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Food For the Soul 2018-2019

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A TALK: Come and hear Symeon van Donkelaar - The Making of an Icon

The Making of an Icon: A talk by inconography Symeon van Donkelaar

Sunday, June 30, 2019 at 7pm

In advance of his popular Icon Writing Workshop here at St. John’s Convent from July 1-5, [see here »] iconographer Symeon van Donkelaar, from the village of Conestogo, north of Waterloo, Ont., will tell us what goes into the making of an icon – how it weaves together theology, history, style and materials from the natural world.

Beginning with the making of a wooden panel, he will follow the progression of harvesting a tree to the naming of the finished icon of Christ the Pantocrator, explaining the significance of each step and the vision of the Kingdom of God that it reveals.

Taught by Symeon van Donkelaar, an iconographer, who after completing a traditional apprenticeship in a Greek Orthodox monastery, has been working for the last twenty years to create a contemporary iconographic vision for prayer in Canada. His work is enriched by a love of nature. To make the icon’s wooden panel, he first harvests a tree. All of the icon’s colours come from the earth around his studio and share in the heritage of the land—its culture, history and spirit. In this way, even the pigments used in an icon can witness the love of God that exists in the soil and rocks of the earth. Symeon paints, exhibits, and teaches regularly in diverse settings across North America, and works as a full-time iconographer in the Conestoga Iconographic Studio outside St. Jacobs, Ontario.

  • To Register: There is no charge for the talk, but registration is required because seating is limited. Please email the Guest House at foodforthesoul@ssjd.ca with the subject line "The Making of an Icon".
  • Include your name and phone number, and the name and phone number of any others who may be coming with you.
  • Reservations are on a first come–first serve basis. After the seats are filled, we will put additional names on a waiting list.
  • Please be considerate of others and let us know if you find you cannot attend so we are able to offer your seat to someone on the waiting list.

  • All retreats and quiet days at St. John’s Convent take place in the milieu of a contemporary monastic community which has a daily rhythm of prayer. All guests are invited to take part in the daily Eucharist, and those staying overnight may like to join us in the Divine Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline).
  • See the regular chapel and meal schedule here »

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