01 June 2009

Wish Fulfilled

A few months ago I was feeling frustrated with what seemed like an oversupply of angst and negativity sloshing through the Internet and public discourse about the "burdens" and the "struggle" of being gay and LDS, I thought wait a minute, there's a lot that's positive too, we shouldn't forget that. Pres. Hinckley said "In all of living have much fun and laughter; life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." How could I remind people of the good things?

Very suddenly the idea came to me. We need a picture. Worth a thousand words and all that. An image that could remind everyone that being gay doesn't have to mean being morose or self-flaggelating all the time, that there are lots of wonderful things about it. I'd always wanted to commission a painting and now I had the perfect opportunity. I knew a talented artist in Utah who'd be perfect, so I contacted Dan Embree and proposed the idea. He was on it instantly and enthusiastically, and last Saturday night unveiled "Community", his latest and one of his most beautiful creations.

It captures the concept perfectly. A group of God's children standing together, letting their lights shine, peace and trust in their countenances, arms interlinked for connection and support, faces aglow with life, vitality, gratitude and courage. You can read Dan's own thoughts about the painting, and find out how to acquire a print for yourself, here.

When the painting was unveiled, someone asked me what I hoped and intended long-term for it. I think Dan agrees with me that I hope it could become an iconic image, well known for symbolizing the hope and strength and faith and solidarity and mutual support to be found in the gay Mormon community, and not just there, but in any group of people who share a common bond.

Dan Embree is an artist to watch. He has the gift. Thanks Dan for a beautiful creation and for blessing all our lives.


Grant Haws said...

It really is a beautful picture and expresses perfectly the gay Mormon experience...especially what is has become for me. Thanks for sharing it.

UTMOHO said...

Ok this might sound weird but when they took the sheet off the picture the room was filled with an intense spirit. I have not felt that for a very long time. I hope to know when we can purchase a copy for ourselves.

Bravone said...

I wish I could have been there for the unveiling. It is beautiful. Thanks Dan & Alan. I love your work Dan.

Daniel said...

UTMOHO, you just made my night, my week, and my year.

BigRedHammer said...

It is a beautiful picture. I thank all those who work to promote that sense of family and community. The painting is very life-like too. Throughout the party after the unveiling, I'd see it out of the corner of my eye and wonder who those people were.

And btw, it was really good to meet you. This was the first time for someone to know me through my blog, "Hey, you're bigredhammer." it really made me smile.

2Mod4U said...

Sweet! That is awesome!