Cambodian artist Sopheap Nhem is a featured artist in the 10th International Art Competition hosted by the Church’s history department.
The purposes of the international art competitions are, first, to discover and showcase the breadth of Latter-day Saint artists, and second, to help develop the Church History Museum art collection.
Nhem has titled her work, ‘Early Morning with the Savior.’ Nhem depicts the children of Cambodia surrounding Jesus, who knows each one of them individually and gathers them into His outstretched arms. They look to Him and gather happily around Him. The artist chose the colors of pink and orange because they are, for her, associated with peace and regality, symbolic of the Savior Himself. Said Jesus, “Suffer little children to come unto me, . . . for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).
The art competition displays the diversity of Latter-day Saints culture and makes manifest the various styles, techniques, media and voices of Mormon art. Such efforts expand the canon from the familiar images that adorn the halls of ward buildings to include new approaches to depicting beloved gospel subjects, thereby adding to our cultural legacy and visual heritage.
Drawing from 944 submissions from over 40 countries, a five-member jury chose these selections. Artists submitted works responding to the theme “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”, which aligns with the 2015 Sunday School curriculum.
Ultimately, it is the hope of the Church History Museum that visitors will see Jesus the Christ in new and distinct ways, thereby enlivening their understanding of the Man of Galilee.