We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Book of Mormon Central Art Contest.
First Place Church History
The Morning Breaks by Rose Datoc Dal
"The Morning Breaks" captures a moment on that fateful spring morning in 1820, just before Joseph Smith kneels down to offer his prayer to ask God which church he should join. The moment is pregnant with anticipation, a breath before the storm, as it were. He stops in a clearing at a “stump where [he] had stuck [his] axe” the day before. (Joseph Smith, interview by David Nye White, Aug. 21, 1843, in David Nye White, “The Prairies, Nauvoo, Joe Smith, the Temple, the Mormons, &c,” Pittsburg Weekly Gazette, Sept. 15, 1843, 3, Church History Library; josephsmithpapers.org.) What follows is the First Vision, where the heavens open and Joseph sees God the Father and Jehovah, which theophany inaugurates the Restoration & last dispensation.
The title, “The Morning Breaks,” is both literal and symbolic: the First Vision literally took place on a beautiful clear morning; it is symbolic of the dawn of the Restoration itself. The title makes direct reference to the triumphant LDS hymn by the same name, about the coming forth of Zion; “The morning breaks, the shadows flee; Lo Zion’s standard is unfurled!” (“The Morning Breaks,” LDS Hymn Book, text: Parley P. Pratt, 1807-1857; Music: George Careless, 1839-1932).
The artist is a Filipina-American contemporary artist whose figurative paintings are distinctive for her line quality, unconventional colors and compositions. Her most iconic works are religious works. She is a 3-time Purchase Award Winner of the LDS International Art Competition. Her works are in permanent collections at the Church History Museum, BYU and SVU and grace church offices, publications, and meetinghouses worldwide.
The artist, raised in Virginia, earned her BFA in Art History and Fine Art Studio in 1990 from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She and her husband have four children, three grandchildren, and live in Utah.
Second Place Church History
Joseph's Prayer by Josh Holman
“Joseph’s Prayer” is a representation of the well-known Doctrine & Covenants story of the prophet Joseph Smith as he poured his heart out to the Lord from his dank, disgusting prison cell in Liberty Jail. In this piece I wanted to highlight the true power of individual prayer from our Savior’s point of view. The Savior, God of all worlds, is in anguish as His chosen prophet suffers in jail. Wanting to give immediate relief as He hears the prophet's words, He holds back knowing that this experience will be for his good.
A mixed-media collage illustrated with digital tools and software in a Pop Art style with hand-laid gold leaf detail.
A husband, father, and lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the artist graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Design with an emphasis in Graphic Design. His childhood passion for illustration mixed with his newfound love of digital art & design led him to experiment in a new medium for producing unique Pop Art pieces of art with an askew perspective.
His ultimate goal is to profess his testimony of Jesus Christ to an audience that wants to experience well-known religious stories from a different point of view in a new and unique artistic style.
Third Place Church History
He The Physician, I The Nurse by Megan Rieker
Amanda Smith is a wonderful example of faith in the midst of trial. On October 30th, 1838, at a Mormon settlement in Haun’s Mill, a mob armed with guns attacked the saints. After the mob left, Amanda B. Smith found that many of her family had been killed, but little Alma had survived a gunshot wound that had blown away his hip. Amanda received guidance after prayer and made a poultice that began to build up the bone.
“Prayer was our only source of comfort, our Heavenly Father our only helper. None but he could save and deliver us.”
After only five weeks Alma Smith arose from his bed, “entirely recovered—a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket.”
The “Mormon Miracle” became quite well known in the area. A team of doctors came to examine the boy and hear the story. They asked Amanda who performed such amazing surgery. She replied, “Jesus Christ.” One said, “Not the Savior of the World?” Amanda responded, “Yes, the same sir. He was the physician and I was the nurse.”
This artist grew up in the Eastern US and attended art schools from a young age through college. But for all of those years she had only painted secular topics, feeling she was not talented enough to do justice to religious themes. In February of 2000, the artist had a severe case of Bells Palsy, and upon returning from the hospital, was given a blessing in which she was told that she needed to use her art to benefit the church. After much prayer and study, she began a series about women and ideals in the gospel with a goal of changing the perspective of stories so the viewer could see things with a new light... and perhaps not take these stories for granted. Each painting is prayerfully researched and inspired with the idea that the painter is only the vessel, and the painting the message that our Heavenly Father wishes to share.
