Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kh. Krista West

The latest Orthodox artist featured in Melinda Johnson's Orthodox Writers, Readers, and Artists series is Khouria Krista West, an ecclesiastical tailor.

I've been delighted at how Melinda finds such different examples of how art in the broadest sense is cultivated by Orthodox Christians. Ecclesiastical vestments are certainly beautiful, but I had never thought of them as an art form until I read Kh. West's essay detailing how she views this craft as carrying on a centuries old tradition analogous to iconography. She describes the lineage of people who have toiled in this area as a Community of Joy as they strive to create beauty from within the appropriate restrictions of the traditional forms.

And it is certainly true that anything that beautifies the house of God is a part of that larger sense of the Church, in all her images, music, and literature, as an art form.

Kh. West has a website, Krista West Vestments, where she offers vestments such as the gorgeous one to the right. She also has a podcast called "The Opinioned Tailor."

God bless Kh. West for her ministry to the Church through her unique talents in this often overlooked artform.

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