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Culminating Project The Church of The Nativity. Aesthetic Education Spring 2012 Kaylyn Whiteley, Kelley McBroom and Emily Fricker. Church of The Nativity History.

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culminating project the church of the nativity

Culminating ProjectThe Church of The Nativity

Aesthetic Education

Spring 2012

Kaylyn Whiteley, Kelley McBroom and Emily Fricker

church of the nativity history
Church of The Nativity History
  • The parish of the Church of the Nativity of Christ was originally chartered in 1916 by Russian Old Believer immigrants who had come to the United States during the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century
  • In 1984, Fr. Theodore Jurewicz, a world-famous iconographer joined the parish as its assistant priest.  Fr. Theodore continued the beautification of the church by painting many icons which added to the feeling of fullness of the church and the Orthodox liturgical rite.
church of the nativity history continued
Church of The Nativity History (continued)
  • On July 22, 1986, last minute preparations were being made for a conference when a maintenance worker saw smoke coming from the ceiling vent over the choir.  By the time the fire department was called, the entire attic area—made up completely of 67-year old timber—was engulfed in flames.  Soon, the flames shot through the roof; the ceiling collapsed in many areas; the 150-light chandelier purchased from Greece crashed to the floor; the walls buckled out.
church of the nativity history continued1
Church of The Nativity History (continued)
  • After hours of firefighting, the parishioners were astonished to find the royal doors, deacons doors, iconastasis, icons, books, altar, vestments, and sanctuary miraculously intact and not even damaged.
  • In early October of 1986 the reconstruction of the church began and was finished by the next summer with the help of many workers and volunteers.
the artist father theodore jurewicz
The ArtistFather Theodore Jurewicz
  • Fr. Theodore was born Frank Jurewicz in 1953 into a Roman Catholic family in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  • Fr. Jurewicz is held to be one of the most renowned iconographers in North America today, and has painted about a dozen Eastern Orthodox churches across North America. He was a student of the late Archimandrite Cyprian, founder of the Russian school of iconography outside of Russia
  • One of his more famous works was his commission to paint the entire church at New Gračanica Monastery in Third Lake, Illinois, a faithful replica of the original in Kosovo, which is listed on the UNESC World Heritage List as an endangered example of medieval monuments. Done over the span of three years, it is painted in a Byzantine style and features richly colored designs and religious scenes covering the walls, vaults, pillars and dome of the church. The paintings are painted in acrylics on dry plaster.
  • Fr. Theodore has also mastered the art of Coptic Orthodox iconography. His Coptic iconography can be seen at St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Toledo, OH.
noticings feelings and emotions
Noticings(feelings and emotions)
  • With all of the artwork on the walls you sort of felt a presence there.
  • They fill the room with hope and faith.
  • The paintings give you a visual effect to the stories we’ve heard from the bible.
  • The quiet atmosphere created a stillness or calmness.
visual noticings continued
Visual Noticings(continued)
  • From the outside the church has an amazing overlook of Lake Erie.
  • There is a gold dome at the top of the church
  • In the cathedral there is an overwhelming amount of artwork from floor to ceiling surrounding you.
  • Each piece of artwork is a scene and tells a story from the bible.
  • There is a giant chandelier in the middle of the cathedral.
  • There is almost no where to sit, a few benches but most of their worship services are done standing.
  • If you look straight up into the dome you see a picture of Jesus.
visual noticings continued1
Visual Noticings(continued)
  • As you entered through the cathedral doors you see two small rooms to each side of you with chairs and windows. These rooms are known as “crying rooms” for children during services.
  • In the front there is a platform where the bishops conduct services from.
  • The carpet is a dark red.
  • There is a number of different angles that form the ceiling.
visual noticings continued2
Visual Noticings(continued)
  • There is a wide variety of colors used.
    • Blues
    • Reds
    • Yellow
    • Brown
    • White
    • Black
    • Soft pinks/salmon/peach
noticings hearing
  • As we took pictures of the church for the most part, besides the click of our cameras, it was very quiet.
  • If we had been there when there was a service it would have been loud and full of singing
use of color
Use of Color
  • Meanings of colors and why they are used
    • Red & Blue were used the most
    • Red- Red is the color of blood, and as such has strong symbolism as life and vitality. It brings focus to the essence of life and living with emphasis on survival. Red is the warmest of all colors.
      • Emotions associated- enthusiasm, energy, action, confidence.
