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Saturday, March 13, 2021

‘Sacred Doorways’ opened last night with a reception at ACWC

The Arts Council for Wyoming County, 31 South Main St., is opening a doorway to iconography, an art form deeply connected to spirituality. The artwork is featured in “Sacred Door-ways: The Art of Iconography,” which opened with a reception on Friday at the ACWC Gallery. Iconography, an art form often practiced by monks, involves intense concentration on a holy image, usually of a saint or divine figure. 

Gabrielle Kettinger, a Houghton College alum, artist and aspiring iconographer, became fascinated with the art of iconography in a Painting I class at college. She chose to paint a small icon of the Theotokos and described the process as being unlike anything she had experienced before. The experience, she said, changed the path of her art focus, and four years later she is pursuing iconography full time and has been blessed with several commissions. 

“Iconography is not just an art form but also a devotional experience,” she said. Kettinger is a 2019 graduate of Houghton College, where she studied studio art with a goal of becoming a master iconographer. She will talk more about her work during an artist talk, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. The opening reception runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the ACWC Gallery. The exhibition – Kettinger’s first as a solo artist – remains on view through April 23. 

“Some faith communities consider Icon painting ‘a holy skill.’ Other faith communities consider the season of Lent a holy period of penitential preparation for Easter,” noted ACWC Executive Director Jacqueline Swaby. “The Arts Council for Wyoming County is honored to present the iconographic paintings of this young artist who has accomplished the task of connecting the old with the new and the sacred with the contemporary in her masterful interpretation and execution of the icons she brings to the canvas,” Swaby said. The executive director said that she hopes the exhibition will “inspire, bring deeper meaning for some, and perhaps intrigue and mystery for others”

Exhibit runs March 12 through April 23. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit www.artswyco.org, email info@artswyco.org, or call (585) 237-3517.

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