Monthly Archives: May 2015

Miracles of Christ: A Virtual Exhibit

Tyson Snow

Whereas I Was Blind, Now I See by Tyson Snow (above).

The Church History Museum on Temple Square is closed for almost a year for extensive renovations, but they are virtually exhibiting the Miracles of Christ. The microsite includes pieces from their collection and submissions for the triennial International Art Competition.

Christ Healing a Man Blind from Birth by Brian Kershisnik (below).

Brian Kershisnik

They Were All Filled by Walter Rane (below).

Walter Rane

Raising the Daughter of Jairus by Wilson Ong (below).

Wilson Ong

Alyssa Scott: Paper Cut Creations


Alyssa Scott is an illustrator, animator, and landscape painter living in San Jose, California. She graduated from BYU with a degree in illustration and dabbles in many creative fields.

You have lived in Utah, New Hampshire, and now California. How does East Coast Mormon Art differ from West Coast? Hmm…that’s an interesting question. There are far fewer members of the Church on the East Coast, so I would say that the West Coast definitely has a larger and more established community. Most of the artists I can think of who center their work on religious themes live on the West Coast. But there are a lot of Mormon artists on the East Coast working in different industries. And I think the community is growing out there. I know the BYU alumni association in New England has started hosting an annual Mormon Art Show. Also, artists J Kirk Richards and Julia Blake transformed an old church in Massachusetts into a studio to host workshops and residencies. There are some great things happening out there.

You spent a few years working for J Kirk Richards. What did you learn about art as a career? I loved working with Kirk—he’s so insightful! I learned a lot about his painting process and other business tips, but the thing I learned from him that I think about the most actually has to do with faith. To have a career in art, you have to have faith. You have to have faith in yourself and faith that if you work your hardest, good things will happen for you. I know it takes time to build up momentum. It did with him, so you have to be patient through that. But I’ve seen the amount of projects he works on and the new ideas he tries, and that hard work always made me feel like if I worked hard too, things would fall into place.

You won a contest for your print of the Great Gatsby. Yes, Warner Bros had an art contest when the film “The Great Gatsby” was about to come out in 2013. They picked my piece and they flew me and my husband out to New York City to attend the premiere. It was the most surreal experience. We had to get all dressed up for the red carpet, and the director Baz Luhrmann came to meet us. He gave some great encouragement for pursuing a career in the arts. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet Leo.

angelcut2web paperquailalyssascottmonkey

Visit Alyssa Scott’s website.

Follow Alyssa Scott on Instagram.

Alyssa Scott

Margaret Morrison: Painting with High Fructose Corn Syrup

Margaret Morrison sweetnothings

Margaret Morrison created a collection of oil paintings called Larger than Life that is composed of massive sugary images that make any of us feel five years-old. Morrison lives and paints in Athens, Georgia. She is an assistant professor of drawing and painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia.

When did you feel you arrived as an artist? That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I’ll ever feel that I’ve “arrived.” Perhaps that’s what keeps me in my studio, searching for that elusive moment, the equilibrium between my work and my inner voice. The closest that I’ve ever come to a Cinderella moment was when John Woodward of Woodward Gallery in New York City called me out of the blue, over twenty years ago and asked me if I’d be interested in a solo exhibition at the Round About Theater gallery in Times Square. Believe me, I was pinching myself. The exhibition was received so well, that John and Kristine Woodward asked me to be in their stable and I’ve been represented by Woodward Gallery ever since.

Your series Larger than Life was so fresh and fun. How was it received in the art community? Just prior to Larger than Life I had been working on a series of gloomy, somewhat melancholy figure paintings full of portent and pathos. Right in the middle of this, I was hit sideways by a diagnosis of breast cancer. I realized that as part of my spiritual therapy, I needed to surround myself with subject matter that would positively feed my soul. I left the dark, brooding work behind and plunged full steam ahead with a brand new body of work based on my ultimate comfort foods. I quite literally surrounded myself with sweet energy. Larger than Life was exceptionally well received by the public, particularly because the economy had just bottomed out and people everywhere, were seeking healing subject matter. As a matter of fact, New Yorkers bought more candy during this economic down turn more than any other time, perhaps they were looking backward to the safety of their childhoods. I’m happy to report that I have fully recovered from cancer.

Do your two worlds as a Mormon and an artist ever not fit together? When people outside the Wasatch Front find out that I’m a Mormon, they tend to consider me as an interesting curiosity. They honestly don’t know what to make of me but that’s okay.

Larger than Life

Margaret Morrison 2 Margaret Morrison 3 Margaret Morrison 1Margaret Morrison bears wrote about Larger than Life: “Food is nearly as ubiquitous a subject in art history as the Madonna and child. Artists seem to have been particularly fond of the simple bowl of fruit, from the Renaissance masters through Cézanne and beyond. And the still life with fruit is one of the first subjects art students tackle. It makes sense; fruit has built-in eye appeal, with interesting colors, shapes and textures. But instead of nature’s candy, Morrison satisfies our visual sweet tooth with the glossy, too-red glaze on a candy apple and the stained-glass-like transparency of gummy bears… Yet some of the paintings are almost scary. I mean, gelatinous gummy worms are kind of grotesque at normal size; magnified to several feet they are downright freakish. And a quartet of giganto gummy bears, so adorable at half an inch, seem to be marching menacingly toward us, bent on our sugary destruction.”

