Richards attributes much of his love for the arts to an early emphasis on musical training in his parents’ home. Turning then from music to visual arts, Kirk studied with painters Clayton Williams, Bruce Hixson Smith, Patrick Devonas, Hagen Haltern, Gary and Jennifer Barton, James Christensen, Wulf Barsch, Joe Ostraff, and others.
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Two years in Rome influenced Richards’ palette, which often consists of subdued browns and rusts.
Kirk is best known for his contributions to the BYU Museum of Art exhibit Beholding Salvation: The Life of Christ in Word and Image; for his contributions to Helen Whitney’s PBS Frontline Documentary entitled The Mormons: An American Experience; for the cover image of Jeffrey R. Holland’s book, Broken Things to Mend; and for his imagery on the cover of BYU Studies Magazine and in the Ensign, Liahona and Upper Room publications. Richards’ work can be found mostly in private collections throughout the country.