@ the Riverside Art Museum

Exhibition: October 31, 2015 – January 15, 2016

Gala Exhibition Opening with Ludmila Pawlowska: Friday, October 30, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 

Locations: Riverside Art Museum | 3425 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501 AND All Saints’ Episcopal Church | 3847 Terracina Drive, Riverside, CA 92506

All Saints’ hours are: Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Great artists using the Icon as a source of inspiration: Kandinsky, Klee, Mondrian, Matisse, Chagall, Giacometti,

Modigliani, Warhol, Fontana, Flavin, Viola and now Ludmila Pawlowska.

– Ruth Meyer, Art Historian/Critic and Former Director of Taft Art Museum, Cincinnati

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) in collaboration with All Saints’ Episcopal Church proudly presents Icons in Transformation, running October 31, 2015 – January 15, 2016, with a progressive Gala Exhibition Opening with Ludmila Pawlowska on Friday, October 30, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at All Saints’, and culminating at RAM. Icons is a dramatic 120-piece art exhibition featuring the contemporary work of internationally acclaimed Russian/Swedish abstract expressionist Ludmila Pawlowska.

Ludmila Pawlowska brings the whole world into her art. Using pigment, painting paste, found objects, masonry, ceramic fragments, wood, glass, burlap, and a myriad of other materials, she creates an inclusive metaphor for faith: it is both vast and intimate, profoundly personal, and yet universally recognizable as a source of humanity and truth. This exhibition was designed with sacred venues in mind to highlight and explore the deep mysticism of the art, hence the museum’s collaboration with All Saints’. The exhibit includes 12 large sculptural pieces that provide a stunning and dramatic visual impression. Also included are 15 traditional icons painted at the workshop of Vasilevsky Monastery in Suzdal, Russia. Icons in Transformation uses traditional Russian icons as a source of inspiration for this vibrant and spiritual contemporary art.

The exhibit has toured the cathedrals of Europe and the US, including stops in Seattle, Indianapolis, Little Rock, St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Chattanooga, Sarasota, and Cincinnati. Most of the pieces are for sale and the public is invited to view the exhibit at both venues. Special docent-guided tours will be available for groups at RAM on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Free with the price of admission; please meet in the atrium 15 minutes prior to the start of the tour. 15 max per tour. To pre-reserve your spot on a RAM Docent Tour, click here. Tours will also be available at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, but by reservation only; please call 951.683.8466.

The Gala Exhibition Opening with Ludmila Pawlowska is a progressive celebration beginning at All Saints’ and continuing at RAM. Both venues will include a presentation by Pawlowska, live music, hors c’oeuvres, and fine wine. Tickets to this Gala are $75. 

Exhibition sponsorship packages are available. All sponsors will be invited to the Gala, as well as a private reception to meet the artist at the home of John and Kathy Allavie prior to the Gala. 

Artist Kelly Rider will be the Arte 365 Artist in Residency for this exhibition. Additional programming centering on this exhibition will be announced here shortly.


Ludmila Pawlowska was born in 1964 in exile Kazakhstan, a former Soviet Republic. Although she did not have a religious upbringing, she chose to be baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church when she was 18, an illegal act at the time.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, she moved to Sweden, where she ran the Scandinavian Art Center with her husband. She continues to develop her abstract expressionistic style of painting and sculpture, which is characterized by using many layers of paint to produce highly textured surfaces.

The exhibit features paintings created by Pawlowska for over a decade. She began creating the “icons” after the sudden death of her mother. She found comfort recalling the icons she had seen in a Russian monastery and worked through her grief with her art using this new dimension.

For more information on Pawlowska, visit www.ludmilapawlowska.se

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Related Events/Programming

Icons in Transformation Docent Tours

Special docent-guided tours will be available for groups at RAM on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Free with the price of admission; please meet in the atrium 15 minutes prior to the start of the tour. 15 max per tour. To pre-reserve your spot on a RAM Docent Tour, click here. Tours will also be available at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, but by reservation only; please call 951.683.8466.

