Melpo M. DeFotis, Iconographer

"There is one body and one Spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." 
Ephesians 4:4-6 

The icon is a sacred, liturgical form that reflects the beauty of the world transfigured.  Icons are predominant in Orthodox Christian churches. 

Iconography's foundation is the Incarnation of Christ, the source of salvation. This connection of human and divine allows us to see God and His saints. Yet an icon does not portray images in a natural way, but with stylization and reverse perspective to draw a person into a deeper spiritual understanding.

The light of Tabor is in every icon through the use of gold leaf, which shows us a transfigured image in eternity. The viewer is thus uplifted to the saint, through prayer, and tries to follow a life in Christ, who is present in every icon. 

Icons are the subject of renewed interest, drawing people into a deeper spiritual and prayerful life not only in Eastern Christian churches, but also among Western Christians.  

Since the mid-1980s, Melpo DeFotis has devoted her time to studying and painting icons. She is drawn to the Byzantine and Russian style of icon painting. Her icons can be found abroad and in the United States in private collections. Melpo completed her bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts at Syracuse University and studied oil painting with artists in New York City and Chicago. She also taught iconography workshops at the Dormition Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan.

An advocate of Christian unity, Mrs. DeFotis was commissioned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee to paint a Pentecost Icon for its Jubilee in 2000, and contributed to a booklet written about the icon. Touchstones, an interfaith education group connecting "with the communities that can nurture ... in new and fresh ways," asked Mrs. DeFotis to speak on how she found spirituality through icons. (See January 10, 2010 link.) She showed her work at an innovative January 2008 show at the Finestra Art Space in Chicago, and is showing at the Montez Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Sts. Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church bookstore in Glenview, Illinois displays her icons. She is available for commissions.

Below and on the next page, a selection of icons by the hand of Mrs. DeFotis.