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Current Retreat Schedule
Click on images for details and registration 

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Online Retreat:
The Visitation

June 10-14 (M-F)

9am-4pm MDT

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Online Retreat:
The Sacred Heart 

July 22-26 (M-F)

9am-4pm MDT


In-Person Retreat:
St. Nicholas

St. Simons Is., GA



FREE Online
Open Studio

June 15th (Sat)

10am-2pm MDT


Online Retreat:
St. Joseph Retablo

August 5-9 (M-F)

10am-3pm MDT


Self-Paced Retreat:
Ethiopian Crucifixion


Available for download now


Technical Workshop:
The Face of John

June 17-19-21 (M-W-F)

9am - 3pm MDT


Online Retreat:
Saint Anne

September 2-6 (M-F)

9am - 4pm MDT


Self-Paced Retreat:
Coptic Archangel Gabriel


Available for download now

What is an 

Sophia Icon Studio provides the opportunity to learn the practice of iconography, both online and in person. Throughout every retreat experience, instructor Kara Gillette provides detailed instruction and guidance, as well as individual support. All icons are painted using acrylic paint and 23kt gold. Most retreats will be appropriate for beginners, though there may be some exceptions. 


Because at its heart iconography is a spiritual discipline, emphasis is placed on spirituality and embracing our work as a form of prayer. While questions are always welcome, Kara encourages students to prepare for a time of silence and contemplation. In this way painting an icon can be experienced more as a spiritual retreat than a class, though students should also expect to learn a lot too. 


Retreats are offered as a time to break from our busy modern lives and connect deeply with the Source of our being - the One in whose image we were created. Whether in-person or online, the time spent in silence and contemplation can serve to "reset" the soul and open our eyes to what is truly important. 


Online retreats are held on the online videoconferencing platform Zoom, and are offered year-round. While in-person retreats are a wonderful way to learn and practice iconography in community, the online format has some surprising advantages:

  • Demonstrations are clearer and students will see more of the progress

  • Tips and tricks can be shared that are difficult in person

  • Students are given support and instruction on how to fix mistakes

  • Recordings of each session provide students the ability to make up missed days or review the day's work

  • A unique community is formed spanning coast to coast and sometimes beyond! 

Students will be provided basic materials including a board, gold leaf and an instruction packet, which will be shipped to each student prior to the retreat. Paints and brushes must be purchased separately. A supply list and preparation guidelines can be found on the Essential Supplies page.

For more information on registration, payment and supplies, see the Student Resources page.




In person retreats are generally held on church grounds or at a retreat center. These typically run for 5 days and can be a wonderful way to introduce a community to icons and the spirituality of iconography.

Please inquire if you are interested in hosting or organizing an in-person retreat or workshop at your church or community, and check our schedule often for future offerings! 


Note: We are currently taking reservations for 2024/2025!


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