The 104-year-old Greek Orthodox Church in Pocatello will soon be filled with artwork from a renowned Byzantine iconographer.
Former professor and iconographer, George Kordis, traveled from Athens, Greece with his team of four artists to spend the month of October painting the inside of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.
The already historic church is the 3rd oldest active Greek Orthodox Church in America that uses the original building. Now, it’s making history again.
This church will be the only Greek Orthodox Church in the Rocky Mountain area to have it’s entire sanctuary covered with 4th century icons.
The icons depict scenes and scriptures of the Christian church. The artists work completely freehand and are very detail oriented. Kordis and his team are among the best iconographers in the world.
“Through iconography we want to visualize the Orthodox ideology and render in visual terms the idea that everything is connected with Christ. Everything is connected together in Christ,” said Kordis.
His work can be seen in the dome and central apse of the church, which was painted after the church’s 100 year anniversary renovation in 2014.
The project came to life because of Danny Thiros, a member of the church who passed from illness in 2017. Father Constantine Zozos, the spiritual leader of the church, said Thiros wanted to donate the money to establish an icon at the church.
After his passing, Zozos created a fundraiser in Thiros’ name to pay for the incoming iconography.
“The essence of this is that before scripture was written and put into book form, the only way people understood the theology of the church and understood the life of the Lord was through iconography and hymnography,” said Zozos.
The paint used by Kordis and his team is a powder paint mixed with an adhesive and water. Such paint needed an excellent primer: Zozos said that before the team arrived, the church walls were painted with a German primer that was used in the White House.
Kordis and his team will finish their work inside the church by the end of the month. Zozos will host a public viewing later in the year.
“When you enter a church, we have to have the sense that you enter heaven. That everything is reconciled, everything is a unit, everything’s in a peaceful connection,” Kordis said.