See the saints at iconography, manuscript illumination exhibit in Tacoma

  • Written by Barbara Washburn
  • Published in Local
This manuscript illumination of St. Kevin by Susan Bondurant uses a collage of elements from the Book of Kells, a famous Irish manuscript. It is on display at Catholic Community Services in Tacoma through Dec. 29. Photo: Courtesy Susan Bondurant This manuscript illumination of St. Kevin by Susan Bondurant uses a collage of elements from the Book of Kells, a famous Irish manuscript. It is on display at Catholic Community Services in Tacoma through Dec. 29. Photo: Courtesy Susan Bondurant

TACOMA – An exhibit of Byzantine-style icons created by local residents is being featured through Dec. 29 at Catholic Community Services’ Tahoma Family Center.

The icons on display include images of Christ, St. John the Baptist, the Virgin Mother and Christ Child, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Saint Florian, patron of firefighters.

The show also includes a manuscript illumination titled St. Kevin, which tells a story through colorful images. “I made a collage of elements of the Book of Kells, a famous Irish manuscript,” said the artist, Susan Bondurant, who works at CCS’ Nativity House in Tacoma.

The organizers decided the icon exhibit also presented an opportunity to “educate the viewing public about the process of iconography,” said Pamelia Pruitt-Colvin, a featured iconographer who is a member of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Tacoma.

The exhibit includes a visual step-by-step process that explains the making of an icon using the historic egg-tempera painting method. Natural minerals and clays are ground into pigments, using egg yolk as a binding agent, Pruitt-Colvin explained.

Other iconographers featured include Kathleen McKee and Barbara Orsborn, whose work is grounded in skills taught by Russian masters.

The gallery at CCS’ Tahoma Center opened in 1994 and was one of several sites that hosted the now-defunct Tacoma Art Walk, according to Mike Curry, operations director at CCS in Tacoma. Now the gallery hosts about six shows a year, he said.

Saint icons
From left, Pamelia Pruitt-Colvin’s icons of St. Florian, patron of firefighters, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, and the Virgin Mother and Christ Child are on exhibit at the Catholic Community Services art gallery in Tacoma through Dec. 29. Photo: Courtesy Pamelia Pruitt-Colvin

View the icons

The Byzantine Iconography and Manuscript Illumination exhibit is located on the second floor of Catholic Community Services’ Tahoma Center, 1323 S. Yakima Ave., Tacoma.

The exhibit is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 29, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

For more information, call CCS at 253-502-2617.