2016 Zion Art Competition Results

Announcing Winners of the Zion Art Competition

The only fine-art competition held in tandem with LDS General Conference

Today we announce winners of the first annual Zion Art Competition, the only fine-art competition held in tandem with LDS General Conference. Works by the winners, Niki Covington, Walter Rane, Jethro Gillespie, Bryan Hutchinson, and Jeffrey Hein, along with works by 70 other fine artists, will be exhibited at this year’s sponsor, Anthony’s Fine Art in Salt Lake City, from September 24 until October 15, 2016.

A New Contest

An estimated 15,000 LDS artists work in the United States, yet only a handful are known or distributed to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The contest was established by the Zion Art Society to bring greater attention to these artists — regardless of subject or style — to a larger number of Church members. The contest exhibition will be open to the public and will include demonstrations by artists, private tours, and public discussions on the state of LDS art.

There were more than 250 submissions to the contest. Works ranged from monumental paintings to sculptures, installations, photographs, and experimental works. The vast majority have never been exhibited before, as they were originally conceived and created for the contest. Artists range from award-winning and familiar veterans of the art world to emerging artists.

The Jury

Jeff Lambson: Former curator of Contemporary Art, BYU Museum of Art

Peter Trippi: Editor, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine

Warren Winegar: Art consultant & former VP, Sotheby’s

The jury is diverse. While Lambson and Winegar are both very familiar with LDS art, Trippi is not. Organizers felt it would be important to invite someone outside of the LDS community to judge the art on the merits of its conception and execution exclusively from an artistic perspective alone.. To learn more about the jury, visit here.

The Gospel Vision of the Arts

Not coincidentally these awards have been announced on the 49th anniversary of President Spencer W. Kimball’s address “The Gospel Vision of the Arts.” In it, President Kimball stated that doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would have a unique influence on the Fine Arts:

Take a da Vinci or Michelangelo…and give him a total knowledge of the plan of salvation of God, and personal revelation, and cleanse him, and then take a look at the statues he will carve, and the murals he will paint, and the masterpieces he will produce.

(Spencer W. Kimball, “ The Gospel Vision of the Arts: Education for Eternity,” Speeches of the Year. Provo: Brigham Young University, 1967-68, p. 15.)

Leading up to the 50th anniversary, and beginning with the competition, the Zion Art Society hopes to have a year-long discussion on the role of the fine arts in the Church and in the lives of its members through regular publications, interviews, exhibitions, and events for Society members. Society membership is free; sign up at zionartsociety.org.

Beginning on September 23, many of the contest’s works will be available at www.zionartsociety.org.

Schedule of Events

Exhibition | Sep.  24 to Oct. 15, 10 AM-5 PM, closed Sundays | Anthony’s Fine Art, 401 East 200 South

Winning works and more than 70 submissions can be seen daily at this year’s sponsor, Anthony’s Fine Art and Antiques.

Artist Demonstrations & Visits

Contest winning artists will visit the exhibition to talk about their work and conduct demonstrations. For updates on artists and times, sign up at zionartsociety.org or visit www.facebook.com/zionartsociety

Debate: Should We Paint Christ? | Thursday, September 29, 7-9 PM | Anthony’s Fine Art, 401 East 200 South 

In the early 1960s, the artist Arnold Friberg was commissioned to paint a series of works depicting key moments from the Book of Mormon. According to the artist, as he worked on one key painting, Jesus Christ Appears unto the Nephite People, President David O. McKay forbade Friberg from painting Christ too prominently in the work for fear it would be disrespectful. After McKay’s death, artists and the Church have produced and used the Savior’s image with great frequency. We gather with artists, experts, and the public to host an Oxford style debate on the use and frequency of depicting Christ in LDS art.

Private Tours | By Appointment, eab@zionartsociety.org

Public hours for the exhibit are daily 10AM-5PM, closed Sundays. Group visits and tours directed by artists and organizers are available on request by appointment. Email Eric Biggart eab@zionartsociety.org.