    • Blue-The ancient Egyptians used lapis lazuli to represent heaven. Blue symbolizes the Virgin Mary. A pure blue is the color of inspiration, sincerity and spirituality. Blue is often the chosen color by conservative people. Blue is the calming color. Blue is the coolest of all colors
      • Emotions associated- calm, relaxation, solitude, peace
personal connection kaylyn
Personal Connection -Kaylyn
  • The first time I walked into this church it took my breath away with all of the beauty, colors and art. This was my second time there and yet I still felt the same way. Once you take in the art around, you begin to notice a sense of calm and tranquility. I was in amazement that someone could do such amazing artwork all by hand. Then I noticed all the different angles the church has in the ceiling and dome. Not only is the artwork itself remarkable but then to have to deal with such a difficult canvas makes it even more incredible. Looking around the room it feels like you may never be able to see every picture, every story. I was lucky enough, on my first visit, to hear some of the stories from the artwork from Father Simon. It brings the bible to life as you see the paintings. Overall, after my visits, it made me want to convert to Orthodoxy just so I could be apart of this church. It has a overwhelming feeling of peacefulness and warmth. You feel invited as soon as you step inside and with the paintings it gives me a desire to know more about the stories on the walls.
personal connection kelley
Personal Connection- Kelley
  • When I walked into this church I was in disbelief. It was completely covered, from floor to ceiling, in beautiful paintings. Each of the paintings seemed to be connected to one another, however there were also individual stories that emerged within them. My appreciation for the paintings grew even more when I was told that it was entirely hand painted. There must have been a tremendous amount of time, patience, creativity and talent involved in the creation. My favorite part of the experience was the overwhelming sense of peace that radiated from the church walls. The artwork sets a wonderful mood inside that is hard to describe until you set foot in the church. From this experience I was able to see that art comes in many different forms. I would have never thought that a church could contain such amazing works of art. I’m glad I had the opportunity to witness the unique artwork that is imbedded within this church.
personal connection emily
Personal Connection -Emily
  • When I saw this church for the first time I was in awe at how beautiful it was. Throughout my life I have been to several churches, whether it be for mass or just visiting, and it amazes me how unique and different they all are. I love the older churches, like this one, with the extensive art work all over the walls and ceilings. When I first saw the inside of the church it immediately reminded me of my grandparents church a home with all the extravagant murals everywhere. It amazes me how artwork like this is hand painted and with such great detail and effort. While artwork in churches today seems to follow the same techniques they do not compare in terms of the over the top and incredible artwork like they did in the past. The murals tell many different stories which all come together to create on big picture that one could spend hours deciphering and looking at. There is so much going on through the murals but yet there is a sense of peace and tranquility inside the church. I am glad I had the opportunity to view this amazing work of art.
line of inquiry
Line of Inquiry
  • How does this mural affect our understanding and awareness of the world that surrounds us and represent the past and the future?
  • How does it affect our emotions, feelings and previous experiences?
line of inquiry1
Line of Inquiry
  • Aesthetic
    • How do the colors and other visual effects affect members of the church as well as visitors from the community? What is the overall mood or emotions evoked from the paintings?
  • Pedagogical
    • How do these paintings represent stories depicted from the bible? Do they do a good job of this?
    • Are the paintings an accurate portray of your visual imagines while hearing the stories?
classroom activites
Classroom Activites
  • Lesson on Emotions/Color Association
    • Introduce students to the colors that can be associated with emotions.
      • For example- Blue could be sad, Yellow is happy, Red could mean anger
      • Also, stress to them that they can make there own interpretations of colors and what emotions can be associated with them
classroom activites1
Classroom Activites
  • Lesson on Emotions/Color Association
    • You will need
      • Water Color paint & brushes
      • Canvas/paper
      • Pastel chalk
    • What to do
      • Have the students pick and draw an emotion using just their pencils. You could also have them draw the emotion that they are feeling at that time
      • Let them add watercolor paint to express their chosen emotion
      • The pastel chalk could be used to highlight the colors they’d like to stand out and make the most dramatic
contact information
Contact Information
  • 251 East Front Street Erie, P.A 16507
  • You can find them on Facebook!
  • Or you can call 814-459-8515
  • Special Thanks to Father Simon and Father Theodore!!