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J. (Joel) Kirk Richards

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J. (Joel) Kirk Richards

(Provo, Utah, 1976 - )

Born near Brigham Young University in 1976, J. Kirk Richards lived a childhood rich with emphasis on music. In his teens, Richards' interests shifted to the visual arts. He took private art classes in addition to his public education, under artist Clayton Williams. After graduation he was accepted into the art program at B.Y.U., and there he studied with artists including Bruce Smith, Hagen Haltern, Gary Burton, James Christensen, Wulf Barsch, and Joe Ostraff. Richards worked for two years as a missionary near Rome, Italy, and while there was able to visit some of the great Italian works of art. Their influence in Richards' art is seen in his use of subtle browns and rusts. Richards studied briefly with Patrick Devonas in Princeton, New Jersey, and it is to Devonas that Richards attributes his his learning of classical realist skills. J. Kirk Richards is becoming known for his Judeo-Christian themed works and for paintings involving religious themes and spiritual narratives. His work has been featured in several religious publications and exhibitions, including the B.Y.U Museum of Art "Beholding Salvation: The Life of Christ in Word and Image" show, Lee Groberg's PBS documentary and book "Sweetwater Rescue: The Willie and Martin Handcart Company", Helen Whitney's PBS Frontline Documentary entitled "The Mormons: An American Experience", and various other publications. His painting "The Paralytic" is featured on Jeffrey R. Hollands recent book, "Broken Things to Mend", and his other works have often been featured on the covers of the the L.D.S. church's Ensign and Liahona magazines. Most of his work is found in country-wide private collections, but it can also be viewed in the L.D.S. Church Museum of History and Art in Salt Lake City, the Springville Museum of Art, and in the Orem Public Library. Richards continues to work in a wide variety of styles, but still demonstrates a love for the human figure, use of symbolism and metaphor, and emphasis on lyric composition.

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