Contest Winners

Jurors awarded works based on both conception and execution. Four works were chosen by the jury for top prizes with ten honorable mentions. One work will also receive the Society Award, given for outstanding achievement.

FIRST PLACE: Niki Covington. Come, I Will Make You Fishers of Men.

SECOND PLACE: Walter Rane. Let Me Go, For the Day Breaks.

THIRD PLACE: Jethro Gillespie. Tally mark Quilt.

FOURTH PLACE: Bryan Hutchinson. Portrait of a Pear Tree (after Matthew 7:17-20)

SOCIETY AWARD (Awarded by the Society to one work that represents a significant contribution, unique conception, and outstanding execution) : Jeffrey Hein. Triumphal Entry.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (In alphabetical order.)

Paige Anderson

Laura Atkinson

Pam Bowman

Ryan Brown

Casey Childs

Nicholas Coleman

Howard Lyon

Gregory Mortenson

Annie Poon

Mary Sauer

Christ Calling Peter and Andrew Warm Patina copy

Christ Calling Peter and Andrew (2015)

Niki Covington

32 x 32 x 10 in

Patinated Plaster

For me, discipleship calls us out of the comfort of our boats, demanding not only our the ‘fishes’ that seemingly sustain us, but our ‘nets’ and other preoccupations in exchange for a higher transcendence. This sculpture represents symbolically and figuratively through the call of Peter and Andrew, our continual struggle and triumph to forsake all and hearken to the Master. Embedded in the composition are sacred geometries that speak to the reciprocating role of Peter who will take the place of Christ as the leader of the church, as well as ideas that relate to ascension.


Let Me Go, For the Day Breaks (2016)

Walter Rane

46 x 24.5 in

Oil on Board

The painting depicts the Old Testament prophet Jacob who wrestled all night with an angel and then demanded a blessing.  It represents the human struggle to connect with and engage the Divine.


Tally mark Quilt (2016)

Jethro Gillespie

72 x 72 in

Thread Muslin (quilt) with approximately 70,000 tally marks hand stitched into it.

“This quilt represents hours of contemplative, repetitive action. A subtle, white on white collection of registered time and attention.

The tally marks at once speak to the idea of God’s promise to Abraham- perhaps my own foolish attempt to count the numberless blessings that come from making covenants with the Lord.

Paradoxically, the tally marks also hearken to my experience of enduring a prison-like confinement, or feeling of isolation that exist in my life, in large part because of my covenants.

This site of accumulation and energy inherently accounts for a focus on process that also forms a product that is ultimately made to offer comfort.”


Portrait of a Pear Tree (after Matthew 7:17-20) (2015)

Bryan Hutchison

Photographs, Wood (table), glass (bowl), dried pears

Variable Sized Installation

For as long as I can remember my family has grown, harvested, and canned or dried food every fall for part of our yearly food supply. Last year my mother bottled some 140 quarts of grape juice, some 100 quarts of pears and peaches, dried some 6 bushels of pears, 5 of apples, 3 of peaches, among others (jams, hot sauce, beans, elderberry juice, asparagus, etc.). I have also grown up frequently hearing or reading scriptural language. I have read many times passages that use seeds (Alma 32, Matthew 13:31), fruit (Matthew 7), and the growers that grow them (Jacob 7) as metaphors or analogies to make sermons understandable and familiar. I harvested every pear from a single tree (in total numbering 637) in response to one of these passages comparing works to fruits. This is a re-visitation and re-interpretation of the particular passage “Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.”


Triumphal Entry (2016)

Jeff Hein

Oil on Canvas

52 x 74 in.

