February 6, 2009     

AMHERST, Mass.—On Friday, Feb. 13, at 1 p.m., conductor and icon collector Nektarios Antoniou will deliver a presentation titled “ICONS ‘R’ US: Aesthetics of Representation and Liturgical Icons” in the William Green Study Room of the Mead Art Museum. The free and open talk—made possible with support from the Amherst Art Series Fund and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund—will provide an in-depth look into the creation and liturgical function of icon paintings and will feature video clips demonstrating the art of icon-making. At the end of the event, Antoniou will be available for informal discussion in front of the Russian and Greek icons displayed in the galleries. Light refreshments will be served in the Mead’s lobby café.

Following his lecture at the Mead, Antoniou and vocal ensemble Schola Cantorum will perform hymns and chants from the Eastern Orthodox tradition in Buckley Recital Hall at 8 p.m. in a free concert organized by Jeffers L. Engelhardt, assistant professor of music at Amherst College. “Together, these events offer an invaluable opportunity to encounter first-hand how image and sound are interwoven in the traditions of Eastern Christianity and in Nektarios’s life’s work,” noted Englehardt.

Antoniou currently serves at the director of Schola Cantorum, on the faculty of the Conservatory of Northern Greece and as a contributing researcher and assistant curator at the Mount Athos Center in Thessaloniki, Greece. He has studied with several renowned master icon painters and directed the studio of icon painter George Kordis during four summer sessions at the Yale Institute for Sacred Music.     

A complete schedule of museum talks is posted on the Mead’s Web site: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/programs.

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates inMuseums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site, www.amherst/museums/mead, or call 413/542-2335.