The Brigham Young University College of Fine Arts and Communications has announced the establishment of the Norma Evans Harkins Endowment Fund by Richard Christiansen, former associate dean of the BYU College of Engineering and Technology.
The Norma Evans Harkins endowment will fund visual arts student scholarships as well as prominent visiting art lecturers.
Walter Rane, whose renditions of scriptural text have elicited comparisons to master painters such as Rembrandt, will open the lecture series in Harkins name on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium. The lecture is open to the public.
Rane was commissioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to create a mural for the visitors' center at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. He has also painted the Last Supper, Christ healing a blind man and a series of Book of Mormon paintings in By the Hand of Mormon.
Christiansen established the Norma Evans Harkins visual arts endowment in honor of his mother who loved art but chose to postpone her own artistic pursuits to assist her mother and to raise her own family. At the age of 50, she was able to return to her art. Although she found great joy in painting, her greatest satisfaction came through the accomplishments of the countless others she encouraged to explore their artistic talents.
“This endowment honors a woman who represents the story of hundreds of women who put art on hold to focus their time and love into raising their families. It is a story of the power of one, the humble being remembered,” said Bethanne Andersen, BYU professor of illustration and Visual Arts Department coordinator.
“This generous endowment will bless the lives and developing careers of countless students in the visual arts,” said Robert Barrett, associate dean of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications.
In addition to Walter Rane, the Norma Evans Harkins endowment will bring other renowned artists to the BYU campus throughout the school year. Visiting artists will visit department classes, conduct demonstrations and give an evening lecture.
“These artists will enlighten and inspire students that wouldn’t meet the artists otherwise,” Andersen said. “It is an opportunity to give our students exposure to the great artists of our day that we couldn’t offer any other way.”
Writer: Tonya Fischio