WRITING THE LIGHT

Writing the Light

Curriculum

SUMMER SCHOOL | Crete 2024

NEW STRUCTURE FOR 2024!   Please fill out the registration form (from red button above) and we will email you with next steps for completing registration.

Read More »

The Writing the Light Certificate Degree

In partnership with the Institute of Sacred Arts, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, USA

 

CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

With the mentorship of Dr. George Kordis, one of the top contemporary artist iconographers and Byzantine art scholars in the world, Writing the Light provides a well-rounded curriculum in the studio practice of contemporary Byzantine iconography.  Now packaged as a CERTIFICATE with the partnership of the Institute of Sacred Arts ~  

We
 welcome you to join this unique program.

 

With an international scope and based on a low-residency model, the Certificate combines select in-person residencies at various international destinations paired with the freedom of online engagement from a home location anywhere in the world, making it possible for students to learn, grow and achieve success.

As a studio-based program in the practice of making icons, it includes additional overview course-work in Byzantine Art History, Theology and Aesthetics, allowing optimal time for advancing in the creative process, skills and techniques needed in this specialized field.

It is therefore the perfect accompaniment to students pursuing matriculated degrees in related fields, or simply pursued independently for full immersion in learning to create icons using the Byzantine System cultivated by Dr. Kordis, moving towards a professional practice.

The Writing the Light curriculum is ideally designed for a 2-year period of study, responsive to each individual student and their specific needs with flexibility and affordability.

The online program is manageable for most students, with a realistic timeline to assure success in a part-time commitment. Some students may be eligible to be considered for a waiver of certain coursework (see APPLY for more information), if they have previously studied under Dr. Kordis or have prior experience that can carry over.

The program can begin in the Fall of any given year, or if applying with satisfied prior coursework, can begin in the Spring Semester at semester two, or at semester one with adjustments.

A final thesis of an original composition of an icon(s) will be the highlight and culmination of the program coursework, with an exhibition at the Mets Art Center in Athens, Greece and/or at an appropriate exhibition space in the United States.

 

TWO CORE PARTS TO THE CURRICULUM:

  1. ONLINE Classes are a balanced combination of a recorded (asynchronous) e-learning system and LIVE (synchronous) virtual seminars and classes delivered through Zoom and Vimeo with individualized long-distance critique and oversight. 
  2. RESIDENCIES There are four required residencies with multiple options for students to choose from.  These immersions are a critical part of the program to provide valuable in-person instruction, critique and oversight for growth and artistic progress.  These 7 to 10-day residencies are currently held offered in several locations.  Students may choose residencies in GREECE (both Athens and Crete), NEW YORK, USA at St. Vladimir’s Seminary , ROMANIA and more.  The flexibility for students to choose the location and time of year of the residencies to fit into their life schedule is a major asset to the program.

(see Residencies)

 

ONLINE CURRICULUM

Quick Overview (2-year program)

SEMESTER 1
LIVE Virtual Drawing – LIVE class 2x per month with supervision by Dr. George Kordis
Painting Essentials I – Series of on-demand recorded sessions with supervision by Kordis
History of Byzantine Art I – LIVE class 2x per month
Seminar 1 – LIVE 1x per month with Kordis, all levels
SEMESTER 2
LIVE Virtual Drawing – LIVE class 2x per month with supervision by Kordis
Painting Essentials II – Series of  on-demand recorded sessions with Kordis supervision
Theology of Icons and Aesthetics of Byzantine Painting I –  with readings and LIVE session 1x per month with Kordis
Seminar 2 — LIVE 1x per month with Kordis, all levels
SEMESTER 3
LIVE Virtual Drawing (2x per month LIVE class with supervision by Kordis)
Advanced Painting – Series of on-demand recorded sessions with supervision by Kordis
History of Byzantine Art II – LIVE class 2x per month
Seminar 3 — LIVE 1x per month with Dr. Kordis, all levels
SEMESTER 4
THESIS PROJECT – Students must paint a large scale icon based on traditional icons using their own style. Thesis supervised by George Kordis individually, with final work submission required within three months of final residency.
Theology of Icons and Aesthetics of Byzantine Painting II – Instructor: Dr. Kordis
Seminar 4 — LIVE 1x per month with Dr. Kordis, all levels

