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posted: 6/17/2014 4:47 PM


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  • Joseph Malham engages his Opening Night audience with his wit and wisdom.  His new Triptych is shown above the altar at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.Peter Vagt

      Joseph Malham engages his Opening Night audience with his wit and wisdom. His new Triptych is shown above the altar at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.Peter Vagt

Pat Sullivan

Highlighting Friday night's Opening Reception for Iconographer Joseph Malham's Trinity Icon Exhibit at St Mark's Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn was his newest work, the Triptych of Christ, Mary and John the Baptist. One visitor commented, "I expected the icons to be impressive but I did not expect to be so moved by them."

Malham expressed his thoughts about the show. "The unveiling of the icon Triptych is a particularly rewarding honor for me. My intention in creating the work was to recover a sense of the awesome impact of icons in sacred space."

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Visitors enjoyed meeting Malham who greeted them and talked about his work. The group invited him to make a few remarks and he engaged them with his wisdom, passion and wit. He will give a more formal talk on Wednesday June 25th at 7:00pm at St Mark's Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, 393 North Main Street. The Artist's Talk is open to the community and is free of charge.

For the past 13 years Malham has been the Artist-In-Residence at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Chicago. His attic studio, located in the old convent next door, is ablaze with rich and vibrant color and gold leaf. He uses traditional techniques and materials iconographers have used for centuries, writing his icons on poplar panels in egg tempera and 23k gold leaf. Apostles, Saints and Angels aren't designed to be lifelike, but are two dimensional, unchanging and luminous. His panels and icon banners are a meld of traditional Byzantine/Russian images and his own unique style.

Of Greek and Assyrian descent, Malham credits his heritage with his love of sacred art and iconography. He studied art in Rome through Loyola University's Rome Center graduating with a BA in History. He has been a full time iconographer for the past 15 years.

Malham reflects, "Art, especially when created for the service of God and others, nourishes the spirit. The basic premise of Byzantine iconography is that images are not to be worshiped but instead venerated as vehicles of truth that point to greater realities than themselves. Icons do not reflect Scripture or show scenes from Scripture; they ARE Scripture; they are mirrors of divine truths and windows into paradise. "

Open through July 27th, Malham's exhibit includes over 20 icons as well as the Triptych. Exhibit hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9-4 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 393 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn. All are invited to the Artist's Talk on Wednesday June 25th at 7:00.

Many of the artist's works and prints are available for purchase at the exhibit and on Malham's website

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