Latter-day Saint artist Kwani Povi Winder.

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., Church Historian and Recorder, spoke at Thursday night’s award ceremony in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.

“Let me express my own feeling that one of the things that God has given us to get closer to Him are the people in our midst that have the ability to create things to bring our hearts and our souls closer to him,” said Elder Curtis.

“So we hope visitors can come and see that faith on display and think about how it affects their own testimony of that truth that ‘All Are Alike Unto God,’” concluded Howe.

An awards ceremony for artists of distinction was held on Thursday, June 9, in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, followed by a public reception at the Church History Museum. Here's the list of winners: 


Aïsha Lehmann, All Alike?

Susana Isabel Silva, Su Luz Sobre Todos

Steven Newman, Living Water

Nicole Woodbury Preece, Within the Marrow of Our Bones

Emma Koepsell, Inviteth Them All

Michelle Franzoni Thorley, Making Space for Us

Julie Yuen Yim, Partake of His Goodness

Joseph Banda, But This is That Which Was Spoken by the Prophet Joel

Megan Knobloch Geilman, Pietà

Erica Stenkrona, He Doeth That Which is Good Among the Children of Men

Carrie Ellen Carlisle, Family Dinner


Ryan Muldowney, Man of Sorrows

Christa Gedris, All Are Encircled in the Arms of His Love

Loren Brown, House + Wilderness

Joanne McLeish, The Tapestry of Rescue and Redemption

Carol Johnson, Pew Shoes

Diane Hatch, Lift Up the Hands that Hang Down

Ryan Moffett, Not Even a Sparrow

Laura Erekson, Cross Section Of A Tree No. 1

Michelle Romano, The Invitation

Alyce Bailey, The Others

The 12th International Art Competition, “All Are Alike Unto God,” runs from June 9, 2022, to April 3, 2023. The museum and museum store are open to the public Monday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Admission is free.

The Church History Museum, near Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, houses important artifacts related to the founding, pioneers and contemporary leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ, as well as a collection of works by many of its illustrious artists from 1830 to the present.

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