Michael and I, along with his wife Eva have been participating in the grant study since November 1, 2013. Michael has been a professional artist for 20 years. He designed sets for off Broadway shows in New York. Recently, he was awarded a Jerome grant for work in film making. His personal journey is very intertwined with his creative processing, at this time he is searching for new meaning in life and the vocation of his art. Michael has been attempting to paint icons in the last few years and began taking formal introductory icon classes in January of 2013. He exemplified genuine spiritual dedication and immersion which calls one into this art form. Michael was born into and raised in the Arabic Orthodox community which brought us to connect on many levels. Both of us conditioned in the Eastern Christian tradition.
Michael entered the study with his words, “to become an apprentice would allow me the opportunity to study an ancient and classical art form that does not rely on nostalgia to be authentic. Rather than imitating an ancient style, I can fully attempt to engage in the authenticity of the form.”
The collection of icons that have been created during the grant period will be on display at The Annual Icon Festival at the Basilica of Saint Mary from November 1-23, 2014. This year celebrates the icon festival’s 20th anniversary.
A celebration of past and present, the Basilica Icon Festival illuminates a spiritual pathway cherished by Christians from the earliest times.
I will continue to post blogs that will follow Michael’s development and talk about the work.