Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

The Daughters of the American Revolution is giving its most prestigious honor to Manti artist Kaziah Hancock, who in 2003 founded "Project Compassion," dedicated to presenting, without charge, professional portraits of fallen soldiers to their families.

As of March 24, five artists, four of whom live in Utah, had completed 1,000 original oil paintings, representing one-fourth of the soldiers killed in the Middle East in the past five years. Hancock has personally painted more than 300 of the 18- by 24-inch paintings.

Hancock's work has been displayed in the Springville Art Museum. Museum Director Vern Swanson wrote a letter of commendation for the award. Harriet Priska and the members of Cedar City's Bald Eagle Chapter of the DAR made the nomination for the award.

The award will be presented at the DAR's 111th annual state conference in Salt Lake City on Friday.