Mormon Arts

Arts – Music – Poetry – Cinema – Television

Cheryl White: A Photo Essay

March 19, 2006 | 7 comments
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Cheryl White:  A Photo Essay

Cheryl White, an amazing artist who lives in Central Texas, was kind enough to open her home and studio to me (and my three rambunctious boys) for a tour last week. This is what we saw. Read more »

Why There Are No Temples On My Walls—or Why I’m A Snob

March 2, 2006 | 116 comments
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Short answer: There are no pictures of temples beautiful enough to hang on my walls. Read more »

Why Jesus Will Not Save You: A Short Spiritual Autobiography

December 20, 2005 | 68 comments
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When I look at my life and pick out its most significant spiritual events, one that stands out is a night when, unbidden and unexpected, God told me that he was angry because I was reading the New Testament. Read more »

Mormonsploitation!!

December 9, 2005 | 57 comments
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That is the name of a film series currently going on at the Pioneer Theater in Manhattan’s East Village. Read more »

Heder-day Night Live

October 9, 2005 | 74 comments
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Last night Jon Heder, star of Napoleon Dynamite, hosted “Saturday Night Live.” I caught a few of the sketches he played in, and one thing was pretty clear: the kid’s no Philip Seymor Hoffman. He’s amiable and sweet-faced, to be sure, but there’s a muddiness to his voice he can’t seem to clear, and his mouth, for all its soft pliability, is suprisingly unagile with dialogue. I haven’t seen his latest effort, a supporting role in the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven, but in my judgment he doesn’t have either the chops or the charisma to make a career... Read more »

Book Review: The Book: A History of the Bible

August 14, 2005 | 10 comments
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I should warn potential readers: there’s a real danger that you will drool on the pages of Christopher de Hamel’s new book. Read more »

Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Boring

June 11, 2005 | 20 comments
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Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Boring

I figure that if Nate can go on and on and on about his garden, I might be indulged if I take you on a tour of my house. Read more »

Toxic Fumes and Memories of Mormon Art

March 30, 2005 | 46 comments
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The summer after my mission I got a job restoring Mormon pine furniture. Over the course of its life, the furniture had been painted many, many times. My job was to painstakingly remove layers of later paint with an exacto knife and Q-tip swabs soaked in paint thinner while leaving the original layer of paint unharmed. It was very slow work — generally no more than a few square inches a day — and it involved breathing in a lot of toxic fumes. Read more »

Here and There in Mormon Art

March 29, 2005 | 19 comments
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Last month I kindly provided my husband some uninterrupted bonding time with his children and flew to New York City for a few days. On the recommendation of a friend (bloggernacle personality D. Fletcher), I stopped by Lane Twitchell’s current art show, “Here & There,” at the Greenberg Van Doren gallery in midtown. Read more »

“Let us walk through the door”

March 27, 2005 | 7 comments
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In honor of this holy day, I offer a favorite poem: “Seven Stanzas for Easter.” John Updike wrote it in 1960 as a university student, as I understand, and published it in a periodical called The Lutheran. ___ Make no mistake: if He rose at all it was as His body; if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fall. Read more »

Eccentrics

March 21, 2005 | 110 comments
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There is a student on the Georgetown campus that makes me uneasy. He has glasses, a bushy beard, heavy features, long brown hair knotted in dreadlocks. I see him often, and he always seems to be wearing the same thing: a camouflage jacket, brown trousers, and a heavy backpack full, I’m convinced, of books on anarchy. Read more »

In the Cultural Hall

January 14, 2005 | 36 comments
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The danger in telling people you write a little bit is that they then assume you can. Last week a friend from my ward called and asked me to write the libretto for a musical show she has been called to coordinate for the stake; a few of the creative decisions had already been made, she told me, but she needed me to write lyrics and a narrative frame for the story. The show is meant to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of our stake, headquartered at the Butler Hill meetinghouse; the stake presidency had designated a “Sound of Music”... Read more »

We Haiku. How ’bout you??

December 22, 2004 | 36 comments
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No one writes enough haiku. And we want to know why? Haiku are like the potato chip of poetry—you can’t have just one. They’re clean, simple, economic, easy to read, and easy to write, provided you don’t take yourself too seriously. Read more »

I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

November 30, 2004 | 13 comments
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It has been over a month since we’ve had a post mentioning Bob Dylan. I’ll happily fix that problem. Read more »

Reading Poetry Aloud

November 26, 2004 | 15 comments
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Now that I finally have a child, one of my enjoyable activities with him is to read to him before bed. The one problem I face is not in selecting poetry I want to read, but learning how to read it properly aloud. I’ve scanned Google for some suggestions. They all tell me what I already know. Don’t put too much emotion in it (over acting). Don’t pause at the line breaks – it makes it choppy. Basically they tell me not to do the thing I can’t seem to keep from doing! Read more »

Very Serious Reflections on the occasion of our first anniversary.

