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Del Parson was raised in Rexburg, Idaho where his father was an art professor at Ricks College and his mother taught second grade. His father often took his nine children on painting excursion campouts. He found his father’s love of art to be contagious, as did two of his brothers, who became artists as well. Del began painting in college and found that he had a natural ability and keen interest in it.
After earning his MFA from BrighamYoung University, Parson became a free-lance artist in 1975. He illustrated for LDS Church magazines from time to time and found a great deal of enjoyment in it. In 1978, a tragedy changed his life. His wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. He felt the Spirit of God helping him through the tough times and began to paint religious subjects to give others the sense of hope that he found and to share with them his love of life.
After being a gallery and portrait artist for 13 years, Del received an appointment to teach at Dixie College, now Utah Tech University, in 1988 where he has taught for 34 years. He has found the opportunity to be with students and teach them his love of art to be greatly rewarding. He particularly loves to teach portrait drawing and painting.
Del lives in Cedar City and has 6 six children and 19 grandchildren.
He continues to paint commissions and gallery paintings. His paintings of Christ evoke a strong emotional response from viewers, and both his religious and historical paintings have received numerous regional and national awards. Parson’s work has been exhibited at the Allied Artists of America, National Academy of Design, Knickerbocker Artist, American Artists Professional League, and the Amarillo Rotary Show. His paintings are in the collections of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Southern Virginia University, Dixie State College, Southern Utah University, Brigham Young University, Springville Museum of Art and BYU-Idaho and among numerous corporate and private collections.
“When you feel inspired,” says Parson, “a painting takes on a life of its own. When that happens, the experience is pure joy. It is moments like these that an artist loves best.”