Over 6 years, priest transforms NY Orthodox church with ancient art of sacred iconography

A Serbian Orthodox church in upstate New York is among the latest sanctuaries to be gilded with the work of one of the most well-known American painters of iconography.

The Rev. Theodore Jurewicz (JUHR-uh-wits) is still practicing an art form that has its roots in the Roman Empire.

At St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church in Lackawanna, his religious scenes sweep across the interior walls. There is a huge rendering of the face of Jesus Christ. There are saints with gilded halos, winged angels and calligraphy to tell the ancient stories that are elemental to the Orthodox faith.

Jurewicz has been painting icons for about 40 years, working from his home church in Erie, Pa., and traveling to other churches. He says he became interested in holy art as a child.