First Place Book of Mormon
The Dream by Ryan Muldowney
In Lehi's dream, the prophet wanders aimlessly in a dark and dreary waste with growing anxiety. He prays to God for mercy and immediately the Lord allows him to escape from the darkness. I love that moment of emergence, Lehi's certain relief at deliverance, that curiosity with his new surroundings, and above all his desire to taste of this mysterious fruit which he had never before encountered. I wanted to capture something of that in-between-worlds moment. The moment between sleeping and waking, between dream and reality, between light and dark, between anxiety and relief, between wandering and true conversion.
This individual is an artist and educator who has exhibited work in galleries and museums across the US, Canada, the UK, and continental Europe. He is a Philadelphia native, and he studied art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has held faculty positions at institutions including Middle Tennessee State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Brigham Young University-Idaho. In addition to teaching and exhibiting, he has written and illustrated several children's books including "The Approved Inter-Universal, Pan-Dimensional, Omni-Galactic, Alphabetical Guide to the Cosmos for Beginning Space Explorers." He is also the author of a number of works of non-fiction, including his most recent book, "Not Art." He is married and is the father of six children.
Second Place Book of Mormon
Father Lehi by Jody Livingston
This is a graffiti piece entitled “Father Lehi” with a New School caricature of Lehi and a throw back graffiti lettering of the name “Lehi” all done with spray paint on cinder block wall. The fun is in the details. Pay close attention to the Reformed Egyptian details in the lettering as well as the silhouette of Lehi and his caravan wondering in the desert. This is the Book of Mormon brought to you in a fresh new perspective.
The artist is a freelance artist who considers himself well rounded in many areas of art including graffiti, acrylic brush on canvas, fine arts, detailed drawings, and digital art as well.
Third Place Book of Mormon
King Benjamin's Testimony by Charles Muldowney
Before he died, King Benjamin bore his testimony at the coronation of his son Mosiah. Based on the details of Mosiah chapter 1 through 6, it is likely this occurred at the Sukkot celebration which was the customary time of a coronation. The theme of Sukkot is deliverance. King Benjamin took this opportunity to teach his people about the ultimate deliverance from sin through the infinite sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This painting represents King Benjamin on the ‘migdol’ bearing his last testimony to his people (Mosiah 2-6).
As a student attending the Philadelphia College of Art, the artist studied painting and printmaking and received a BFA in painting. In graduate school at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, he continued his studies in painting and printmaking and was awarded an MFA in painting. His work is representational. He largely does religious narrative and landscape painting and printmaking. His work has won awards and has been exhibited in the United States, Canada, and Europe. His paintings and prints are in private and public collections in the United States and Canada.
Art Contest Submissions Completed
First Place: $500
Second Place: $350
Third Place: $200
This year, Book of Mormon Central will be awarding prizes for a Church History category, as well as a General category. Artists may also be eligible for Honorable Mention or Youth Prizes.
Submission Deadline: Monday, May 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
Winner Announcement: We will announce this year's winners at the 2021 FAIR Conference in August. See their website for updates on the FAIR Conference.
Book of Mormon Central seeks to celebrate artwork depicting scenes and stories from the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days.
Artists may submit pieces dealing with passages from the Doctrine and Covenants, people from Church History, historic sites of the Restoration, and more. Artists may also continue to submit artwork of the Book of Mormon, as in years past.
Eligibility and General Rules
- This contest is open to anyone 12 years and up (Youth prizes are available).
- Media may include painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and more. This contest excludes poetry, artistic performance, and music.
- Multiple entries per artist are allowed, but each piece of art must me made in separate form submissions.
- Participants must submit a high-quality scan or photograph of their artwork for digital submission. 3-dimensional works of art should be submitted with multiple photographs from different angles.
Winners are selected on the basis of artistic merit and innovation by a selection of third-party judges from local museums and the art community.