'Annual Springville show explores the wrestle with God through art'

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I wrote about an art exhibit in Springville:

Spirituality and religion have been the subjects of art for generations, but each individual artist has a different approach toward depicting the divine. That diversity of approaches and perspectives is on display at the Springville Museum of Art for the 32nd annual Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah show.

Megan Knobloch Geilman, a Mormon, is one of the artists in the show this year. Her work features composed photographs, including one in which a model portrays the Mormon pioneer Jane Manning James. Geilman said that her work starts from an idea of an image, and then she sets out to figure out what it means.

“I had this image pop in my head, and then the woman who is the model is a huge inspiration to me of faith and dedication, which totally fits in with Jane Manning James, I think,” Geilman said. “Her name is J.V. Agnew, and she is in my home ward in San Diego, California, and she was my Sunday School teacher when I was 14, 15, and she was just a huge influence on my testimony, and so I think it’s just fitting to me personally.”

Although the art in the exhibit depicts religious practice, the art on display is not necessarily meant to teach religious lessons. Brian Kershisnik, another of the artists featuring new work in the show, said the large painting he has in the show, “Wrestling the Angel,” was born out of a spiritual “struggle.”

“Some people very much approach (religious art) from the position of, ‘I know this, and I am going to teach you it,’ and I’m not interested in doing that,” Kershisnik said. “I’m more interested in saying, ‘I’m looking for this.’ So painting, in this instance, a struggle with an angel, is kind of more where my religious art comes from. It comes from that struggle.”

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