I still remember…

..that first moment… when he took my breath away

…that second moment… when my heart stopped

At the Beholding Salvation Exhibit produced by BYU’s Museum of Art, opening night.



heart swelling,

eyes devouring

every piece,


by small


And then…

[piece 1]


a tear?


…. long …pause…




looking over shoulder


Wait for me, I promise.

Walk on.

Nothing compares, I think.

Nothing can compare, I think.


[piece 2]

….. Just me … Just this piece …

Nothing else exists

We are alone.






I returned to gaze at these pieces time and again. Months later, the day came when the doors closed on this exhibit, and I hurt that I would probably never see the originals again. The replicas captured not an essence of the vivid, striking (yet subtle!) beauty of the originals.

I have this thing for paintings. There was a time that I would have called this thing a testimony-growing experience, but perhaps a more appropriate phrase would involve less of God … more of me — who I have been, who I am, and that other little bit of me that makes its appearance occasionally that shows who I will be.

As you saw, I did not include images or links to the particular pieces that struck me so many years ago. I can’t bear to, to be honest. Doing so reminds me of walking through Las Vegas and seeing how cheap a replica it is of Paris, of Italy, of New York. My recommendation would be to go catch a show of J. Kirk Richards yourself. Yes, J. Kirk Richards. I can’t rightly put a replica up here, but I will link to his work for you to browse through:


Love him. We both do. His work is easy enough to spot — his style is very distinct — and Dan and I have been pleasantly surprised to encounter some of his pieces around at different galleries or in stores. Tonight, he had an open gallery and studio tour at his (gorgeous) house in woodland hills, and while it took us an hour point five to get over there, we made it. We will always make it, for J. Kirk Richards.


3 responses to “I still remember…

  • llcall

    I still remember his “Baptism of Christ” piece from the Beholding Salvation exhibit — it was both my and Neal’s favorite. I can still picture it in my mind so clearly, but you’re so right, online reproduction don’t even come close to the in-person experience.

  • Bre

    My favorite from that Beholding Salvation exhibit was also a Richards, but my favorite was “Gethsemane.” It was bold in a way most LDS artists don’t do bold, especially where Christ and His sufferings are concerned. I’m jealous that you got to go to the studio tour.

  • podpeas

    What a fitting group of friends I have! Those were the painting I was referring to!

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