Iconographer Irene Pérez

icon-artistOriginally from Venezuela, iconographer Irene Pérez lives in Austin, Texas. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin in 1989, graduated from the St. Stephen’s Certificate Program of the Antiochian House of studies in 2014 and received an MA in Applied Orthodox Theology with a specialization in Iconology from Balamand University in 2016.

Irene has worked in a variety of media, including drawing, oil painting, stone and glass sculpture, mixed media pieces, installations, print making. Since 1997, she has dedicated herself to the study and practice of Byzantine iconography. She currently teaches iconography workshops, holds regular weekly classes in her studio in Austin.

Exhibitions of her work can be seen in Texas, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., the U.K., and Mexico. Her works are included in private collections in the U.S. (Texas, New Mexico, California, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi), England, Spain, Finland, Philippines, Australia, Malta, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela.

Irene began her studies in iconography in 1996.  She has taken classes in egg-tempera painting, iconography, manuscript and miniature illumination from a variety of master teachers.  She currently dedicates herself exclusively to the study and practice of  iconography. She paints icons for private and church commissions, and teaches iconography workshops in the U.S. and abroad.

The main focus of Irene’s artwork prior to her study of iconography encompassed the use of both Christian and Eastern symbols to express the stages and different aspects of her spiritual journey, her search for spiritual knowledge, truth and God. This interest guided her to the study of iconography and was a natural evolution from Irene’s earlier work. Instead of continuing to develop a personal symbolic language, Irene found in iconography a perfectly developed and universal visual language that revealed the Presence of God. The practice of icon writing/painting done with a spiritual intention becomes a form of contemplation, meditation and prayer which extends beyond the studio to every aspect of the iconographer’s life. It is a liturgical art form, which leads to a liturgical way of life.

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