Utah Artists Create Murals for LDS Temples Around the World

Utah Artists Create Murals for LDS Temples Around the World

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Carole Mikita reporting In the quiet farming community of Wallsburg, Utah, a group of artists are working feverishly on murals destined for a new building halfway around the world.

The setting is the Round Valley, considered sacred by Native Americans. Animals would come for shelter here in the winter. In this valley is the Prickly Rock Art Studio. The artists who work here create paintings destined for other sacred places."

One half is an art gallery, ...the other, a studio... the creative process sometimes individual... but often this space is filled with huge paintings... that will never be sold and seen by few...

These murals will be installed in a Latter-day Saint temple in Nigeria.

Linda Curley Christensen: "Isaiah...'Get thee up into a high mountain'...He literally wanted his people to go to that place, where they could talk with the Lord and learn from him..."

Linda Curley Christensen heads the team... in her artistic visions, she sees scriptural passages. She is also able to create landscapes about countries she's never visited.

Linda Curley Christensen, Temple Mural Artist: "I know what the air temperature feels like in Nigeria... Because when I close my eyes, I can feel it, I can visualize it..."

Her team has created scores of murals for temples throughout the world... this one Accra, Ghana.... and the new one about to be dedicated in New York City.

The murals are accomplished through the blending of talents. The works of Charles Dayton focus on the nobility of the landscape and the creatures who live there.

Charles Dayton, Utah artist: "There's a philosophy that if you can paint a horse, well you can paint any animal...it's just a matter of observation and proportion and that type of thing..."

Linda's husband, Greg, stretches the canvas... he also builds the huge, moveable easels.

Greg Christensen, Temple Canvas and Easel Builder: "If you go to a cabinet shop, you say, 'I need this framed' ... They say, 'Well, we'll do it in six months' and she had to have it in six days..."

These artists say what they ultimately create has taken faith to accomplish...

Linda "I've heard many great quotes about how every stroke creates the spirit...in which it's painted..."

Many times they recall stepping from ignorance to inspiration... from darkness to light... the spiritual parallel, they say, is always with them

Once they are finished, the temple murals will be removed from the frames, rolled and shipped to Nigeria.

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