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Paint a Byzantine-style icon at spirituality center

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Noted American iconographer Phil Zimmerman will lead an iconography retreat for all skill levels of painters July 10-16 at the Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market St., La Crosse.

Often referred to as “windows into heaven,” icons trace their history to the beginning of Christianity. The veneration of icons is considered one of the most distinctive elements of the Byzantine Rite.

Participants will have a choice of painting St. Irene of Chrysovalantou or St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Each day will begin with prayer and reflection, and Zimmerman will lead students through the process in a gradual step-by-step approach, using modern artist’s materials while following ancient guidelines and techniques.

All materials and supplies, including gold leaf, will be provided so that participants will finish the week with a beautifully completed icon varnished and ready to display. Based at his St. John the Damascus Icon Studio in Pennsylvania, Zimmerman has taught more than 2,000 students and has created hundreds of icons for churches and private collectors throughout the world.

The cost is $625 for full retreat (includes supplies, all meals and six nights’ stay) or $505 for commuters (includes supplies, lunch and supper). The fee includes a non-refundable deposit of $150. This retreat is limited to 25 participants. Register at or 608-791-5295.


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