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New Icon Arrives, Completing Project

June 18, 2012

Today an important milestone was reached here at St. Andrew’s with the arrival of the icon of the Second Coming of Christ. After preliminary discussions with our iconographer, Heather MacKean, in the latter part of 2009 regarding the subject and size of the icon, it was formally commissioned in late January, 2010.

On January 31, 2010, Bob Williams measured the uniquely shaped space created by the work of Mirek Borowski and Jeff Linger, who had covered the back wall with pine boards. Bob’s precise measurements were forwarded directly to the woodworker, who designed a board from 3/4″ hardwood plywood mounted upon a 2″ x 4″ frame. Heather began preparing the board and then painting the icon shortly thereafter and by the end of April, 2010, we received photos of her progress. Unfortunately, Heather’s work on the icon would soon be delayed by illness and then by various technical problems which beset the project. By early 2012, after having lost a considerable amount of her work and having to reproduce the images that were damaged by gold leaf leaching, Heather was able to begin varnishing the icon. Working in her studio in Everson, WA, Heather waited for the varnish to dry sufficiently for the icon to be moved. On May 31, 2012 with assistance from three parishioners from her parish, Heather was able to transport the icon to Artec, an art shipping company in Seattle, WA. Artec then built a protective case around the icon and fashioned a crate into which the case was securely fitted. The crate was shipped by ground and departed Seattle on June 11, with an expected delivery date of June 18, 2012 (today). We were told it would arrive between 1:00pm and 3:00pm but by God’s grace, Charlie Kaczinski and his sister-in-law Barbara Kosko were here ahead of time. The shipper arrived early, off loaded the crate and was prepared to leave when we arrived and opened the church at 12:50pm. The crate was moved to the Narthex by the delivery men, who had graciously consented to wait for five minutes. After about an hour’s work, a crew including Bob Skirkanich, Dave Whitehorn, and John Rusinak, managed to safely open both the crate and the interior case holding the icon. Those who had gathered, including Mary Tomaras and Kathy Skirkanich, were amazed by the beauty and profound dignity of this work. The colors, which Heather had labored over and carefully adjusted, were stunning and balanced. The close composition of images — what was a complex and almost crowded scene — was orderly and peaceful as the angels, archangels and saints stand in constant adoration of Christ who sits above the prepared throne.

Back on Earth, and that is how it felt to behold a taste of the Glory of God’s Heavenly Kingdom, we literally stood in wonder and amazement before this inspired, sacramental work. Charlie was visibly relieved that the wait was over, and Barbara was delighted. Quick thinking as ever, Mirek Borowski called the construction team who had recently renovated the bathrooms, and in what seemed like minutes they were on the scene and prepared to install the icon into the space above the rear doors of the Nave. Using the brackets that had held the icon in its travel case, they secured the icon to the back wall after fitting it snugly into place. They commented that the large timbers on which the icon was resting were more than sufficient to support its weight. Everyone was astonished at the speed at which this project — which took a great deal of time — was concluded and by the effect brought about by the icon’s presence on the rear wall of the Nave. Charlie specifically requested that the icon be immediately blessed and dedicated to the honor of our former pastor, Fr. Michael Mihalick, his wife, Janet, and daughter, Alexandra. As the current pastor and as one who is personally indebted to Fr. Michael as a mentor, guide and teacher, I was more than happy to oblige. Following the brief prayer service at which the icon was blessed and dedicated, we departed to our homes for the first time under the sign and image of the Second Coming of Christ.

Photos may be viewed here.

You can also pan around a high-resolution photo of the icon below:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Whitehorn June 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM

What a blessing! And what a great feeling to have been even a small part of the work detail. This icon is absolutely beautiful and stunning beyond compare. Three years was a very long time for Charlie, Barbara and our parish family to have waited for this arrival, but it certainly was worth the wait. And Bob Williams’ measurements were precise and right on. Glory to God!


Klaus June 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Hope you like the pictures.


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