A group of BYU-Idaho students reverently tilt their heads as they peer at Endowed, a graphic design piece submitted to the Jacob Spori Art Gallery Student Show by Jase Roberts, a junior studying art. Through hushed mumbles and whispers, positive responses burst from the gallery.
“Power” was a common word used amongst students to describe the work.
Janesha Jackson, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, explained that she interpreted the design as showing the strength in the temple endowment.
“A lot of women forget how much power they get when they get endowed,” Jackson said. “The gold added to it is a great way to show that power.”
According to Roberts, Endowed can be interpreted as the endowment in the temple, but it can also hold different meanings for different people.
“Endowed could also mean something outside of the temple,” Roberts said.”When they overcome some sort of obstacle, they’re given truth and knowledge, or power on a certain lesson that they have learned.”
Endowed started as a student demo. Roberts was showing students in a head and figure drawing class how to use facial features and teaching them shading techniques. After working with the image, he decided to submit it to the show.
“When I originally picked the portrait, it was a young woman who looked like she had a stubborn look on her face, like she was grieving or angry at something,” Roberts said. “That was the mood I was feeling at the time, so I thought I would draw her.”
Later on, Roberts felt the image was not finished. He affixed gold leaf and modified other pieces of the image, and a change occurred.
“She was no longer grieving,” Roberts remarked. “She looked empowered.”
Roberts’ Endowed earned a Merit Award, which is an award given to students who show exemplary work and effort.
Roberts explains that a lot of people connect with his work because it portrays an inner emotional struggle.
“People should remember that even though you might be going through a grievous time, with God you can be endowed with truth and knowledge,” Roberts expressed.