Master iconographers to present workshops in St. Vladimir's Academy in NY

Two master iconographers, one painting in the Russo-Byzantine style and the other painting in the Byzantine (Greek-Cretan School) tradition, will offer exclusive workshops on the campus of St. Vladimir's from June 11-17, 2009. Fr. Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko, of the Ss. Alipij & Andrei Rublev Icon Studio in Winnipeg Canada, and Khouriya Erin Mary Kimmett of Norwood, Massachusetts, will open their summer workshops to 12 students each, and will accept students with experience ranging from none to decades-long practice, and expertise ranging from novice to master.

Both iconographers will be teaching students to paint an icon of the Lord Jesus Christ: Fr. Protodeacon Nazari will have students produce an image of the Holy Face of Christ, using Russo-Byzantine egg-tempera pigments and gold leaf; Kh. Erin will have students produce a detail of the image of Christ the Savior, using acrylic paints and gold leaf.

Fr. Protodeacon Nazari was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine and graduated with a BFA degree from Kosiv, in Ukraine. He studied the basics of iconography by copying antique icons from his father's collection and by visiting the renowned iconographer, Archimandrite Zinon, in Pskov. Later he learned advanced iconographic technique from Dmitri Andreyev, of the Prosopon School in New York, and by visiting iconography studios all over the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. For nearly 15 years, he and his wife, Tatiana, also a trained iconographer, have been painting icons for several churches in Ukraine, numerous churches across Canada and the U.S., and even for the private chapel of His All Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople.

Kh. Erin was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, and is a graduate of Wichita State University and holds a BFA in graphic design. After graduation, she returned to her alma mater, WSU, where she worked for nearly a decade, first as graphic designer and eventually as Director of Publications. In 1991 she was introduced to iconography as a sacred art and felt instantly that this would be her future path. During the time the Byzantine iconographer Bishop Gregory was adorning her own parish, Kh. Erin spent as much time as she could learning from this master. Eventually, a trip to his skete in Buena Vista, Colorado proved necessary to provide the kind of intensive training required to learn this sacred art. Sixteen years later, married to V. Rev. Joseph Kimmett and mother of two boys, Nicholas (12) and Zachary (10), Kh. Erin has written hundreds of icons for Orthodox churches and individuals throughout the U.S. Additionally, she takes great joy in teaching an iconography workshop to high school age children at the Antiochian Village Camp in Pennsylvania.

As preparation for their workshops, both Fr. Protodeacon Nazari and Kh. Erin advise students "to pray" and to read, if possible, one or more well-known books on the subject of iconography, specifically suggesting: The Meaning of Icons or Theology of the Icon (2 vols.), both by Leonid Ouspensky; and The Icon: Window on the Kingdom, by Michele Quenot. All of these books are available from St. Vladimir's Seminary Press/Bookstore.

"I would also hope that students come with their priest's blessing and a desire to learn this sacred art within the traditions and teachings set forth by the Church," said Kh. Erin. "This is a lot to accomplish in a short time, so come prepared for long, prayer-filled should be a wonderful retreat!"