Friday Favorites: MormonArtist Magazine

In the first issue, published in September 2008, Benjamin Crowder wrote,

“I see the purpose of this magazine as falling into three areas: First, to raise awareness and get the word out about what’s going on with Mormon arts. Second, to inspire and encourage artists both new and experienced alike to create new work. Third, to connect people—artists to other artists and to those who appreciate their work—and build a larger community, not just in the States but across the globe. I’m sure that among the Saints there are painters in Ghana, musicians in Russia, and writers in the Philippines who are using their artistic gifts to make the world a better place and to build the kingdom. We just don’t know about most of them, and that needs to change.”

I haven’t read many of the articles but my favorites struck a cord or something because they have stuck with me ever since.

This one by James Goldberg, Toward a Mormon Renaissance is gorgeous.  It talks about the Mormon Community -how our religion has formed us into a people and as such we have a heritage, wisdom and resources granted to anyone who wants it.  I just really love James Goldberg, too.  He wrote a response to an opinion piece in the New York Times that reaffirms my testimony in the church organization.

The next article by Jon Ogden, mormonartist: A Sign We’re Arriving has been on my mind a lot lately.  It highlights the difference between a Mormonartist and a Mormonartist -an artist who creates intentionally LDS-themed art and an artist who’s art is for the world but influenced by his or her LDS roots.

Here’s an excerpt:

“When President Kimball said that “if we strive for perfection — the best and greatest — and are never satisfied with mediocrity, we can excel,” he was likely referring to artistry. When he said, “to be an artist means hard work and patience and long-suffering,” he was likely referring to what it takes to achieve true artistic talent, not what it takes to accurately convey orthodox messages. His vision was for Mormonartists.

“I should reiterate that I’m not arguing for a retreat from Mormon themes in art. I’m thinking of the fantastic musician Sufjan Stevens, an artist who does not shy away from subtly visiting Christian themes in his songs while making innovative contributions to contemporary music (his album Illinois was deservedly on nearly every major list for the decade’s best albums.) The artists interviewed in this magazine have struck a similar balance in their respective genres. MormonArtist [Magazine] is a sign we’re arriving.”

Lovely.

And one last thought while we’re on the subject of LDS artists -my favorite artist ever.  I admit, it may not be for everyone but I love his art /can’t get enough of it / want to own everything he’s ever printed / hope to be wealthy enough one day to cover every wall of my house with it.  So.

Nauvoo Temple, 11 x 8.5 inches, pen & ink, acrylic, and color pencil on paper 11″ x 8.5″ pen & ink, acrylic, and color pencil on paper

Have no fear…, 52 x 42 inches, pen & ink and color pencil on paper 52″ x 42″ pen & ink, and color pencil on paper

Telestial, 11 x 8.5 inches, collage on paper

Here’s his webiste, if you’re interested: CaseyJexSmith.com

-Kelsie B

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