 

ONLINE Course Descriptions

Semester 1

  1. DRAWING ESSENTIALS I

Live online class held bi-weekly with George Kordis

Learning the Byzantine system with basic ideals and principles. Drawing Heads (Dynamic frontally, 3/4 heads). The standing figure. The seated Figure.  (Kordis’s book “Icon as Communion” as class supplement)

  1. PAINTING FOUNDATION I

Series of on-demand recorded sessions with supervision by Kordis

Lessons on the egg tempera technique using the dry Egg Tempera technique with underpainting (Theory). Painting a cloth (Exercises). Building the flesh tones (Exercises). Rendering the beard and hair of an ascetic saint (Exercises).  (Kordis’s book “Color as Light in Byzantine Painting” as class supplement)

  1. HISTORY OF BYZANTINE ART I

Live online class held twice per month with Dr. Michail Asfentagakis 

Various themes on the History of Byzantine iconography (5-16 centuries ). Christian Architecture. Iconoclasm and Iconophiles. (““Byzantium: From Antiquity to the Renaissance” by Thomas F. Mathews as class supplement).

  1. SEMINAR

Live online class once per month with Kordis, for all levels

Various themes and questions for group discussion

 

Semester 2

  1. DRAWING ESSENTIALS II

Live online class held bi-weekly with George Kordis

Learning the Byzantine system with basic ideals and principles (continued).  Composing in the framework of Byzantine tradition. Theory.  The Annunciation, The Holy Trinity, other multi-figure subjects. (Kordis’s book “Icon as Communion” as class supplement)

  1. PAINTING FOUNDATION II

Series of on-demand sessions with supervision by Kordis

More lessons on egg tempera technique using Kordis’s dry technique with underpainting (Theory). New more complex exercises building on the lessons of the first semester. (Kordis’s book “Color as Light in Byzantine Painting” as class supplement)

  1. THEOLOGY OF ICONS AND AESTHETICS OF BYZANTINE PAINTING I

Online class held twice a month with George Kordis – Live and recorded

Various themes from the aesthetic analysis of Byzantine painting to Contemporary Iconography and the creative approach of Tradition.

  1. SEMINAR

LIVE online class once per month with Kordis, for all levels

Various themes and questions for group discussion

 

Semester 3

  1. ADVANCED DRAWING

Live online class held bi-weekly with George Kordis

Continuing in the tradition of the Byzantine system with the art of composition.  The Crucifixion, The Holy Trinity, The Resurrection and other major Feast icons.  (Kordis’s book “Icon as Communion” as class supplement)

  1. ADVANCED PAINTING

Series of on-demand recorded sessions with supervision by Kordis

A continuation of learning additional techniques and practice of more complex lessons with multiple-figure compositions.  (Kordis’s book “Color as Light in Byzantine Painting” as class supplement)

  1. HISTORY OF BYZANTINE ART 

Live online class held twice per month with instructor Dr. Michail Asfentagakis  

Various themes on the History of Byzantine iconography (5-17th centuries ). Christian Architecture. Iconoclasm and Iconophiles. (“Byzantium: From Antiquity to the Renaissance” by Thomas F. Mathews as class supplement).

  1. SEMINAR

Live online class once per month with Kordis, for all levels

Various themes and questions for group discussion

 

Semester 4

  1. THESIS PROJECT

Direct individual and group supervision monthly with Dr. Kordis virtually

Students must paint a large scale icon or series of icons based on traditional icons using their own style.  Group critique once a month in relation to thesis development.  All final work is required to be submitted within three weeks of the final residency.

  1. THEOLOGY OF ICONS AND AESTHETICS OF BYZANTINE PAINTING II

Online class held twice a month with George Kordis – Readings and  Live class 1x per month

Various themes from the aesthetic analysis of Byzantine painting to Contemporary Iconography and the creative approach of Tradition.

