Introducing BART: Byzantine Arts Today

By Jonathan Pageau on April 23, 2015


Last year I wrote a few articles on a new initiative in Canada called BYZANTIUM: Ottawa International Byzantine Arts Symposium an initiative under the direction of Lesia Maruschak.  One of the highlights of Byzantium was the opening exhibition featuring the icons of  George Kordis, several Romanian iconographers and two Canadian artists: myself and Maruschak.  BYZANTIUM’s highlight was the Diptych  concert where sacred vocal groups performed while Kordis painted an icon before full churches of spectators. Since then, Maruschak and Kordis have collaborated with great energy launching a series of exhibitions in Canada, the US, Europe and Asia.  One of the results of their ongoing partnership is BART: Byzantine Arts Today, the North American Centre for Byzantine Arts. Their vision is great – to create a center of international excellence where one can learn different aspects of Byzantine traditional arts. They kick off their year in Ottawa, Canada with an iconography master class with Kordis, a Byzantine scent lab with Maruschak and I will also be giving an icon carving workshop.

Lesia Maruschak and George Kordis.

Lesia Maruschak and George Kordis.

Kordis and Maruschak plan to open a satellite centre in Cyprus with programming and tours planned for 2016-17. Watch out for this duo’s next artistic collaboration, Terra Ercolano, highlighting their passion for Byzantine tastes in the design of jewelry, scarves, perfumes and other curations.


More information can be found on their website:

You can also follow BART on facebook :

2015 Schedule:

The Kordis master class is 10 – 18 August, 2015

The scent lab is on the 16th of August, 2015

The icon carving class will be on 16 – 20 August, 2015

St. Paul's Vision on the Road to Damascus, by George Kordis. Contemporary icon. In this icon can be seen the confluence of traditional pictorial forms, along with the revalorization of 20th century painting.  That is, we see some aspects of the Byzantine style and Romanesque "mannerism," along with the use of flat and broad fields of color reminiscent of Van Gogh and 20th century abstraction. All of this tends to have a sense of "expressionist" vigor, wish clearly conveys the sense of dynamic and transformative encounter of the sacred event.

St. Paul’s Vision on the Road to Damascus, by George Kordis. Contemporary icon.

Jonathan Pageau.  Detail of a Transfiguration icon.

Jonathan Pageau. Detail of a Transfiguration icon.




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