With notable accomplishments in the field of sacred arts, the Certificate Degree is composed of a small and dedicated group of teachers and artists.
Master Teacher & Founder, Writing the Light
(For a full bio, please see About Us)
Church Painting Techniques, Romanian Seminar
Mihai Coman was born in Romania in 1979. He is a Lecturer, teaching Traditional Painting Techniques in the Faculty of Orthodox Theology Justinian the Patriarch’ s Department of Sacred Art, University of Bucharest. He completed his studies in the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Art Works, at Nicolae Grigorescu University of Fine Arts (Romania). He gained an MA in Pastoral and Liturgical Life, at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology Justinian the Patriarch (Romania), and a PhD in Byzantine Iconography, from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece). It was during that time that he studied with Dr. George Kordis.
As an Icon and mural painter, Mihai Coman is attested by the Religious Painting Committee of the Romanian Patriarchy; member of UAP – The Romanian Artists Union; member of Eikona group – icon painters teaching in European universities.
Mihai’s numerous mural works include: interior paintings of St. Gregory Palamas Church, Polytechnic University Campus Bucharest Romania (in fresco technique); interior paintings of the main church, Monastery of Prophet Elijah in Mures district, Romania (in fresco technique). His portable icon works are in churches and private collections in Romania and internationally.
Painting Faculty, Athens
Maria Panou was born in Athens and has been studying painting since a very young age under several artists. Attracted by the art of the Hellenistic and Byzantine Era, she began studying Byzantine painting under Dr. George Kordis in 2015. Soon thereafter she was invited to join Dr. Kordis’s team of icon painters where she has participated in painting numerous Orthodox Churches both in Greece and abroad under Kordis’s leadership internationally and is a current active team member. She is highly knowledgeable in materials and is a master in painting techniques in egg tempera.
Since 2020, Maria Panou has undertaken several independent projects of painting the small temples and chapels on the island of Agistri in Greece. As a member of the art group Ochre, she has participated in multiple exhibitions showing her own work in Greece and abroad, most recently with works inspired by the life of Dostoevsky shown at the Sheen Art Center Gallery, New York City.
Byzantine Art History
Based in Athens, Michail received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the Department of Theology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, following with his P.H.D. in Christian and Byzantine Archeology in 2021. His Doctorate thesis focus was Mosaic Pavements and Monumental Painting on Symi during the Byzantine and the Knights Hospitaller Period (6th – beginning of the 16th century). Postdoctoral research currently in progress at the Department of History and Archaeology of the School of Philosophy in Athens (specialization: Byzantine Archaeology) is on Aspects of the Phenomenon of Patronage in the Dodecanese from the Paleochristian Period to the end of the Hospitaller Period: the Evidence of the Inscriptions and Depictions.
A member of the Christian Archaeological Society, he has contributed to numerous research projects including Mapping Eastern Europe of Princeton University with the following case studies: a) The Late-Byzantine Frescoes of Symi, b) The Post-Byzantine Frescoes of Symi (16th -17th century). At the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (Princeton University) Byzantine Athens seminar, he presented his paper The Wall-Paintings of Photis Kontoglou in the City Hall of Athens. He has also recently had his monograph published “A Painting “Bible” is revealed. The Drawings and Sketches by Fotis Kontoglou in an Album in a Private Collection”, Benaki Museum Publications, Athens 2020.
Well-versed in Ecclesiastical Arts of Architecture, Iconography and Decorative Arts, Michail is happy to bring his knowledge of Byzantine Art History to the Writing the Light Certificate program.
Other visiting and guest teachers and lecturers are a regular part of the program.