The centerpiece painting at Belóved Gallery in Marble Falls hangs alone in a room where visitors are encouraged to sit and spend time with the “Prince of Peace,” a portrait of Jesus by child prodigy Akiane Kramarik.
“There’s not one day that I don’t see someone encounter the Holy Spirit here,” said Susie Mayfield, one of many volunteers available to lead gallery tours at 206 Avenue H. “It changes people’s lives.”
The 16 paintings and multiple poems displayed at Belóved Gallery, which opened Easter weekend 2023, were painted and written by Akiane when she was between the ages of 8 and 16 years old. She said she painted “Prince of Peace” after being asked to do so by “a being of unconditional love” who had been walking and talking with her since she was 4.
“I felt an unbelievable desire to paint this face I saw, but I couldn’t get it right,” the now-adult Akiane said in an interview with The Picayune Magazine. “I prayed, ‘If you want me to paint this, bring Him to me.’ One day, a carpenter came to our door, and I knew this was the model.”
The painting, which gained international fame, was misappropriated twice and lost for 20 years before it was finally returned to public viewing with the help of Kirsten and Lewis Cirne of Horseshoe Bay. The couple had purchased several of the young artist’s works and went on a successful hunt for the lost portrait. Belóved Gallery was built in partnership with the Kramarik family to make the painting available to the public free of charge.
“We were captivated by the supernatural account surrounding its creation and astounded by the hope the painting inspires,” the Cirnes said. “We knew the Prince of Peace was meant to be shared with the world.”
Belóved Gallery and Belóved Cafe are both located at 206 Avenue H in Marble Falls. The gallery is in Suite 101; the cafe in Suite 102. Tours are free, but reservations are required and can be made online.