The Holy Experience of Art

A four-part series by Liturgical Artist Symeon van Donkelaar at the Mount Carmel Spirituality Centre

The Studio’s Oratory (under construction)

Mount Carmel Spirituality Centre is pleased to invite you to a series of talks exploring the role of the visual arts in the World, the Church, and at Home. Beginning with a broad overview of the way in which good art enables us to perceive the world around us, this series delves into the role liturgical art plays in the Church and ultimately explores how it can present Jesus Christ and his saints in our daily lives.


10:00 – 11:00 am Mass
11:00 – 11:30 am Breakfast (potluck)
11:30 – 12:30 pm Scheduled talk and discussion
12:30 – 1:00 pm Break
1:00 – 1:30 pm Icon prototype study


Donations to the Artist and his work will be gratefully accepted.


February 17th: What Good Art Sees

Good art stretches our perception by offering a more realistic vision of the world. Throughout history, this has been accomplished in many different forms and styles. In this talk, we’ll explore the role art plays in being human, the role of the artist, and the universal gift it represents.

March 16th: The Experience of the Icon

An introduction to iconography as the experience of Jesus Christ and his saints as informed by the struggles and accomplishments of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Learning about the icon’s history and theology affirms Jesus Christ in profound ways and opens a beautiful window to seeing and experiencing the cosmos.

April 20th: Icon Making at the Conestoga Iconographic Studio

For almost 20 years, Symeon and his studio in Conestoga, Ontario, made icons of unique beauty in a way that witnessed God’s presence in a particular place. Receiving everything necessary from the local land to create traditional icons in Symeon’s style, a unique evangelism and witness to Jesus Christ’s presence was realized.

May 18th: The Faith at Home

Supporting our daily lives of worship, both personally and with our families, is the current focus of Symeon’s Icons at Home Project. The liturgical art supports the duty we have of offering the sacrifice of praise as the domestic church and helps us avoid the temptation of forming our own “house chapels.”


Symeon is a devout Catholic who was called to marriage and has been blessed with five children. He received iconography from the hands of Schema-monk Nathaniel at St. Theodore’s House in Galion, Ohio, over a 6-year period from 1996 to 2002. He was anointed as an iconographer of the Church by Metropolitan Bishop Maximos Aghiorgoussis of Pittsburgh in 2002. In other studies, Symeon completed a Master of Fine Arts at the Universität Krems in Berlin from 2009 to 2011.

Icon of Christ the Almighty

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1 thought on “The Holy Experience of Art”

  1. Hi Symeon,
    Will you have a way for me to hear or see your series “The Holy Experience of Art”? I am hoping that it will be recorded somewhere for those of us in the United States that are not able to attend the series.
    Thank you .
    Cathy McD


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