WHAT IS WRITING THE LIGHT?
We are a contemporary school of iconography – educating a way to uphold and express a truly Byzantine approach…
Now introducing Fall 2023 a new Certificate Program in Byzantine Iconography in partnership with the Institute of Sacred Arts at St. Vladimir’s Seminary.
Athens-based iconographer Dr. George Kordis is considered one of the most influential international scholars and contributors to the contemporary revival of the Byzantine icon. As a master artist, he continues to shape the lasting significance of the icon well beyond the borders of the Eastern Orthodox church and is interested in challenging our expectations with the icon — bringing life and on-going continuum to the Byzantine icon tradition within a modern framework.
Creating a visual liturgical poetry with his icons, Dr. Kordis artistically renders the sacred biblical themes and personages through a sensitive balance of rhythm and light, conveying a radiant and harmonious presence gifted through time and space.
The opportunity to learn, study and continue to evolve the important dialogue on the connections between the time-honored Byzantine art tradition and the beauty of the contemporary iconographic image alive in the modern context is possible through Kordis’s skillful mentorship, and is what Writing the Light aims to accomplish through its educational outreach.
Together with a unique partnership with the Institute of Sacred Arts at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, Writing the Light expands its programming to students around the world as we launch a Certificate in Iconography as a way for students to follow specific sacred arts training using the Byzantine System as developed by Dr. Kordis over the past three decades.
Dr. Kordis is deeply dedicated to his calling of equipping the next generation of artists and iconographers alongside his on-going artistic practice of extensive international iconographic work for churches, galleries and museums.
See the Certificate description to learn more about the new initiative.
A few simple words about the Icon…
The Orthodox icon is regarded as a lasting testament to the Christian faith, understood to both convey spiritual reality in visual form and serve as a tangible threshold into the vast mystery of the sacred. Ultimately aiming to unite the beholder to interior transformation through the contemplative aspirations of repentance and prayer, the icon delivers a pictorial meeting face to face with the saints, angels, ascetics, holy people, and sacred themes — specific revelations presented through rhythm, line, shape and color. They are meant to be a celebration of the holy Incarnation, and of Divine Light itself.
Having endured for more than ten centuries, the distinctive legacy of Byzantium has influenced vast contributions of religious pictorial work throughout the world with its unparalleled artistry, bringing a high standard of beauty to religious painting. It is through this lens of the traditional Byzantine icon that George Kordis brings a vibrant and renewed perspective. He has masterfully combined the ancient Byzantine standards with his own distinct personal vision as a prolific contemporary artist.
“George Kordis is both a traditionalist and an innovator. More correctly put, it is precisely because he is traditional that he is innovative, and it is because he innovates that he is also deeply respectful of true Tradition. The depth of Tradition is revealed only to those who know how to listen and obey, to those who possess the spirit of apprenticeship and humility. Essentially, those who are conservative are not “traditional”. Kordis is truly traditional precisely because he is not conservative, because he does not look back to the past in search of magical solutions, nor does he simply value what is old because it is old. Through a process of critical evaluation, he has hit upon what is true in what we have inherited from the past. He has also succeeded in moving the souls of his contemporaries – of our contemporaries – and in convincing them of the priceless spiritual treasures of our Orthodox Tradition…”
~ His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
GEORGE KORDIS BIO
Born in Greece in 1956, George Kordis studied theology at the University of Athens. He then pursued his studies in theology and the aesthetics of Byzantine painting at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, gaining an MA in Theology. In 1991 he was awarded his Doctorate in Theology at the University of Athens. In 2003 he was appointed to the post of Lecturer at the same university where he served as assistant professor in Iconography (Theory and Practice).
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Kordis periodically lectures as visiting professor and teaches icon painting courses at his Ekonourigia Institute in Athens as well as in the US at various universities and seminaries. He has shared his expertise at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, Notre Dame University, Yale University, University of South Carolina in the United States, in Romania at the School of Theology of Bucharest, in the Ukraine at the Pedagogical University of Odessa, among others.
Dr. Kordis is a prolific author. “Icon as Communion: The Ideals and Compositional Principles of Icon Painting,”(Holy Cross Orthodox Press) and the more recent “Color as Light in Byzantine Painting” (St. Sebastian Press, USA) are both valuable resource guides for iconographers. His newest book has just been released in 2023 – “Light to Light” (Alexander Press, Canada), which shares the breadth and scope of Dr. Kordis’s achievement in icon-painting over the last twenty years.
Dr. Kordis has painted many churches and cathedrals world-wide. His most recent commissions in the US include: Holy Trinity Church, Columbia, SC; St Sophia, Valley Forge, PA; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Carmel, IN; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Pittsburg, PA; St. George, Antiochian Orthodox Church, Fishers, IN; and St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church, Braintree, MA.
Exhibiting his works internationally on a regular basis, Dr. Kordis has had a large retrospective of both his sacred works at both the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine Museum in Athens.
Teaching is at the core of Dr. Kordis’s work as he shapes the contemporary dialogue in iconography, training his students to create beautiful icons using the Byzantine system.
His creative work can be seen on his personal gallery website: www.kordis.gr
Program Director, Artist & Founder of Writing the Light
With a BFA in Sculpture from Parsons School of Design in New York City, Keri has held a career spanning over thirty years in both nonprofit and for-profit arts administration which includes serving as the Executive Director of the Sharon Arts Center of Peterborough and Sharon, NH, a senior manager of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, founder and CEO of Creative Hands Art Studio and Atelier Gallery in Madison, NJ, and co-founder of The Starving Artist in Keene, NH. Before forming Writing the Light with George Kordis, Keri also served as director of OQ Farm: A Creative Sanctuary in Bridgewater, VT and currently she teaches iconography as an adjunct professor at Magdalen College in NH. The opportunity to bring sacred arts training in iconography with Dr. Kordis to an American audience is a passion project that has been years in the making since first bringing Kordis to the US to teach Byzantine Drawing in 2017. Along with overseeing and developing the new Certificate programwith the Institute of Sacred Arts at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York, she also represents Dr. Kordis’s artwork in the United States, and is curating future exhibitions. As an artist and student of George Kordis herself, she is enthusiastic about helping to equip, guide and support the next generation of artist iconographers through this contemplative and beautiful sacred arts form, made possible through Dr. Kordis’s invaluable expertise and artistic vision.
You can contact Keri at firstname.lastname@example.org.