Long Night of Arts & Innovation, Thursday, October 8, 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 midnight on Main Street between Mission Inn Ave. and 6th Street

RAM will host Art Make on Main “The Eyes Have It” with Kelly Rider. Traditional icons are elaborate visual, conceptual, and spiritual riddles. They incite the viewer’s eye and his/her soul or mind to make the effort of “seeing” theirself and others differently. With our Arte 365 Artist in Residence Kelly Rider, study your eye, draw it with a variety of mediums, and add it to a collaborative mural in conjunction with RAM’s forthcoming exhibition, Icons in Transformation.

First Sundays, Sunday, November 1, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., at RAM

Bring the family and enjoy an afternoon of free art activities with internationally acclaimed artist Ludmila Pawlowska as you and your family explore the mysterious nature of icons.

Icons Workshop with Kelly Rider, Sunday, November 8, 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m., at RAM

Join Kelly Rider from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. for a docent-led tour of Icons in Transformation. Then, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Kelly will lead a workshop where you’ll create your own icon based on traditional icon forms. Transform your icon as you wish. $45 Click here to register.

Icons in Performance: Understanding How Iconic Signs Communicate, Thursday, November 12, 6:30 p.m., at All Saints’

Dr. Sally Allen Ness, UCR Professor of Anthropology, will discuss the way icons in general, and religious icons, in particular, communicate and produce meaning. Icons can be understood to form a general class of signs or agents of meaning making. Examples from religious iconography and the Icons in Transformation exhibition will be used to illustrate the way icons perform as creators and conveyors of meaningful experience, both sacred and secular.

Writing an Icon, Saturday, November 14, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., at All Saints’

Dr. John Briggs, UCR Professor of English, and Kelly Rider, RAM’s Arte 365 Artist in Residence, will guide participants into the spiritual mystery of Icons through both poetry and art. You will have the opportunity for quiet reflection and poetic expression, as well as to get paint on your hands as you “write” your own Icon painting.

Christian Iconography, Thursday, November 19, 6:30 p.m., at RAM

Dr. Kristine Tanton, Pomona College Art History Lecturer, will lead an exploration of medieval religious iconography.

Tie Up the Stone: The Art of God in Space and Time, Thursday, December 3, 6:30 p.m., at All Saints’

All Saints’ Rev. Dr. John W. Conrad will discuss the elements of worship experience as they relate to the community gathered and its practice from earliest human experience to the present. We will reflect on the psychological and theological underpinnings of worship praxis in the context of its architectural surroundings. Everyone from Born Again Christians to Scientific Fundamentalists should find the material informative, useful, and enlightening.

Iconic Polyphony (2015) for Piano and Live Electronic Sounds, Saturday, December 5, 6:30 p.m., at All Saints’

Gary Barnett, Piano, and Paulo C. Chagas, Live Electronics, will perform a composition composed by Chagas (UCR Department of Music), inspired by the art of Ludmila Pawlowska. It tries to capture the transforming forces underlying her paintings–figures, textures, and colors–by articulating a plurality of musical events occurring at different temporal levels and subjectively related to the visual universe of her icons. The work explores the creativity that emerges from the multiple connections between our experiences of hearing and seeing. The acoustic sounds of the piano and the live generated electronic sounds complement each other in a stream of musical objects and resonances recalling iconic associations and links between the present, the past, and the future. The music of Iconic Polyphony aims to unleash an imaginative power that engages the body the the vision in the process of creating meaning.

Bach Organ Concert, Thursday, December 10, 6:30 p.m., at All Saints’

All Saints’ Music Director Abe Fabella will lead settings of “Sleepers, Awake”, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”, and more.

Vesper Light: Music for Epiphany, Tuesday, January 5, 7:00 p.m., at All Saints’

This will feature Raincross Chorale members with the All Saints’ Choir.

Art, Spirit, Presence, Thursday, January 7, Tuesday, January 12, 6:30 p.m., at All Saints’

Dr. Susan Ossman, Artist and UCR Professor of Anthropology, will lead an interactive presentation that will engage the audience with Ludmila’s work as it explores the interrelationship between art and spirit.