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Tara Shirley
Artist Cynthia Ferguson works on a papercut. Some of her intricate work is on display at the Terra Nova Gallery in Provo as part of the "Short Cuts" exhibit.

PROVO — Joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of a girl isn't a new idea, artist Cynthia Ferguson points out in her papercut, "He Had No Idea What He Was Doing Out Here."

The papercut depicts a pioneer bent over with the reins in a covered wagon while his wife and child walk behind.

"He kind of joined the church because of her," Ferguson, 34, said.

Some folks are not really committed to a cause or a religion unless they have a reason to be, she said. "He ponied up."

The 9-by-20-inch framed papercut is on display at the Terra Nova Gallery, 41 W. 300 North in Provo, as part of the show "Short Cuts," featuring several papercut artists.

"I have a few guy friends who are members of the LDS Church who aren't completely active in the religion. Some of them have said that if they found the right girl, they would become active again," she wrote in her explanation of the art.

"This made me wonder how many people joined the church in the early days because of someone they were attracted to. That's what's going on with the guy in this papercut. He is in love with the woman he married so many years ago, he's just not too in love with the reasons why he's crossing the plains. He's relying on her faith and testimony. He's enduring," she said.

Ferguson has a series of eight papercuts in the Children's Education Room in the Tower of London and another pioneer papercut on her blog, www.papercutting.blogspot.com.

e-mail: rodger@desnews.com