East Meets West: Women Icon Makers of Western Ukraine
February 1, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST
visual art exhibit
East Meets West:
Women Icon Makers of Western Ukraine
Opening: Wednesday February 1, 7pm – 9pm
Exhibit: December 12 – February 17
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—Charlotte
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte is delighted to host East Meets West, a visual art exhibit paying tribute to eight innovative women icon makers of Ukraine, a land where the Latin and Byzantine worlds collide and converge. These eight artists, students of a new school of iconography in the West Ukrainian cultural center of Lviv, have achieved recognition in a religious art genre traditionally dominated by men. Respectful of the theological and artistic canons of iconography, they experiment with different mediums, unusual painting techniques, and color palettes to create contemporary variations on time-honored themes.
Wednesday, February 1, 7–9pm
The public opening of East Meets West will be a time to enjoy these stunning new icons, learn about the history of iconography from Dr. Donald Fairbairn, and watch a video by curator John Kohan of Sacred Art Pilgrim to appreciate the origin of these icons. Please register in advance to attend this free event (optional donation).
In addition, the exhibit will be available for viewing during business hours from December 12 – February 17.
(Hover to view artists)
(b. 1990, Lviv, Ukraine)
“Creating icons means implementing the best aesthetic achievements of our time, so they are closer to our modern perceptions.”
The Baptism of Christ
(b. 1993, Lviv, Ukraine)
“Icon painting must be appropriate to the present day. It should not be an historical artifact but something living to which a person can connect. In this form it is able to visually proclaim the Gospel as an icon is intended to do.”
Christ in Glory
(b. 1984, Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine)
“The icon hides a secret of the unknown. Icon-painting for me is a process of interpretation, based on what I read, see, and feel. Everything that surrounds me might urge me to create a new work.”
The Holy Trinity
(b. 1995, Ukraine)
“I want to make art that makes sense and the language of icon painting is meaningful and comprehensive. Some say the icon is a spatial boundary between the visible and invisible world—in which case, the study of sacred art is not just exciting but a great responsibility.”
(b. 1995, Sevastopol, Ukraine)
“My art is about feelings and experiences, a dialogue and process of co-creation with viewers in all their differences, creating a sense of integrity in the presence of God.”
(b. 1994, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine)
While Khrystyna prefers to work in a muted palette of grays and earth tones, she sometimes incorporates rigorously geometric Ukrainian folk art patterns in bright red into her paintings.
(b. 1977, Lviv, Ukraine)
“For me, what is most interesting in icon-painting aesthetics is the dynamic plasticity of drawing. I would never start working with a prepared, predefined concept. It is a line of drawing that prompts the development of a certain image. You only need to listen to it, feeling its vivid motion and subtle plastic nuances. Having said this, I do work within the iconographic canon, though I never know what the outcome will look like.”
The Birth of Christ
(b. 1981, Lviv, Ukraine)
“Painting an icon is a special conversation with the Lord and with myself. It is a time for rethinking the Bible stories and the Ten Commandments in the context of modern human life because the Bible is timeless. I think, first of all, that God is Love and Mercy. My daily icon painting helps me to live my life with this understanding.”
About the Curator
John A. Kohan is an art collector, writer, and former Time Magazine foreign correspondent to Russia. John describes himself as a “modern art lover who is on a pilgrimage to rediscover the majesty, meaning, and mystery of sacred art.” He is the owner of the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection and directed the Art in the Sanctuary exhibition program at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Delaware, Ohio. Read John Kohan’s story of discovering these iconographers in an essay titled On the Border of East and West: Searching for Icons in Lviv in Image Magazine.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—Charlotte Campus
14542 Choate Circle Charlotte, NC 28273
Wes Vander Lugt
Exhibit Organizer and Adjunct
Professor of Theology
We look forward to seeing you in Charlotte! If you have any questions about the symposium, please feel free to reach out.