Margaret Morrison 4

Images courtesy Margaret Morrison/Woodward Gallery/

Visit Woodward Gallery’s website.


Peder Singleton: Articles of Faith Letterpress


Peder Singleton wanted to create an elegant version of the Articles of Faith and the final result is his letterpress project, We Believe. He documented each step of the project including the actually printing of the letterpress. Singleton explains, “I wanted to emphasize the simple nature of the content by placing the large header at the top that boldly proclaims, We Believe, as it plays off of the number 13.” Singleton is a talented graphic designer based in Salt Lake City, Utah and he graduated from the University of Utah. He is currently the Art Director for

The Articles of Faith are a beloved bill of rights for the Mormon culture—even though they were not originally intended as such. Written by Joseph Smith as part of a letter to newspaper editor John Wentworth they enumerate many of the basic tenants of Mormonism (sans the temple). These thirteen tenants are memorized by Mormon children around the world. According to my nine year-old, the going rate for reciting all 13 is a full-size Baby Ruth.

What is the time break-down on a letterpress project? My first Church print The Family took literally over a year to create from the time that I had the idea to final design. With a full-time job, kids, and triathlon training, there’s not a lot of extra time for side projects. But it was something that I really wanted to do, so I slowly started gathering research—visual inspiration, typography reference, symbolism, etc. It was also the one that I spent the most time deciding the visual style. Lots of pencil sketches. Lots of type exploration—both hand-drawn and digital. Lots of time in Illustrator, finessing lines. The only hassles I ever really experience are with shipping. It’s not very frequent, but sometimes a tube gets smashed or lost. But with shipping insurance and tracking, it’s not too big of a deal. I’m just bummed when people get a print that’s damaged and they have to wait for another one to get there.

What’s been the response to your We Believe Letterpress? It’s been great. Those who order it have given very positive feedback. It’s quite a bit more simple than The Living Christ, which has tons of symbolism and meaning designed into it. The point of the We Believe print is that it is simple. It’s about the basic beliefs of the Church, so I wanted the design to reflect that. The part that’s most fun about this one is when someone discovers the number 13 in the B.

How would you describe the Mormon art world today? It’s an interesting place today. For years, one or two large retailers pretty much offered the same, culturally homogenized products. With the ease of selling online now, so many artists and designers have been able to get their products out there. It’s refreshing seeing different artwork out there now. And it’s exciting to see that these independent makers can publish work completely on their own. People have told me that they’re excited to have a piece of art that they actually want to hang in their home. I think we’re more likely to see younger people now having more Church related art. We’re seeing a lot more art that people can identify with.







Purchase the Articles of Faith letterpress at Athenaeum Press.

Follow Peder Singleton on Instagram.

Visit Peder Singleton’s portfolio on Behance.

Peder Singleton

The Birds of Ashmae Hoiland

Ashmae Pink Flamingo

Ashmae Hoiland is a prolific artist, teacher, and writer with a successful website and online shop. She Kickstarted two childrens books and is working on a new series called We Brave Women. She lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband and two kids.

Among your many projects I want to focus on your bird series. It’s funny because I actually started to draw and paint the birds after I graduated with both my BFA and MFA. I was in Portland for a summer and feeling pretty inadequate for the real world and oddly enough, really afraid of drawing. I had learned to paint, do installation work, think critically about art, but somehow, all the way through school, I had avoided much drawing because it terrified me. I just felt no good at it at all and didn’t want everyone to see me fail. I started painting the birds and fish because they felt totally non-intimidating and I knew that I could just have fun with them. They felt joyful and funny and full of good lines. I painted everyday for hours and I genuinely loved it. At that point, I didn’t have a website, or any sort of online presence, so I made the fish and birds with kids I knew in mind.

When you paint birds and animals what do you paint from? What governs your choice for colors? When I look for a subject, I often look for the ugly or outcast animal, in this case, bird. I love the ones that are a little bit awkward and maybe under-represented. I look for ones that seem to be saying something funny. As for colors, I just love color. I can’t say it boldly enough, I just really love love color. It delights me and probably out of the whole art making process, seems the thing that is most natural for me.

What size of paintings do you prefer to work with? I live in a small grad student apartment (my husband is working on his PhD), and I have two children, ages 2 and 4, so I work small. Like the size I can keep in a drawer, or that my kids can pull out and look at. Maybe at some point I’ll work much bigger, but I love to see my work in the hands of people, so I work to that end.

You completed a successful book project on Kickstarter. How was that experience? What would you do differently next time?  I did publish my first two children’s books (The Lost Party, Animal Parade) through the funds I received on Kickstarter. It was a wonderful and invigorating process to see people rally around an idea and push to see it come to fruition. I shed a lot of tears of gratitude during that month because, as always, I lacked a lot of confidence and hardly expected to make it to my goal, let alone go $10,000 beyond that. There were definitely times of stress as I took on the entire process of writing, illustrating, designing, printing and marketing both books. Don’t do that. Hire out to people who do specific things well. I learned so much in the process and am glad that I do know how to format a book, design layouts, work with printers across seas, but next time, I’ll just stick to the writing and illustrating.


Ashmae Utah Sandhill Crane


Ashmae 2Ashmae Ostrich 1


Ashmae Quad



Visit website
Follow on Instagram