“”Today I met God.” Akiane Kramarik was just four years old when she made that bold announcement to her formally faithless family. Needless to say, their lives haven’t quite been the same since.”
–Akiane: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry.
On a hot, muggy day in July 1995, Akiane Kramarik was born in the small town of Mount Morris, Illinois. When Akiane was just three weeks old her family received a strange call from a woman in the mountains of Armenia who was prophesying about the incredible future of a girl named Akiane. But since the woman was Christian, and the Kramariks were atheists, they disregarded the information.
At the age of four, Akiane began having visions. She says that God showed her the endless universe, its past and its future. In the biography, Akiane: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry, written by her mother, Foreli Kramarik, four year old Akiane describes God as “Light–warm and good.” The Kramaricks homeschooled their children, did not watch TV, and because of frequent moves, had very few friends. So Akiane’s parents knew that someone else was not influencing her sudden religious interest. Akiane’s mother, who was raised atheist, says she always thought God’s name to be “absurd and primitive.” Shocked and uncomfortable that Akiane had learned the word “god” on her own, her mother tried to convince her it was just a nightmare. But Akiane refused to listen, and continued talking about “the Light”.
Soon after Akiane began having visions she started showing an intense interest in drawing. She would sketch portraits on any surface available to her, including the walls, windows, and even her arms and legs. One morning at 4:00am, Akiane burst into her mother’s room waving a drawing of a woman’s face. She proudly told her mother, “This is her. This is my angel.” No one had ever discussed angels, or other supernatural beings with her before. Akiane simply told her bewildered mother, “Where Jesus takes me He teaches me how to draw.”
Akiane also has an uncanny ability to read peoples true emotions. Once, she was drawing a portrait of a happy looking woman, and though the woman was smiling, Akiane drew her with a very sad expression on her face. When the woman saw the finished portrait, she burst into tears. She admitted that her happiness was a false front, because she had just lost her only son.
When she was seven, Akiane first began using paint. She painted with such drive and stamina that her parents had to insist she take breaks from her artistic marathons, which would last for hours on end. She became completely “engrossed in her own world of colors, forms, and stories.” Unsure of why Akianne was so talented, her parents decided to sign her up for a local art class. Quivering with indignation, she came home from her first session and told her mother, “It was the dumbest lesson in my life. The teacher held on to my hand the whole time. That isn’t teaching—that’s cheating! I don’t need teachers. I need students.” That same week Akiane opened her own art classes for the neighborhood children.
One day Akiane’s parents come into her room to find her face glowing. According to the biography, when they ask what she was doing, she answered, “I was with God again, and I was told to pray continually. He showed me where He lived, and it was so light. He was whiter than the whitest of whites. I was climbing transparent stairs; underneath I saw gushing waterfalls. As I approached my Father in paradise, His body was pure light. What impressed me most were His gigantic hands—they were full of maps and events. Then He told me to memorize thousands upon thousands of wisdom words on a scroll that didn’t look like paper, but more like intense light. And in a few seconds I somehow got filled up. He told me that from now on I needed to get up very early to get ready for my mission. I hope someday I’ll be able to paint what I’ve seen.” And so her mission of bringing God’s messages to the world began.
Eight-year-old Akiane completed her masterpiece, Prince of Peace: The Resurrection, in just thirty hours. In this stunning portrait of Jesus, His head and shoulders take up the entire four-foot canvas. His short golden brown hair and beard rest casually on His strong sturdy face. Jesus’ eyes are the most impressive, however. Thick, dark eyebrows contrast their indescribable beauty. Different shades of greens, blues, and yellows make His eyes look so human, or even more than human. His steady, welcoming gaze seems to stare straight at the viewer, and it follows one wherever one goes. In this painting, Jesus speaks with His eyes. Calm and content, the message they speak is peace.
Experts have compared the Prince of Peace with the Shroud of Turin, the proposed burial cloth of Jesus, and have found striking similarities. When put to scale, the images’ foreheads are the same size, and their eyes are the same distance apart. In both pieces, Jesus’ cheeks are the same size and shape. His nose is the same size and shape, and it overlaps the mustache in the same way. Also, Akiane has received letters from people who have had near death experiences, or visions of Jesus, saying that her painting is exactly who they saw. This provides further evidence that Prince of Peace: the Resurrection could actually be what Jesus looks like.
Today, Akiane still receives visions and paints daily. She is nineteen years old, and lives in Sandpoint, Idaho with her four brothers. As co-founder of the Akiane Arts School at Foreli Academy, she plans to teach painting. The Kramariks are now Christian, but when asked what denomination she practices, Akiane replied, “I don’t belong to any religion. I belong to God.”
Akiane’s incredible life-like art is full of strange colors and symbols. Even she does not know what some of the symbols mean. For example, her painting The Pyramids, shows a row of white pyramids being beaten by ocean waves, and surrounded by bubbles. Even though not all of Akiane’s paintings are religious themed, they all contain an important message that she emphasizes comes from God.
Akiane’s work deserves wider recognition. Most people today do not know about her visions of Jesus, or the art these inspired. Akiane’s paintings are deeply spiritual, and the messages they contain are beautiful. In fact, it can be argued that the paintings convey messages God wants made known to the world. In the Prince of Peace it seems as if Jesus is always waiting for us. All we have to do is come to Him and be at peace. As Christians, we are called to be instruments of peace, and I think that ultimately, peace is the message God is trying to make known through all of Akiane’s work. Akiane’s story shows that God may choose anyone, no matter his or her religious background, to be an instrument of His will.