November 19, 2004 | 19 comments
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Times and Seasons has turned the searching glare of its inquiry onto itself. We don’t know exactly the question that was asked, but whether the answers are self-parody or just self-indulgence is up to you. Enjoy. Read more »

Sunday with Prophet Bob

October 18, 2004 | 15 comments
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Last night, after helping get the kids to bed, I went to a Bob Dylan concert. I’ve never been to a rock concert on a Sunday before, but I made an exception for Dylan. I’ve had to pass up seeing him on several other prior occasions because of finals, work, or because the show was on a Sunday. But I just couldn’t bring myself to miss him again. I don’t regret it. Read more »

Mormon Images: Office Decor and the Place of Mormonism in American History

September 20, 2004 | 34 comments
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Mormon Images: Office Decor and the Place of Mormonism in American History

A few weels ago I finished my stint at the public trough and left the service of the federal courts. I know work for the law firm of Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in Washington, DC. The identity of the firm is significant only because this is the firm (and office) where Rex E. Lee practiced law for many years. There is actually a three-foot tall bronze statute of Lee outside the office’s moot court room (named in Lee’s honor). As you might expect, the firm’s DC office hosts a sizable continent of LDS attorneys and their office decor... Read more »

Mormon Creative Outlets

September 15, 2004 | 11 comments
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I was just thinking that I keep stumbling across LDS creative outlets, and that it might be useful to put a list of these in one place. Here are a few that I’m aware of; please let me know, by comments, of any others that I’m missing and they’ll be added to the list: The church music contest. The screenwriting and movie making contest at LDS Box. Irreantum contest (possibly not continuing). AML unpublished novel contest. Meridian, I’m told, may accept submissions if you ask nicely and have something to say. Deseret Book for music, novels, etc (though perhaps... Read more »

The Priesthood of Our Lord

August 30, 2004 | 25 comments
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I speak not of the actual priesthood, but of the hymn. Number 320, set for men’s voices, is (I believe) the only hymn in the current book which is “approved” (i.e., has a notation at the bottom) for singing in rounds. Which we did today, in Sacrament Meeting. Logan Bobo led the first group. He took about a third of the priesthood; I had about two thirds for my group. (The numerical superiority of my contingent didn’t come close to hiding the fact that Logan has, by far, the best male singing voice in the ward.) I thought it... Read more »

The errand of angels is given to women

August 20, 2004 | 7 comments
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In an earlier post, Kristine mentioned the consternation felt by ward members who had to sing feminine-language hymns in a sacrament meeting. Was her experience an isolated incident? Grasshopper reports the result when his own ward sang (gasp!) As Sisters in Zion. Read more »

Music Notes, July 25

July 25, 2004 | 11 comments
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No history lesson today, just my favorite story about one of the hymns we’re singing. The LDS poet Emma Lou Thayne relates this story about her friend, Jan Cook, who moved from Salt Lake City to a remote part of Africa: “ work had taken them and their three small children there, and any meetings attended were in their own living room with only themselves as participants. By their third Christmas, Jan was very homesick. She confessed this to a good friend, a Mennonite; Jan told her how she missed her own people, their traditions, even snow. Her... Read more »

Music Notes, July 11

July 11, 2004 | 18 comments
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I don’t do great Sunday School lessons like Jim and Julie, but I do write short notes on the music for our ward bulletin most weeks. Mostly I shamelessly steal from Karen Lynn Davidson’s book on the hymns, but sometimes I plagiarize from other sources as well, and I occasionally have an original thought. I’m going to start posting my notes here, too, on the off chance that someone might find them interesting. Read more »

A Mormon Image: Gadfield Elm Chapel

June 27, 2004 | 6 comments
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A Mormon Image: Gadfield Elm Chapel

One of the interesting factoids of church history is that for a brief period in the 1840s there were more Mormons in Great Britain than in the United States. Beginning with the mission of the Twelve to England, Mormon missionaries were very successful in Britain, especially in the so-called “potteries” region around Manchester. (Momon missionaries didn’t seem to do so well in London, and Wilford Woodruff had some choice things to say about the city in his journal.) The greatest missionary success came among the so-called United Brethren. The United Brethren were a splinter group that had broken off... Read more »