The Uniting Church Icon schools have about 50 active members, drawn from all denominations. They meet in the hall at Auburn Uniting Church (Melway 45 E 11 or view google map) in three groups, one day a month.
Download Uniting Church Icon Schools Brochure
One school meets on the first Saturday of each month, another on the first Monday of each month, and the third on the second Wednesday of each month. All schools begin at 10.00 AM and finish at 3.30 PM.
A day’s program includes:
– two (2) periods of an hour and a half (1.5h) for painting under supervision,
– a teaching session about some aspect of iconography (demonstration of technique, theology, history and a particular place rich in icons),
– a time for contemplative prayer before the icon for the day,
– a lunch break.
The technique uses egg tempera with dry ground pigment and gold leaf. Participants joining the school may have previous artistic experience, or they may not. Beginners are welcome. There is an emphasis on the Byzantine style, with other traditions such as Coptic, Ethiopian and Norwegian also available.
Beginners do not need any prior artistic skill or experience, just patience. Participants are free to choose the icons they paint once they have completed their first exercise.
The school has considerable resources with regard to art materials and a substantial borrowing library, housed in a classroom off the main hall, and it also has a workshop for the preparation of boards.
The first school began in 1995, and the enterprise has grown steadily ever since. From time to time an exhibition is organised, and excursions are held.
The co-ordinator of the schools is Rev. Dr. Rob Gallacher, who has studied iconography overseas, and who has been painting icons for 25 years. Dr. Gallacher frequently speaks at meetings of interested groups around Melbourne and supplies icons to churches who want to use them in worship. Commissions are welcomed and icons are sold.