Reformation of the Icon 2017

Reformation of the Icon 2017

Contemporary Icon Workshop at the Lutheran Monastery

In Finnish

The Lutheran Monastic Community in Enonkoski. Finland, invites artists for contemporary icon workshop in the spirit of reformation 24th July –  3rd August 2017.

Reformation of the Icon

Icon is the thematic project of the Enonkoski Community  marking 500 years of reformation in 2017. Just like Martin Luther in his time set out to reform – with deep respect and knowledge or tradition – not only theology and liturgy but also church music, we think that we are called to search the sources of Living Water – the light of God. Like through the renewal of church music in the time of reformation 500 years ago, we can now find expression of our spiritual yearning and the light of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in contemporary interpretation of spiritual experience in icons.

In contrast to Luther’s time, all disciples of Jesus are now invited to participate in ecumenical spirit. In the joint declaration of Catholics and Lutheran, pope Francis and Bishop Munib Younan from Lutheran World Federation call us all to be bold and creative, joyful and hopeful in our commitment: By drawing close in faith to Christ, by praying together, by listening to one another, by living Christ’s love in our relationships, we, can open ourselves to the power of the Triune God. Rooted in Christ and witnessing to him, we renew our determination to be faithful heralds of God’s boundless love for all humanity.


The project started in 2016 with a “Lutheran Icon” workshop in the monastery in Enonkoski. Participating were one Polish, one Scottish and three Finnish artists. From the works of participating artists and some cooperating Ukrainian and Polish artists, three exhibitions were set up in Enonkoski, Savonlinna and Kangasala.

Resulting icons represent new form and employ new techniques and styles, The works created also represent different contextualizations of spirituality reflecting different cultural environments and traditions. The project has raised interest especially in Finland. The project has helped to establish a bridge of cooperation with experienced and insightful painters and artists in Poland and Ukraine and introduce the idea of contemporary icon in Finland.

Themes for icon painting workshop in 2017

The theme of the workshop will be church year. The aim of the project is to create a series of icons to give a contemporary representation of the spiritual significance of main feast of the church year. Space for consideration and selection of topics will be left for the artists. However, topics should conform to the cycle of Lutheran liturgical year. Examples of topics could be Christmas, Epiphany, Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, Annunciation, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Michaelmas and All Saints Day. The topic can for instance be approach through bible text assigned for that day.

Participants will paint one icon on larger panel. Enonkoski Monastery would like to eventually collect a series of icons that would be on display in the Chapel of Holy Trinity in the monastery according to the church year.

Crucifix by Anna Makać.

In addition to topical icon, participants can produce other works where the choice of topic is free.
It is up to the participating artists to reflect upon the theme of the workshop, seek inspiration and set goals to own work. As a starting point, discussion will be initiated concerning the role of sacred art for spiritual introspection, contrast between traditional iconographic tradition and modern ways of expression and potential of new  techniques, modern spirituality and visual communication of religious experience.

Participation in icon painting workshop in 2017

A maximum of 10 artists will be invited to the workshop. Four distinguished artists with substantial merit will be invited from abroad. Up to six other artists will be invited to participate on the basis of application.

Requirement of participation is experience on icon painting and mastery of skills necessary to carry out intended project. Please take note that no training in techniques is provided in the workshop. Use of acrylic paint is recommended, but use of tempera is possible (with own paints).

Modern icons – including some Sami themed – painted by Anna Makać.

Applicants should make available short  CV, portfolio of selected works relevant to the theme and short proposal for the work to realized in the workshop (or commentary of motivations to attend). Application can be submitted in electronic form by email or mailed to the monastery by 30th April 2017. When submitted electronically, link to necessary documentation available online will suffice.

A selection panel of experts will make a recommendation for the selection of participants. Based on the recommendation, the board of the “Friends” association will make the selection and decide to grant scholarships. Selection process will be concluded during May 2017.

Participation fee

The participation fee covers full board and materials package (2 icon panels, set of acrylic paints and brushes) and accommodation in double room. Participation fee is 550 euros.

Participants are encouraged to apply for scholarships or other funding to cover the cost of participation. It is possible to apply for a scholarship from the “Friends of the Monastery” (Suomen evankelisluterilaisen luostarin tuki ry). Participation will also provide possibility to display own works in icon exhibitions that are part of the project. In return for scholarship, the church year icon will remain in possession of Enonkoski monastery.


The workshop will be organized in collaboration with artists from the circle of  Międzynarodowe Warsztaty Ikonopisów w Nowicy  = International Iconography Workshop in Nowica/Poland. Our partners in the project also include Polish iconographer Anna Makać,  Scottish-Polish artist Basia Mindewicz (Edinburgh School of Icon Painting). Also Ukrainian artists will participate. The workshop is made possible with the financial support of Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and Paavali Juusten Foundation. To support the workshop, a crowdfunding campaign on (Finnish crowdfunding platform) will be activated.

Icon workshop program

The programme will consist of one day introductory seminar “Reformation of the Icon”, workshop days and closing exhibition and feedback seminar.

The workshop will allow icon painters to take part in the spiritual life of the monastery including prayer services.

Daily programme

(Adjustments possible)

08:00 Breakfast and morning service in the Chapel of Holy Trinity

09:00-17:00 Work (with coffee/lunch break)

17:00 Dinner

18:00 Evening prayer in the Chapel of Holy Trinity

20:00 Evening tea

There will be optional excursions to Orthodox Lintula Monastery and to Kerimäki church (world’s largest wooden church). On Sunday Lutheran mass will be celebrated in the Monastery.

Detailed programme and instructions will be forwarded to participants after selection process.

Further information:

Ari Luomajoki (

Pellervo Kokkonen (

Applications should be sent to