“ . . . A great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” (John12:12-13)


Exhibited Pieces will include:


Adam Abram, The Dawn of Transcendence (2016)

Scott Allred, The Bread and Wine (2014)

Paige Anderson, Unwearied (2016) HONORABLE MENTION

Laura Atkinson, The Wall that was Broken (2016) HONORABLE MENTION

Daniel Bartholomew, “and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold” (2016)

Brandt Berntson, Under Renovation (2015)

Joseph Bleiweiss, A Modern Teresa (2016)

Pam Bowman, Nourished By… (2016) HONORABLE MENTION

Tim Boyle, Apostle Quadriptych (2013)

Tim Boyle, Peace (2016)

Joseph Brickey, The First Born (2015)

Ryan Brown, Charlotte (2016) HONORABLE MENTION


Casey Childs, Tide Pools (2016)

Casey Childs, Tousled (2016) HONORABLE MENTION

Nicholas Coleman, Willie Handcart Company (2016) HONORABLE MENTION

Rob Colvin, Elegy (2016)

Niki Covington, Christ Calling Peter and Andrew (2015) FIRST PLACE

Elizabeth Crowe, He Maketh the Storm Calm (2015)

Rose Datoc Dall, Abide With Us (2016)


Kristin Egan, Clouds and Fields (2015)


Emily Carruth Fuller, “Asleep” From the 10 Virgins Series (2015)


Sandy Freckleton Gagon, Journey of Significance (2016)

Jethro Gillespie, Tally mark Quilt (2016) THIRD PLACE

Mark Graham, Reliquary (2015)

Leslie Graff, 128 Volumes (2015)

Leslie Graff, amid the ups and downs (triple chocolate bundt cake with ganache) (2016)

RJ Gualberto, The Lighthouse (2014)


Michael Aaron Hall, Irreantum (2015)

Cristall Harper, To Live Again (2016)

Jeff Hein, Triumphal Entrance (2016) SOCIETY AWARD

Stephanie Hock, Connecting (2016)

Cori Nelson Hughes, The Mount (2016)

Bryan Hutchison, Portrait of a Pear Tree (after Matthew 7:17-20) (2015) FOURTH PLACE


Melody Jean Johnson, When I Get to Heaven I am Goin’a Have Shoes (2014)


Wendy Keller, Star of Wonder (2015)

Emily King, Extend Your Foundation (2015)

Justin Kunz, On Earth as it is in Heaven (2014)


Weston Lamplugh, Touch of Faith (2015)

Katie Liddiard, Self Portrait at 31 (2016)

Cynthia Lundquist, Steadfast (2016)

Howard Lyon, Come Follow Me (2016)

Howard Lyon, Sala (2016) HONORABLE MENTION


David Malan, Christ Resting (2016)

Gregory Mortenson, The Explorer (2015) HONORABLE MENTION


Alex Nabaum, Restored Cross (2015)


Greg Olson, Just for a Moment (2016)


Jenedy Paige, His Strength is Mine (2016)

Michael Parker, Echo (2016)

Rod Peterson, Even as I am (2014)

Annie Poon, It Did Pierce Them (2016) HONORABLE MENTION


Walter Rane, Let Me Go, For the Day Breaks (2016) SECOND PLACE

Walter Rane, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests (2014)

J. Kirk Richards, Refiner’s Fire (2016)

Katherine Ricks, Mary and Martha (2013)


Colby Sanford, Dinner at Emmaus (2016)

Mary Sauer, I Wandered as a Lonely Cloud (2016) HONORABLE MENTION

Adam Sherwood, Paradise Lost/ Paradise Escaped (2015)

Tiffany Simmons, A Sacred Trust (2015)

Abby Smith, Conflict and Love (2016)

Dennis Smith, Bright New Blue (2016)

Gary Ernest Smith, Seek my Face (2015-2016)

Brad Stephens, The Straight and Narrow Way (2015)

Nick Stephens, Finding Peace (2014)

Tyler Swain, Rust (2016)


Elizabeth Thayer, Water Source (2016)

Roland Thompson, Orbit Swarm (2016)

Jennifer Tolman, Family Tree (2016)

Dan Toone, Worlds Without Number (2013)


Valeriano Ugolini, Akeldama (2015)


Kyle Vincent, Star of Bethlehem (2015)

Steve and Tonya Vistaunet, The Path (2015)

Jenna Von Benedikt, Ancestral Greeting (2016)


Chase Westfall, Blue Barricade (2015)

Justin Wheatley, The Fortress (2016)

Clinton Whiting, Location at a Given Time (2016)

Dan Wilson, My Fathers’ House (2016)