|PROVO, UTAH - SEPTEMBER 1, 2003
Artist J. Kirk Richards is
wrapping up what has been a busy but successful
recently moved back to Provo
where he had been living the last few years. His
“Son of Man” painting won a purchase award (one
of six out of 700 entries) in the Church’s
International Art Competition.
The inside back cover of the August issue of
depicts his painting, “The Five Prepared.”
His artwork was also displayed in the June issue
of the Ensign.
And most recently, he unveiled a new painting
during Education Week at the BYU Bookstore.
Kirk and Amy Richards at their home and studio in
Such is the life of an artist with overwhelming
At the young age of 27, Kirk is perhaps best
described as a Renaissance man.
There is no question that he is an extremely
talented artist. He is also an accomplished
musician, vocalist, composer and illustrator.
Although he is making a living primarily
through his paintings, he also recently released a
CD, "Granted" and is promoting a
children's book he illustrated, The Carpenter of
Galilee & The Welcoming Door.
“I love to do many
things," Kirk said in a recent interview at his
home in Provo. "Yes, I paint 30 to 40 hours a week, but I
also don’t want to give up other things that add
such meaning to my life.
Music is one of those things.”
One wonders if Kirk's classical training in music
brings much of the depth and richness to his
of Man" by J. Kirk Richards
painting is different than the one by the same
title, which won the Purchase Award in the Church's
International Art Competition
Through his paintings, one
catches a glimpse into Kirk's soul. In the
interview, Kirk commented that he wants his
testimony to come through in his artwork in a
meaningful and powerful way. His subject matter is primarily
religious, but the way he approaches and paints his
subjects is widely varied. Kirk describes his
style as ranging from
abstract modernist to more strict
A tour of his gallery and
studio reveals the variety of his work.
Some of his paintings look like a modern Carl
Bloch: realistic, with a hint of modernism in the way he
incorporates a liberal use of earth tones and
works are more geometric and much more symbolic.
Some resemble imagery from a Tolkien
novel and are somewhat reminiscent of paintings by
Regardless of the style, his paintings are
thought-provoking and deeply beautiful. (Full
disclosure: I own three of Kirk's paintings -- each
is distinct in style and beauty.)
in progress at his studio in Provo
These multiple styles have led some to criticize
Kirk as one who is still in need of maturing.
It has been said that he does not yet have a single and distinct
after spending an hour with him and his wife, Amy,
one walks away with the impression that
Kirk is mature beyond his years. He has a
passion for life
and has seized the opportunity to explore and develop
his talents in
multiple areas -- like any true Renaissance man.
Richards on the Web;
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints'
International Art Competition;
Contact Kirk at (801) 375-3455 or by e-mail at email@example.com