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Mormon Arts Center Festival, New York

June 29 @ 8:00 am - July 1 @ 5:00 pm

The Festival will include a keynote address, symposium, gallery exhibition, concerts and presentations featuring Mormon artists. These will take place at multiple venues inside Riverside Church in New York City.

On June 29, “a day of scholarship organized by Richard and Claudia Bushman with presentations from a variety of scholars exploring Kimball’s artistic call to arms—where are we now, its influence on a generation of Mormon Artists.”


  • Campbell Gray (art museum director, curator, and scholar) – Director, The University of Queensland Art Museum (Queensland, Australia) 2011-present; formerly Director, Brigham Young University Museum of Art (1996-2011)
  • Michael Hicks (composer and scholar) – Author of Mormonism and Music: A History (1989) and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography) (2015); founder of Group for New Music (BYU); editor of the journal American Music (2007-2010); professor of music (BYU)
  • Jared Hickman (author and scholar) – Author of Race and Radicalism in the Age of Atlantic Slavery and co-author of Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon (both, Oxford University Press, 2016); associate professor of English, Johns Hopkins University Adam S. Miller (author and scholar) – Author of Future Mormon, Essays in Mormon Theology (2016) and Letters to a Young Mormon (2013), professor of philosophy at Collin College (McKinney, TX), and director of Mormon Theology Seminar
  • Glen Nelson (author, curator, and scholar) – Founder and director, Mormon Artists Group (1999-present), author of Mormons at the Met (2012), librettist for the operas The Book of Gold, The Singer’s Romance, and The Dead (all with composer Murray Boren), curator and author of the forthcoming retrospective at the Church History Museum (Salt Lake City, UT), Joseph Paul Vorst (2017)
  • Steven L. Peck (novelist and scholar) – Author of The Scholar of Moab (2011) and A Short Stay in Hell (2012); professor of biology (BYU)
  • Jana Riess (author and editor) – Author of Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor (2011); co-author, Mormonism for Dummies (2005), co-author of Mormonism and American Politics (2015); former religion book editor for Publishers Weekly
  • Eric Samuelsen (playwright and critic) – Retired professor of theatre (BYU); author of two dozen plays, including Gadianton (1996), The Seating of Senator Smoot (1996), The Way We’re Wired (1999), Family (2005), and Amerigo (2010); critic/correspondent and blogger/founder of Mormon Iconoclast
  • Paul L. Anderson (architectural historian and curator) – former president of the Mormon History Association (2007-2008), curator at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art
  • Kristine Haglund (historian and editor) – Current editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
  • “Art + Belief” – A documentary film in progress by painter and scholar Nathan Florence about the 1966 idealists, Trevor Southey, Neil Hadlock, Dennis Smith, and Gary Ernest Smith, who sought to form a Mormon artist’s commune
  • “The Journey and Travails of Corianton” – A performance/screening/lecture on the strange history of early Mormon rarities—the novel, Corianton (1889) by B. H. Roberts; the play with music, Corianton: An Aztec Romance (1912) by Orestes Utah Bean and Harold Orlob (a giant flop on Broadway, lasting only six performances); and finally the lavish Hollywood film, Corianton: A Story of Unholy Love (1931); including excerpts from the novel, play, and film
  • Laura Allred Hurtado: Mormon Art Now – A presentation with images about the making and meaning of new contemporary Mormon art by the curator of the Festival exhibition.
  • “The Music of Francisco Estévez: An Introduction” presented by author and composer Nathan Thatcher about one of the most important (and until now, unknown) contemporary composers in the Church
  • “Artists in Conversation,” a series of one-hour presentations, demonstrations, screenings, and readings by some of the most exciting Mormon artists working today
  • Paintings of Heinrich Hofmann at Riverside Church, a guided tour of three original paintings by Johann Michael Ferdinand Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911) in the collection of Riverside Church
  • An interview with Argentine artist Jorge Cocco Santangelo about his cubist religious works commissioned by the Church
  • Deseret String Quartet/Readings – an informal gathering with the Quartet playing/sightreading through a variety of Mormon composers’ chamber music works with audience feedback and Q&A


June 29 @ 8:00 am
July 1 @ 5:00 pm


Unnamed Organizer


Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive, New York, NY
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