All events hosted by the Center for Byzantine Material Arts

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Iconography Course

March 7th, 2017 by

Join us for a four-day course on the Icon of the Lady of Perpetual Help done in Traditional egg tempera.  We will make a 11 x 14 “ image on a Masonite board or you can order a Traditional wood board with raised edges for $120.00.  Must be ordered 3 weeks before course.

The course meets two weekends:

May 19, 20 and 26, 27

Time: 10-4 every day   

Costs: $400

$50 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot which will go toward the cost of the Course.

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ABOUT THE COURSE: This course will be taught in the Traditional method of dark to light, using egg tempera.   It is designed for those who have painted an icon previously. Due to time constraints there will be no gilding. Classes will be six hours each day (except Sunday), including a lunch break. Please bring your own lunch (or you can buy it here-several restaurants). We will be discussing the historical development and meaning of this icon during the class.

BOARDS: For this course the student will use the clay flat-panel board (provided in cost).  Or the students may request a traditional prepared wood board but it will be an additional $115.00, due at the time of registration. Must request a board no later than 2 weeks before course.


WHAT TO BRING: pencil, eraser, rinse jar, palette, ruler, scissors, drafting compass (all optional)

BRUSHES: One water color wash brush: very fluffy, at least 1ʺ wide.

One tool or stipple brush or a beat-up brush for mixing.

One small watercolor script: #1 or #2

Several larger brushes for blending: rounds #2 or #3  (All these can be bought at the course)

MAKE-UPS: Every day of instruction presupposes knowledge of the days that precede it, so every class is required to proceed to the next one. If you need to miss one of the painting days toward the end of a course, that time can be made up by appointment on another Friday or Saturday.  If the student does not finish by the end of the course they can schedule a time to come in and finish.


Colette Kalvesmaki,  Founder and Director of the Center for Byzantine Material Arts, Iconographer, Art Restorer.

Colette M. Kalvesmaki is trained in the tradition of Byzantine-Russian iconography.  She uses traditional materials such as egg tempera, gold on fine woods for panel icons as well as fresco for wall finishes. She graduated with a BA in Classical Archaeology in 1989 from the University of California, Santa Barbara and worked as an archaeologist in America and Greece before returning to school to receive a Masters in Theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1993. She moved to Massachusetts to study intensively for three years under the renowned Russian iconographer Ksenia Pokrovsky. While in Boston, Colette was also trained as an art restorer with Treffler and Sons Art Restoration Studios and in recent years has trained in the Buon Fresco Academy of Wall Artistry, expanding her abilities to a variety of wall finishes.

Colette started The Center for Byzantine Material Arts in Virginia in 2014 and continues to paint, teach and lecture for various Churches, Museums and Universities.  Her work can be found in formal exhibits, churches and private collections in America and internationally.

For more information on Colette and her work, visit

Brushed with faith by Catholic News Service  —

Beginning Iconography II -in Leesburg-Drawing Course with Karen Ward

August 29th, 2016 by

   This class will introduce basic drawing techniques and anatomy of the face and figure, both in the icon and in traditional portraits.  Media will include charcoal, pencil, brush and ink. We will learn and practice the “line” of the icon and develop skill and confidence in drawing.

Ideal for beginning icon students, and helpful for those who want to understand the structure of the icon figure and the theology illuminated in the form of the icon.

Class will be led by Karen Ward, an artist, iconographer, and art teacher.

Contact Karen Ward for more information at:

Four classes: May 2, 9, 16, 23

Time:2-4 pm at the Trinity Cafe in Leesburg.

Cost: $125

 Supply list at registration

Most supplies can be bought at the Center for Byzantine Material Art

First Friday of the Month Lecture Series: April 7th at 7 pm

February 16th, 2016 by

Join us for an evening of exploration into iconography and faith from respected scholars, clergy and Iconographers.  Talks start at 7 pm followed by questions and refreshments.  Come early and visit our surrounding vendors and restaurants before the lecture and make an evening of it!

Suggested donation $10

RSVP would be nice!


