J. Kirk Richards
Joel Kirk Richards is a fine arts painter and musician, known primarily for his award-winning contemporary religious art.
Richards was raised in Provo, Utah. As a child, he took piano and French horn lessons. His French horn lessons were held at the Fine Arts Center at Brigham Young University, so he learned to love art while passing through the galleries on his way to lessons. From the age of 14, his parents allowed him to switch to art lessons and classes. After a figure drawing class in his freshman year at BYU, he decided his future.
Richards served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Rome, Italy. The culture of art and the colors in Italy have influenced his art.
Accepting a job to illustrate the book, The Carpenter of Galilee and the Welcoming Door, helped him realize that he preferred painting what was in his one head and heart.
His work has been shown at the Springville Museum of Art, the Renaissance Center Juried Show in Nashville, the Provo Arts Council Freedom Festival Fine Art Exhibit, the Bountiful/Davis Art Center, the Shenandoah Invitational Art Show at Southern Virginia University, the Robert N. and Peggy Sears Dixie State Invitational Art Show, and the Museum of Church History and Art. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he has painted a few LDS-specific paintings, but prefers the classical imagery of Christ and angels.
His work was featured in Helen Whitney’s PBS Frontline Documentary “The Mormons: An American Experience.” Deseret Book published two of his art books: The Nativity and an illustrated edition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. A third, The Easter Story, is forthcoming. He is working on a book Forty Images of Christ.
Richards also records music. He has produced two CDs: “Granted” and “Somewhere Along the Line.” He also created a DVD collection of music videos.
Richards is married to artist Amy Tolk Richards. They are the parents of four children and split their time between their home in Woodland Hills, Utah, and their country studio in Redmond, Utah.