Dan Wilson: Mormon Artist
Dan Wilson is an award-winning artist whose work deals primarily with the spiritual and religious. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of his paintings hangs in the Orlando Florida Temple. He had completed six paintings for temples when he was asked to create a painting for the newly renovated Washington D.C. Temple. Entitled "His Return," it has been praised for its contribution to the temple's new art that reflects the Church's global membership. It portrays the Savior’s return in His glory accompanied by hundreds of heralding angels. He says the Temple Department gave him the idea for the painting.
Wilson doodled on everything since he was a child. “My first sale was in seventh grade to one of my teachers. She had me draw John Wayne. I couldn’t believe she gave me $20. But I battled being an artist. I studied chiropractic, fire science and business, but I always felt a tug to go back to art.”
He earned a bachelor's degree in fine art from Utah Valley University and after college was mentored by artist William Whitaker. His work won “Best of Show” at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Utah State Fair. He placed first in the Springville Museum Art Show and was director’s choice at the Spring Salon. He has placed first in every art show he has entered. His painting “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” was selected for exhibit in the Church History Museum.
- “I originally painted just to have a career,” said Wilson. “I did portrait art and wanted to get into galleries. Then, I painted my first image of Christ, and two families bought simple prints. One mother stopped me the next week at church, got emotional and said, ‘You have no idea how much that image is uplifting us in our home.’ I thought, ‘That was really cool.’”
- The next week at the exact same spot, another woman stopped Wilson. “She also got emotional and said: ‘I gave my print to my sister who’s trying to keep her family together. You have no idea how much it means to them and how much it’s helping.’ She said almost the exact same words. The lightbulb went off and I knew I’m supposed to be painting for a reason and that’s to uplift people in their homes with images of Christ.”
In 2014, he started painting full time.
Wilson and his wife, Heather, are the parents of six children and live in Lehi, Utah.