  1. SEMINAR

Live online class once per month with Kordis, for all levels

Various themes and questions for group discussion.

 

RESIDENCIES

Certificate Program Residencies 

The Writing the Light Residencies are a critical part of the unique program, offering an in-person balance to the virtual online program.  These are hands-on, valuable opportunities to learn directly from Dr. Kordis and his extended faculty.  Students will be able to dive into the nuances of the technical application of drawing and painting and gain a deeper understanding of the various materials.

All residencies have an intensive practical focus – on icon drawing and painting in the Byzantine system.  They will cover the material and creative aspect of the medium of egg tempera.  They will also include specialized instruction on the preparation of grounds, gilding, and an overview of various alternative painting mediums and methods – from fresco to digital painting, along with basic marketing and professional best practices.  The Romanian Residency is unique as it will feature a special focus on church work with large scale drawing and painting with the “buon fresco” technique, curated for those who wish to explore professional church painting and experience its particular application.

With an International scope, the residencies are primarily held in Greece (Athens and Crete), the US (New York and Los Angeles), and Romania. Students can choose which residencies work best with their schedules, aiming to attend two residencies per year. There are four residencies total required for graduation.  Students who have already attended previous workshops with Dr. Kordis can obtain a waiver of up to one residency towards fulfillment of their Certificate, but are welcome to attend more residencies than the basic requirement to graduate.

Certificate students will be asked to share a personal residency plan upon entrance to the program, with the ability to amend as life demands.  The first in-person residency should be scheduled as close as possible to the first online semester – either before or immediately after.

Students must be prepared to cover the additional cost of travel, food and lodging while at the Residencies, and factor this into their overall budget for the full two-year program.  The basic additional costs of what to expect per residency (beyond tuition) are estimated separately on the individual RESIDENCIES page, and will vary according to both an individual’s home state or country and the chosen residency location and duration.

PLEASE NOTE that Residencies are also open to non-Certificate students, but only after Certificate students have secured their intentions and attendance preferences.  Residencies usually will have a select number of spaces available for non-Certificate students to join.

Certificate students are offered priority registration to the residencies (except for the Summer School in Greece, which is always filled on a first-come, first-served basis).

All of the residencies listed below indicate a basic timetable, with specific details and descriptions outlined individually on our RESIDENCIES page.

All of the residencies are billed separately as a separate Residential Tuition Fee payable in advance of the scheduled residency as a deposit in order to secure a spot (Summer School is billed six months out with a deposit suggested as soon as it has been selected due to the popularity of the program), with full payment required three months in advance.

 

The below is a basic timeline, tuition and overview of the Residencies: 

* PLEASE REMEMBER ONLY FOUR RESIDENCIES ARE REQUIRED*

2023 RESIDENCIES TIME LOCATION  BASIC INFORMATION TUITION
ATHENS & CRETE SUMMER Eikonourgia & Orthodox Academy of Crete August 2023, 10-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 1600
2024 RESIDENCIES
ATHENS SPRING Mets Art Center & Eikonourgia January 2024, 10-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 1600
NEW YORK SUMMER St. Vladimir’s Seminary June 2024, 7-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 850
ATHENS & CRETE SUMMER Eikonourgia & Orthodox Academy of Crete August 2024, 10-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 1600
ROMANIA* FALL Putna Monastery, Romania September 2024, 10-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 1600
2025 RESIDENCIES
ATHENS WINTER Mets Art Center & Eikonourgia January 2025, 7-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 850
NEW YORK SUMMER St. Vladimir’s Seminary June 2025, 7-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 850
ATHENS & CRETE SUMMER Eikonourgia & Orthodox Academy of Crete August 2025, 10-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 1600
LOS ANGELES FALL St. Steven’s Orthodox Church TBD, 7-day on-site program. Instructor: George Kordis and TBD 850
2026 to repeat 2024
* = Held Bi-Annually

Other new Residency options will be added as they are available

Share this:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest