This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
There sits brown-skinned, round-faced, curly haired Jesus, surrounded by children with Asian features on his lap, next to him and responding to his outstretched hand.
It is a familiar scene for Mormon artists, but not a familiar Son of God. Christ's look departs from the faith's typical blue-eyed Europeanesque depictions
That could be because the piece, titled "Early Morning With the Savior," was painted by Cambodian Latter-day Saint Sopheap Nhem.
"Nhem depicts the children of Cambodia surrounding Jesus, who knows each one of them individually and gathers them into his outstretched arms," according to a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. " ... The artist chose the colors of pink and orange because they are, for her, associated with peace and regality, symbolic of the Savior himself."
The work is featured in the 10th International Art Competition sponsored by the LDS Church History Museum in downtown Salt Lake City.
It was chosen for display from 944 submissions from 40 countries by a five-member jury.
Peggy Fletcher Stack