Dear Friends and Fellow Iconographers:
It is an exciting time to be writing Icons. The inspiration of Andrei Rublev writing the great “Holy Spirit” Icon as a symbol for unity – a unity that was so needed in his country at that time, is applicable to us all today. What are the Icons our culture NEEDS? What are the issues that need to be addressed in prayer and how can we make timeless images that can help to focus the prayer of a nation?
After attending the icon Workshop held at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC, led by Philip Davydov, I am inspired even more to explore this idea of an American Iconography. In light of the recent events in Charleston, SC. I feel an urgency to address the needs of our country in prayer and Sacred Imagery.
Dutch Sheets: “I have great hope for America because the depth of a fall never determines God’s ability to restore. I’m not afraid of the powerful strongholds because size and strength are completely irrelevant when measuring His ability to deliver. And I’m not intimidated because statistical odds, whether of success or failure, cease to be relevant when God is involved. His limitless ability negates the very concept of “odds,” and trumps all other winning hands.”
Just a short time before the Charleston shooting, a conference on painting Sacred icons the twenty-first Century was held, also in Charleston.
Here is a link to the “Living Tradition” Symposium organized by the Orthodox Arts Journal in Charleston, South Carolina. The ideas expressed are interesting ones to thoughtfully consider. It’s my opinion that it would have been good to have some American women Iconographers as well as some of the talented Romanian and other InternationaI Iconographers present to represent their views as well.
In a recent article in The New Liturgical Movement, noted Iconographer Aidan Hart wrote an article entitled “Diversity within Iconography – An Artistic Pentecost”. Here is an excerpt:
“But where does the mean lie between unspiritual innovation on the one hand and mere duplication on the other? Genuine variety in liturgical art occurs when the iconographer unites spiritual vision with artistic ability – energized with courage and the blessing of God. Vision without artistic ability produces pious daubs. Not every saint can paint icons. Although icons are more than art, but they are not less than art.”
This is a blessed time to have such great artists and Iconographers working together to create an authentic sacred art for the twenty-first century. I feel called to encourage community amongst iconographers, accepting our differences and celebrating our shared strengths. Very much like Pentecost, we can all receive the Holy Spirit but God will give each of us a language that can speak to our countries.
Locally, one of my students, and a member of the St. Luke’s Iconography Guild, Dahlia Herring, has transformed her contemplative approach to Iconography into action:
“A Refugee Art Exhibit- Resettling In Albany”
Through art work and written stories, the children from some of the most war-torn countries on earth, including Burma, Iraq and Afghanistan, express what it means to leave everything familiar and start a brand new life in the United States. These young artists eloquently and directly voice their hopes and disappointments, their fears and joys as the begin their new lives and education in Albany. The exhibit will be in the City Hall Rotunda until June 30th. You can find pictures of the Open House for this exhibit on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/USCRI.Albany. A Refugee Art Exhibit: Resettling in Albany was organized by the Capital Region Refugee Roundtable (co-chaired by Dahlia Herring) and the Albany Office of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
Also Local News: Albany Icon Writing Classes Monday nights June 22, NO CLASS June 29, . For July, Classes July 6,13, 27 ( No Class July 20.)
Also NOTE: Another member of the St. Luke’s Iconography Guild discovered a pigment company in California that has good pigments at a reasonable cost. Worth looking into! Agulis Pigments :firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to hearing from you and have a blessed summer.