Red Earth Icons is a liturgical arts studio located outside Red Deer, Alberta. For the last twenty years, its iconographer, Symeon, has worked with his family to create icons of profound beauty for churches and homes across the US, Canada and Europe.

The artwork from Red Earth Icons is unique in its style—offering simplicity and stillness in its vision, as well as a love of colour evident in its gem-like hues. As a traditional iconographic studio, its artwork offers a vision and a revelation of God’s heavenly glory where men and women throughout history are alive in the Spirit through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But, these icons are just the beginning of the witness of the studio’s painting. The call to be good stewards of the earth is at the centre of the studio’s practice. Its icons are crafted from local trees and rocks using time-honoured methods. In a time when knowledge is largely comprised of data points, Symeon and his family continue to embody a more human way of knowing in their methods of work. Creating beauty through such practices informs both the use of land’s gifts and, ultimately, the icon’s style itself.

Such an intentional human exercise of faith, work, and the land being brought together to create something beautiful is especially needed today. Working with churches and patrons, Red Earth Icons continues to create “Worshipping with the Saints: Here and Now.”

Kind Words

His Icons lead one into a renewed Spirit of reverence and celebration.

It is my honor and my privilege to offer this testimonial of Symeon van Donkelaar’s Iconography. His style is elegant and simple and leads one to an experience of effulgence. His use of natural coloring is lustrous and gratifying. Following the traditional cannons of Iconography, he is true to the ancient traditions while offering new and notable interpretations. His Icons lead one into a renewed Spirit of reverence and celebration.
Fr. Edward J Tomasiewicz
Of blessed memory. Retired faculty member, DePaul University.

His icons are distinctive and beautiful …

Symeon’s philosophy, his insistence on local color, speaks to the incarnation: as God took on a specific body in a specific place, Symeon’s work is rooted in its particular location. His icons are distinctive and beautiful, at once otherworldly and folksy, both transcendent and intensely human. Grounded in time and place, these beautiful icons testify to God’s presence in our world, here and now.
Elissa Bjeletich
Author and podcaster

Symeon’s artwork calls us to a more profound regard for our fragile world.

The Incarnation calls us to a deep regard for all creatures, the beauty of flora and fauna, indeed, the earth under our feet. The earth we walk on is a reliquary and the minerals and colours of each particular place a sacred treasure. Symeon’s artwork, drawing as it does on the local palette of the land, calls each of us to a more profound regard for our fragile world, and deeper attention to the Holy Spirit who “is everywhere present and fillest all things”.
David J. Goa
Founding Director, Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life