The first children's art exhibit ever shown at the Museum of Church History and Art will open Sept. 16.

The exhibit features over 6,500 drawings, paintings, watercolors and collages created by children from around the world. Three hundred of the most creative and original pieces were selected to hand in the Theater Foyer Gallery. The remaining artwork will be exhibited in a huge scrapbook created by museum exhibit designers.Children of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between the ages of 5 and 12 were invited to illustrate their favorite story or scripture from the Book of Mormon. "We received artwork from children living as far away as Hong Kong and Zimbabwe," said Jennifer Lund, museum education coordinator and exhibit curator. Children from 41 states and 23 countries submitted drawings to the museum.

"We wanted to encourage children to use their artistic talents to express their feelings about what they read in the Book of Mormon," Line said. The Book of Mormon is the focus of many of the church's class manuals for 1988.

The exhibit will also include a hands-on activity for children who visit the museum. Crayons and pencils will be provided and children will be encouraged to draw and color their own pictures of Book of Mormon scenes.

The exhibit will open Sept. 16 and run through Jan. 16. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.