The Conestoga Iconographic Studio exists to create sacred art as a holy encounter with God. In all things, it looks to Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God, and He made the whole world in the beginning. He was also miraculously born of a virgin named Mary. At his conception, heaven and earth came together, and the entire material world became animated by God’s Spirit. Every place now has the potential to be a beautiful revelation, inviting the experience of God.
The icons created in the studio focuses on Christ and his saints through which we experience the Kingdom of God. As such, they are sacramental—bestowing to us a real presence of holiness. The studio intentionally embodies this holiness in each piece’s final vision and how the artwork is created.
Everything needed for our work is foraged in a faithful knowing of the local landscape. Trees are harvested with thanksgiving to build wooden panels. Dirt and plants are received as gifts to make pigments for colour. The farming of chickens and bees is done with love and provides paint and varnish. In everything it does, the studio seeks to create from the local land an image of hope through its work and art.
Icons reveal the world as radiant with the light of its Creator within a cultural context. In this village (like much of the West), a vision of the world full of glory is undeveloped. The studio work renders in local colour and culture the transfigured state of the world. Lines are bold and calligraphic. Colour is frank and contrasted like a puzzle, while clothing is abstracted towards simple geometry. In all this, the artworks embrace simplicity as the touchstone of their revelation of the Kingdom of God.
The Conestoga Iconographic Studio is a small family business. While Symeon creates each icon, his family participates in many of the daily chores that keep the studio going. Annual events, like harvesting lumber and foraging for pigments, are often day-long tasks that bring satisfaction and joy to the whole family. Each artwork is also the result of a broader community that supports its efforts. Many priests and deacons, iconographers and artists, academics, scientists, and rock-hounds all aid in the studio’s work.
Day by day, our work continues in the faith that God provides everything needful. The resulting artworks show the world through prayer as a holy community, embodying an approach to work that blesses the labourer and seeks God’s blessing in every place.
The studio newsletter goes out by email every couple of months. It is for those who have a special interest in what’s happening here in Conestoga. In each issue you’ll find images of new icons, updates from past events, announcements about upcoming workshops, and, special photos from inside the studio.
If interested in receiving a copy, please sign up with your email address using the form on the sidebar.
- January 25th, 2021 January Patron's Update
- December 11th, 2020 Painting an Icon of St. Nicholas
- November 18th, 2020 Annual Letter of Appeal
- October 7th, 2020 Fall Newsletter
- July 8th, 2020 Summer Newsletter
- March 23rd, 2020 Early Spring Newsletter
- January 22nd, 2020 A New Year for the Studio
- November 22nd, 2019 Sharing Woad Seeds
- October 18th, 2019 Feast of Saint Luke
- August 7th, 2019 New icon, interview and workshop reviews
- June 3rd, 2019 New icon, video and workshop information
- April 1st, 2019 New video and article
- February 4th, 2019 New icon and interview
- November 5th, 2018 New Icon and prints