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The original 40" x 80" acrylic painting of Spring at Temple Square, is one of a series by the artist Chad S. Hawkins. In 1989, at the age of seventeen, Chad started this unique temple series, becoming the original LDS artist to involve hidden spiritual images in his artwork.
“I have been preparing for this painting for years,” comments the artist. “Spring at Temple Square, is the result of countless trips to Temple Square before sunrise and hundreds of flower photographs. I experienced the most meaningful inspiration for this painting on the day of my daughter Rachel’s birth. My wife and I arrived at the hospital early in the morning. After I escorted my sweet wife to the hospital doors, I observed and photographed the clouds at the moment of sunrise. The sky and clouds in this painting capture the treasure of color displayed on the morning of my daughter’s birth.”
This painting and its hidden image are based upon Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision. “It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring. . .” explained Joseph. As he began to pray, he recorded, “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.” (JS-H 1:14,16) In this painting, as the intense sun’s rays shine through the trees, the young prophet Joseph Smith can be seen shielding his eyes as he looks into the light of the First Vision. Closing the doors of the Apostasy, this historical event commenced the restoration and truly was the dawning of a brighter day.