Greetings Friends and Iconographers:
This month I am presenting some writings and images from a beautiful exhibition of Eastern European icons dating from the nineteenth to sixteenth centuries that is hosted by a non-profit gallery of icons located in Žilina (Slovakia). The Gallery of Icons (OZ IKONY) in Žilina is found at: https://ikony.hour.sk/en/
Gallery of Icons – OZ IKONY
The gallery was established in 2015 as the result of a private collection of East Christian icons. During the last 7 years of existence, the gallery has collected about 300 icons from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia or Albania. The icons are dated from the 14th until the beginning of the 20th century. Among the main activities of the gallery, I can name the presentation of the icons from various regions of Eastern Christian cultures, the conduct of research on icons and providing space for and organizing of conferences, lectures and concerts. The aim of the exhibition is to present the spiritual and artistic beauty of Eastern Christian icons and to create a living bridge between the East and the West.
In March 2021 the gallery celebrated its 5th anniversary. The current exhibition called The Mysterious Face of Jesus Christ is the fifth in a row after the exhibitions dedicated to the themes of The Old Testament Prophets, The Church Feasts, The Icons of the Mother of God, and Wisdom Hidden in Icons.
The 5th exhibition is opened from the 15th of September 2020 until June 2023. There are 25 artistically and historically valuable icons on display. Most of them are exhibited in Slovakia for the first time. There are Russian and Greek icons, one Romanian, Macedonian, and Albanian icon, and one icon from Mount Athos among the exhibits.
American Association of Iconographers’ Goals
Even as this is a newsletter to foster the development of American iconographers, we all owe a debt of gratitude to our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters who, through the centuries have produced so many beautiful and deeply spiritual icons worth imitating and learning from. The aim of this exhibition is to create a living bridge between the East and the West, which is closely aligned with the goals of the American Association of Iconographers.
Membership to the American Association of Iconographers is without financial obligation to its members and is open to all friends and lovers of icons around the world. It is an ecumenical, primarily Christian group of icon collectors, scholars, icon writers and those whose mandate is education in the liturgical arts.
We invite members to contribute educational articles that might benefit all who love icons. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for submission details.
Quotes from Milan Lach SJ, Bishop of the Eparchy of Parma, Ohio
“St John of Damascus (+749) once said: “When someone asks you about your faith, take him to church and show him the icons.” … Icons are liturgical objects. They speak- communicate. Persons depicted on icons are already in the Heavenly Kingdom. They are transformed by uncreated light and participate in the life of the Most Holy Trinity.
Icons are not merely art, as Western culture would perceive it. They are more than art. Through an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Theotokos, and the saints depicted on the icon, we can have a personal experience with the living God.
The icon is a tool of evangelization, through which the Church proclaims the living Jesus Christ. To His person is dedicated this exhibition of twenty five beautiful icons, here at the Gallery of Icons in Zilina.”
You can visit the 5th exposition in the virtual gallery: https://ikony.hour.sk/en/virtual-gallery/
I hope this virtual exhibition enriches your understanding and scope of possible models for future icons. Sending prayers for God to bless the work of your hands and minds, to the service of His Holy Church.
Christine Simoneau Hales, Artist, Iconographer