Summarized by Jennifer Livingston
LDS artist known for western subjects expresses religious beliefs on canvas
Orem UT Daily Journal 4May00 A2
By Laurie Williams Sowby: Journal Publications
PROVO, UTAH -- Artist Gary L. Kapp was recently
honored by the Provo Arts Council for his local
artistic contributions to the community. The annual
award was presented in a reception May 7 held on the
lower level of the Utah County Courthouse.
Kapp first gained public attention for his paintings
of the American West. "Cowboys and Indians have kept
food on the table," says Kapp, but his real passion is
painting scenes and events from the Book of Mormon.
Kapp says his first inspirations came from Arnold
Frieberg's Book of Mormon paintings he saw reproduced
"The Children's Friend" in his youth.
"Those paintings just blew me away. I looked at them
for hours," says Kapp.
Many of Kapp's religious paintings have been featured
in the LDS magazine Ensign over the past few years.
Kapp's painting entitled "The First Vision" can be
found on the cover of the May issue of the Ensign.
This painting was commissioned by Kapp's sister,
composer Janice Kapp Perry.
In fact, much of Kapp's success has been made possible
with the help of interested patrons of the arts who
have helped fund his endeavors. One such client,
David Larsen, commented, "The arts don't exist without
philanthropists. We can't underestimate the value of
religious art to bring to life a story that many of us
can't visualize otherwise."
While Kapp continues to paint Western scenes and
landscapes, he admits that he prefers painting
religious art. Kapp is encouraged by these words from
former LDS President Ezra Taft Benson: "I have seen a
vision of artists putting into film, drama,
literature, music and paintings great themes from the
book of Mormon."
Kapp is thankful his dreams to paint important moments
in Book of Mormon history are finally being realized.
"All I've ever wanted to do is paint the Book of
Mormon," says Kapp.