News Release

The Winners of the 12th International Art Competition

The works have been featured at the Church History Museum since June 2022

Six Visitors’ Choice Awards for the Church History Museum’s 12th International Art Competition have been announced.

Each entry (one is a video) is shown below in alphabetical order. These are six of 148 pieces that have been on display at the Church History Museum since June 2022. The exhibit closes on March 4, 2023, but will still be available digitally. The theme for this competition is “All Are Alike Unto God,” a phrase from a verse in the Book of Mormon.

Amy Bunnell Jones, Encircled in the Arms of His Love

Amy Bunnell Jones, “Encircled in the Arms of His Love.”2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Creator Jesus Christ imbued mankind with different fingerprints, personalities, and DNA. With arms stretched wide, the Savior seeks to connect His great creations within His love. As humanity remembers that they are God’s children, they feel an obligation to listen to and understand the perspective of others.

“We are all connected and, therefore, need to love each other deeply, purely-, and without reservation, just as God loves us,” Jones said.

Esther Hi’ilani Candari, As a Loving Parent

Esther Hi’ilani Candari, “As a Loving Parent.” 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

A parental hand guides a young child toward the love of God, symbolized by the white fruit of the tree of life. Inspired by Lehi’s desire to share the love of God with his family, Candari selected models who she felt embodied this loving concern and desire to proclaim God’s love. Her neighbor Tara seemed the perfect model. Tara’s love for her nephew (pictured) and eagerness to share friendship are examples of Christlike charity.

“I feel inspired by this parental instinct to guide one’s child to the good, true-, and enlightening things in this life and the next,” Candari said.

Ester Kawai, Batchan (Grandma) | Watch the Video

Ester Kawai, “Batchan (Grandma).”2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“This animated short film is an homage and a farewell letter to my grandmother,” Kawai said. In this video, Kawai ponders the sometimes-incomplete ways God’s children touch each other in this life and the eternal promise offered in the temple that family relationships can continue forever. Subtitles for the film are provided in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese-, and Spanish.

Kelsy Lightweave, Common Thread

Many hands showing differences in age, race-, and culture all reach for the iron rod described in the Book of Mormon prophet Lehi’s dream (2 Nephi 8:19). They hold their quest toward the tree of life in common; they are united as they enter the path that leads them to eternal life.

“This gift, or common thread, binds us together in love and unity, marching toward the same goal and lifegiving light,” Lightweave said.

Michelle Franzoni Thorley, Making Space for Us

Michelle Franzoni Thorley, “Making Space for Us.”2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Christ emerges from a brilliant floral arch. He is surrounded by blooming cacti in a serene desert landscape. “This is how I see Jesus,” Thorley wrote, believing the Savior to be just as eager to come to her as she is to Him. “He is in the hot pink bougainvillea of Mexico. His robes are the color of the earth. His skin is the color of the earth. His feet are the color of the earth. … He will make a space for me, even in the desert of my life, and the cactus will bloom and the butterflies will be there to encourage me to continue to become the best version of myself.”

Shelby Stroud, I Remember Those Who Are on the Isles of the Sea

Shelby Stroud, “I Remember Those Who Are on the Isles of the Sea.”2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea?” mused the Creator (2 Nephi 29:7). Gathering shells from Alabama, Florida-, and Mexico, Stroud placed over 25,000 to create this portrait. No shell is forgotten and each contributes to the whole.

“It’s comforting to know that the Lord has not and will not forget us,” Stroud said.

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