Monday, February 28, 2011

The First Time I Fell in Love

I've always loved Salt Lake, but I don't know if I'll love it any more than I did on a particular day in May of 2009. The intensely bright blue sky framed white cotton-candy shaped clouds. A gentle breeze filled the air as we walked around Salt Lake, making our way from the library, to Gateway Mall, and then to Temple Square. I don't consider it a good visit to Salt Lake unless I can make a quick stop at Temple Square.

The person I was with, indulged me when I insisted that we had to take a peek inside the Conference Center. The building itself is a masterpiece, but then when you consider the art inside, it's absolutely mind blowing.

Little did I know, the church was housing its 8th International Art Show inside the Conference Center. This was the moment I fell in love with art.

Late afternoon sunlight filtered through the windows, and dust motes floated through the air as I walked toward the first painting: Gethsamene Grove by Derek Hegsted. There was piano music playing children's hymns from the gallery above. And my eyes moistened as the sun light reflected off the paint, giving the work an ethereal glow. And I stood there. Just looking at it for several minutes. The entire exhibit was filled with paintings that effected me just as deeply. It's difficult to describe even now.

My friend and I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring LDS art from all over the world. There were sculptures, quilts, paintings, and stained glass. It was incredible; nothing like the kitsch Greg Olson paintings most people categorize as LDS art.
It felt like we were the only two people there, dancing around each other in this pre-memorized way, pointing out the small breath-taking details of some pieces, while giving each other the space to look at a piece alone if we needed to.

So you can imagine why I almost fell over in my chair when I heard the art show is coming back this summer.

I don't know if its possible to repeat perfection.

But I can't wait to find out.

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