Praiseworthy Arts—Giving Earthly Souls a Glimpse of Heaven
Greatest in the Kingdom © J Kirk Richards
My interest in Christian and inspirational art has always been keen. I am astonished at the sensitivity and spirit of so many excellent artists whose work lifts our souls. In an effort to promote these works of art, in the year 2000 I formed Praiseworthy Arts, which started off simply by assisting individual artists and collecting their art, but has since become a major aspect of my business endeavors. Through the years Praiseworthy Arts has consistently sponsored art exhibits, hosted festivals and events, written news articles, and administered a website to showcase these fine artists all in one convenient location (a time-consuming act of love). For, as I became acquainted with increasingly more artists I wanted to be able to go to one main website and scroll down through the artists' names and their images, then have the ability to connect directly to their own websites with a click of the button. I figured the public would also appreciate and use such a one-stop online directory – and that's when www.PraiseworthyArts.com was created. I worked hard to make it a mighty tool in promoting Mormon artists and making it easier to find their works. However, as it became more popular I realized a bigger vision was necessary – a vision that included forming an actual art association that could benefit the hundreds of Utah Mormon artists with whom I had become acquainted and that had the potential of expanding to include thousands more.
The Society of Mormon Artists—S.O.M.A.
Dr. Vern Swanson, who served as the adviser to Praiseworthy Arts, shared this same vision of an association for Mormon artists. We talked about the idea for a couple of years, then in 2016 he visited my home and brought his "Manifesto" for the Society of Mormon Artists. We became more serious about it at that point, and in April of 2017, along with Dr. Herman du Toit we officially founded the organization and obtained 501(c)(3) status. For more information please visit: www.SocietyOfMormonArtists.org