Heavenly Mother Art and Poetry Contest Winners!

a mother's loveThe A Mother Here Art and Poetry Contest has announced its winners! Check out the website to read the winning poems and see the winning art pieces.  If you go to the online gallery, you can find descriptions of the art pieces by clicking on “artwork descriptions” at the bottom of the page.

I’ll mention a couple of pieces I particularly love. The first place visual arts piece winner, “A Mother’s Love” by Lynde Mott is stunning.  The artist says this about the piece. “The figure appears half opaque/half translucent, even half flesh/ half strong stone statue. This represents my continuing journey in trying to come to know and experience the reality of our Mother in heaven. She is solid and real–yet elusive at times as well.”

Rachel Hunt Steeblik’s “I Dreamed I Wrote Five Poems” captures a new mother’s reflections on Heavenly Mother.  This is one of my favorite sections of the poem.

I searched for my Mother, the way a baby roots
for her mother’s breast, head nuzzling from side to side,
mouth open, ready to suckle. But I was still thirsty.
Then my belly grew, and my breasts grew, and
a ravenous little thing came out. I offer her my milk
without money and without price. My husband
offered it to her once, while I sat beside them on a train.
She pursed her lips against the false nipple,
and stared at me with sad eyes. I wondered then,
if Heavenly Mother walked into another room
so we would take the bottle. I wondered then,
if we are weaned.

As someone who deeply yearns for more discussion and depictions of Heavenly Mother, I am thrilled with the material this contest has generated. We desperately need images and writings that bring Heavenly Mother into the forefront of Mormons’ consciousness, that communicate permission to think about her, pray about her, and bring her into our religious speech. This contest has generated scores of poetry and images that I believe help women to see themselves as gods. What a great gift for Mother’s Day.

Please check out the results of the contest and feel free to share which pieces particularly resonated with you. 



Caroline has a PhD in religion and studies Mormon women.

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6 Responses

  1. Melody says:

    I loved this poem too. My favorite stanza was the second . . . “conch shells . . . I hear Her everywhere.”

    I’m spending a few days on the Pacific coast this week and the sea has taken me over. The little French I know always comes to me when I visit the ocean: La mer, ma mère! [The sea, my mother.] I feel Her in nature. This stanza captures that feeling so perfectly.

    My second favorite poem was by Emma Jay. Entitled ‘O’. It’s worth the read. And the visual art is breathtaking. All of it.

    Here’s the link to Emma’s poem. http://amotherhere.com/poems/jay.php#sthash.y6Hiobpb.dpbs

    All the poetry and art are inspiring, comforting, and affirming. I’m profoundly grateful to Martin Pulido and others who created this homage to Heavenly Mother. I can’t help feeling She and God the Father are grateful too.

  2. Rachel says:

    Thank you for the kind words and shout out, Caroline, and an even bigger thank you for helping to organize this gathering of words and images devoted to our Mother. It feels inspired.

    I spent my first Mother’s Day (into today) reading the poems and poring over the artworks. I am filled.

    I love too many of the poems to name, but my favorite art piece was Jennifer Smith’s “In Her Image”–the asymmetry.

  3. Liz says:

    I spent all morning looking over these and reading the poetry! I love them all, especially the second of Rachel’s five poems. “The Mother woke at every sound.” That phrase is full of the hope that I cling to.

    I couldn’t tell from the website – is there any way to order prints of the artwork??

  4. EmilyCC says:

    You know, it’s not very professional for me to have to close the door to my office at work because I’m crying so hard.

    I love how full (how full!) “In Her Image” is with symbolism of the Divine Feminine. And, I just felt so touched seeing, “Mother and Her Lambs.” How many times have we seen Jesus with his lambs? It felt empowering and illuminating to see a woman there.

    Thank you to the organizers of this contest! It’s SUCH a thrill to see so much beauty. I feel spiritually nourished this morning.

  5. I was truly pleased with those who were willing to contribute and help with this contest (this includes many who have commented here–Melody, Rachel!). It’s been interesting to see the diversity of the work, and the diversity of responses to that work–which pieces people like and for which reasons. One of things I liked most about this contest was that many of the artists really seemed to have fun–James Papworth, Rebekah Orton, and Dayna Patterson to name a few had some great humor in their work, which blew some life into the stuffy winds of much LDS religious poetry. Others touched sensitive topics — miscarriage, abandonment, body image — it was nice to see those topics addressed. It made me think that we are growing as a faith that our artwork has been able to be both playful and mature.

    Liz, there is no way to order prints of the artwork at the moment, but it is something I have been considering — negotiating terms with the artists to see if we could sell prints. I really want “Heavenly Mother and the Tree of Life” in my baby daughter Evelynn’s room, for instance. But we’d have to see if they were willing!

    Now that the art and poetry is here, I encourage you to share it with your friends and social circles — Facebook, what have you — may it spark conversations, soften hearts, and speak the love of our Mother to those in our communities.

  1. May 13, 2014

    […] Day, almost entirely because of the “A Mother Here Art and Poetry Contest” that as Caroline mentioned, just announced its winners. I spent the day with the selected words and images, and I felt filled, […]

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