  “The Making and Function of Byzantine Ivories”

 Dumbarton Oaks has a small but excellent collection of Byzantine ivories that have been fully published in the 1970’s. The presentation aims to introduce to processes of craftsmanship and production and will discuss aspects of the original function of the ivories, a topic that has been in the focus of more recent scholarship yet still raises interesting questions.

Gudrun Buehl is Curator and Museum Director at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection and in this role she is in charge of the art collections at Harvard’s research center in Washington D.C. A Byzantine art historian by training, she joined the staff in 2004 and since then has been responsible for the re-design and re-installation of the museum galleries in 2008. She is the curator of a new series of small special exhibitions and strives to share the knowledge of the Dumbarton Oaks collections with a wider public. Gudrun Buehl has researched and published widely on aspects of Byzantine ivory carving and is currently leading an international, collaborative research project to publish the holdings of Byzantine and early Islamic textiles.


 Next up: Friday, May 5th
FEATURED SCHOLAR: Colette Kalvesmaki
Differences of the Sacred Image Between East and West






Icon Gallery Currently Available–

March 31st, 2015 by


Icon Galleries and Store are located at:

Center for Byzantine Material Arts

The Monroe Street Arts Walk

(by Catholic University)

716 Monroe St. NE #7, Washington DC 20017

Metro stop: red line CUA/Brookline

Hours of operation are: Wed-Fri 9-4, Sat 9-4 and Sun 12-4

PH: 301 977 7297

(Call tdsc_0466o see if we are working in the studio before or after hours.  If someone is there, you are welcome to come in!)







 Trinity House Cafe

101 E. Market St., Leesburg VA 20176  

Hours of operation are Mon: 8-4,Tue-Fri: 8-9, Sat: 8-9 Sun: 8-8 .

PH:703 737-3721

All works are for sale unless stated otherwise. Prices vary.  We have various mediums and artisans from around the greater DC area showing at the Arts Walk location in DC.


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Icon/Art Supplies: boards, pigments, brushes and more. . . .

February 24th, 2016 by

candles-church sized


brushes, pigments, icon boards, rabbit skin glue, marble dust, chalk, and more.

Stop by our store for candles, incense, charcoal, votive candles, and more!

Iconography Private Lessons, Commissions, Intensive Courses and Open Saturdays!

January 17th, 2015 by

Private Lessons

Private lessons are $40 a lesson and includes all supplies for initial lessons. One can start with the making of the board or with the painting process. Gilding is not included until a later date and gold is not included in the price.

Raised boards can be bought at the wish of the student for later icons. Particulars are worked out with the instructor. The mediums are egg tempera, but can be in acrylic. The lessons follow a course much as the Traditional schools of old. This is a living Tradition and is important to us to carefully pass on the practice and theology of the icon.

The length of lessons depends on the ability of the students. The goal is to take privately until the instructor advises the student join the Open Saturdays. If the student wishes they can continue privately but are encouraged to work on their own and come with questions on our open Saturdays, which are listed on the calender web site.

All are welcome who can paint on their own to Open Saturdays.


We accept commissions and work usually in two payments. One when ordering and the second when it is finished. Prices vary accordingly. It’s best to visit the websites to choose a style. (see –Gallery of Artist page)

Intensive Courses

Intensive courses are open to anyone interested and are offered usually once a month. A deposit is necessary to hold your place. Cost and time depend largely on the difficulty of the icon. Check website for details.

Ask about our scholarship fund.

Open Saturdays

Open Saturdays – are walk in sessions for those who already know how to work (mostly) on their own but have a qustion or two, or for those who simply like to work with a group in a quite setting.  We start at 1pm on specially marked Saturdays.                Check our “Calender of Events” for days.

Cost $10.00.

Next Open Saturday-every Saturday in January!

Location -We are at the Monroe Street Arts Walk, 716 Monroe St. NE #7, Washington DC 20017.

Metro-Redline CUA/Brookline stop. We are a few yards away in the Monroe Street arts Walk.

Parking: Parking garage on 7th and Monroe or street parking.

Dates– they vary and it’s always good to drop an email before you come: