J Kirk Richards

J Kirk Richards

J Kirk Richards

“Some people find peace in things that are pretty–the picture of the calm only, ignoring the storm that just passed. I don’t find peace there. Rather, I find beauty in struggles–in the great swirl of an infinite universe that exists in contrasts. There is a myriad of lessons to be learned from examining the whole.

I believe in the divine, and my artwork is an ongoing attempt to reach out towards divinity. Art documents my wrestle with the angel–my struggle to reconcile heaven with earth, light with dirt, spirit with passion.”


J. Kirk Richards is a favorite among admirers of contemporary spiritual artwork. His love of the textural, the poetic, and the mysterious has translated into a unique take on traditional Judeo-Christian themes.

Richards attributes much of his love for the arts to an early emphasis on musical training in his parents’ home. Turning then from music to visual arts, Kirk studied with painters Clayton Williams, Bruce Hixson Smith, Patrick Devonas, Hagen Haltern, Gary and Jennifer Barton, James Christensen, Wulf Barsch, Joe Ostraff, and others.

Two years in Rome influenced Richards’ palette, which often consists of subdued browns and rusts.

Kirk is best known for his contributions to the BYU Museum of Art exhibit Beholding Salvation: The Life of Christ in Word and Image; for his contributions to Helen Whitney’s PBS Frontline Documentary entitled The Mormons: An American Experience; for the cover image of Jeffrey R. Holland’s book, Broken Things to Mend; and for his imagery on the cover of BYU Studies Magazine and in the Ensign, Liahona and Upper Room publications.

Kirk and his wife, Amy Tolk Richards, have four creative children. They split their time between their home in Woodland Hills and their country studio in the small town of Redmond, Utah.

Richards’ work is mostly found in private collections throughout the country.

HONORS/AWARDS

-2012, Merit Award (for “Christ and the Fishermen (Lovest Thou Me More Than These?)”), Museum of Church History and Art 9th International Art Competition, Salt Lake City, Utah, March – October, 2012.

-2011, 2nd Place Oil Painting (for “Woman and Man Beneath Their Vine”), Southern Virginia University Annual Invitational.

-2009, Merit Award (for sculpture “Winged Figure I”), Spring Salon, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah, April 16 – July 5, 2009.

-2009, Merit Award (for “Greatest in the Kingdom II”), Museum of Church History and Art 8th International Art Competition, “Remembering the Great Things of God”, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 20 – October 11, 2009.

-2008, Director’s Choice Award (for “Greatest in the Kingdom II”), 23rd Annual Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah Fine Art Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT.

-2008, Finalist in “The Artist’s Magazine” 25th Annual Art Competition for “Harvest”, and will be featured in the December issue of the magazine.

-2008, First Place Award (for “Harvest”), Twenty-First Robert N. & Peggy Sears 2008 Dixie State Invitational Art Show, Feb. 15 – March 22, 2008, St. George, UT.

-2007, Director’s Choice Award (for “Gethsemane”), 22nd Annual Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah Fine Art Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2007, Award-Winning Finalist in the National Best Books 2007 Awards in the category of “Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction with Audio CD” for “The Big Move,” written and illustrated by J. Kirk Richards.

-2007, Finalist in “The Artist’s Magazine” 24th Annual Art Competition for “Cherubim & A Flaming Sword” and “Crown of Blossoms,” and will be featured in the December issue of the magazine.

-2007, First Place for Mixed Media Artwork (for “Family Prayer”), Twentieth Robert N. & Peggy Sears 2007 Dixie State Invitational Art Show, St. George, UT

-2006, Curator’s Award (for “Nicodemus), Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah Fine Art Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2006, Invited to be a Juror for the Provo Arts Council Freedom Festival Fine Art Exhibit, Provo, UT

-2006, Merit Award (for “Asenath”), 82nd Annual Spring Salon, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2006, First Place Oil Painting (for “Crown of Blossoms”), Southern Virginia University Third Annual Shenandoah Invitational Art Show, Southern Virginia University, Buena Vista, VA

-2006, Award of Merit (for “Baptism II”), Seventh International Art Competition, Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City, UT

-2006, First Place Award (for “Harvest”), Bountiful/Davis Art Center Statewide Art Competition, Bountiful/Davis Art Center, Bountiful, UT

-2005, Director’s Choice Award (for “Crucifixion”) and Purchase Award (for “Keepers of the City”), Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah Fine Art Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2005, First Place Award (for “Crown of Blossoms”) and Honorable Mention Award (for “Baptism II”), Provo Arts Council Freedom Festival Fine Art Exhibit, Harris Fine Art Center, Provo, UT

-2004, Jurors’ First Place Award (for “Grey Day Golgotha”), Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah Fine Art Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2004, Jurors’ First Place Award (for “Harvest”), 80th Annual Spring Salon, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2003, Jurors’ Second Place Award (for “The Eleventh Hour”), Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah Fine Art Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2003, TN Art League Award and People’s Choice Award (for “Rose of Sharon”), Tennessee Art League Juried Show, Leu Gallery, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

-2003, Purchase Award (for “Son of Man”), Sixth International Art Competition, Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City, UT

-2003, Winner of the Boult, Cummings, Conners, Berry PLC Holiday Art Competition, Nashville, TN

-2002, Award of Excellence and Best Painting in Show (for “Cherubim & A Flaming Sword”), Renaissance Center Juried Show, Dickson, TN

-2002, Kirk was the youngest of 220 Utah artists invited to participate in the Winter Olympics 150-Year Retrospective of Utah Artists Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

-2000, Director’s Choice Award (for “Jesus Teaches the Parable of the Prodigal Son”) and Purchase Award (for “Daughter of Jairus”), Religious and Spiritual Art of Utah Fine Art Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT