Pioneer, not Preacher: "Apotheosis" is an eccentric art show on Mormonism's goal of becoming a god

Photo by Jeremy Dejong
Photo by Jeremy Dejong
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June 18, 2014 - PRLog -- Where: Warehouse 1005
         1005 N. 1st St
         Phoenix, AZ  85004
When:  Gallery Opening on Friday June 20, 2014  7:00-10:00pm  

         Art on display throughout the month of June

         Normal business hours Mon-Fri 1:00pm-4:00pm

In recent years movies like X-Men and Thor have had massive success in part because as humans we are fascinated by the idea of the immortal hero, a figure with superhuman powers.

Two years ago I started a goal to become well-versed in ancient mythology. Universal aspects of these myths such as power, achievement, and failure still resonate to this day.

Shortly thereafter I was reinvestigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the religion in which I was raised as a youth. I watched a video of a man who had quit the church because one of its core beliefs was that the righteous who are saved will become gods. This idea intrigued me. A year later I learned that there was a word for the idea: apotheosis. I was fascinated that such an epic transformation could be captured by one single word.

“Apotheosis” is a solo show exploring what we might be like if we became gods. In order to transport the viewer into this heavenly scene, I decided to create a panorama of sorts by wrapping the gallery room with mostly four-by-eight foot paintings. People think Gods would be young but the prototypical art of Greek and Roman times are old stoic figures. The elderly deities in my paintings are dancing around in a light Sandro Botticelli-inspired background doing handstands and having a good time.

I don’t want to convert people. I want to inform, enlighten and offer a new take on religion. Viewers will see something fresh and contemporary and hopefully have a small window into this controversial but grand element of Mormon theology.

Artist Bio: Shelley Whiting grew up in a creative household of writers and artists. Her father was a newspaper reporter and her mother was a Mormon historian. Her twin sister is a successful writer of internet and zine fiction. She began taking art seriously at 17, when she developed a fascination for caricature art. She graduated Arizona State University with a degree in Painting back in 2008.

Nowadays she spends five to six days a week at Warehouse 1005, an art studio and gallery in downtown Phoenix. Her paintings are large and autobiographical, often exploring her struggles with mental health, her religion and her spirituality. She is busy showing her art around the valley in local businesses and galleries. Examples of Shelley's work can be seen at her website,


Shelley Whiting - Artist - (480) 733-4133

Jeremy Dejong - Warehouse 1005 (Gallery) Site Administrator  (602) 258-1481

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Tags:Mormon, Mormon Woman, Mormon Art
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