In Cliff Vernon's painting, the Summit Stake Tabernacle casts a warm glow over the rain-wet streets at 1st North and Main Street in Coalville, Utah, while early church members wearing elegant Victorian outerwear stroll outside. A horse-drawn buggy clatters by. The Tabernacle's soaring gothic spires stretch toward the moonlit clouds, its grand central tower rising up 117 feet visible for miles. The unique gothic stained glass windows ablaze in the painting were brought over from Belgium, and the interior featured an elaborately painted ceiling. Dedicated in 1899, and demolished in 1971, the Tabernacle was once a regional landmark. Cliff Vernon captured the majestic structure at the height of its glory so that the memory of the building, and the stories it held, could live on.
Cliff Vernon's love of painting started in high school when he found a mentor in North Summit High School teacher, Taylor Carmichael, who helped him to develop his talent. After graduation, painting fell aside as his time became scarce first due to military service, then a full-time job and a family. In 1985 life settled down for Vernon, and he was able to rekindle his passion for art. He started taking lessons from Carol France, and shortly after, one of Cliff 's first paintings took Best in Show at the Summit County Fair. He subsequently painted over a hundred paintings and took numerous blue ribbons for his work.
2012 Historical Society Purchase