Carly Smith


I have always had a bit of an artistic side and a deep attraction to beauty.  I studied photography and classical ballet in college for a few years, but, out of great brokenness, had to go wandering across the country and into the beauty of creation for the better part of my 20s to find God.  Having been powerfully drawn to His Heart as I tried to find healing in my life, I began to enter deeply into a life of prayer which led me into a cloistered Carmelite convent for 16 months.  Being called back into the world, I continued to discern God's call on my life and to walk a path of profound healing and freedom which has led me into an ever deeper relationship with God.  I am always striving to be a contemplative in the world and joyfully discovering the daughter He created me to be and all the wonderful gifts He's given me to serve His people and glorify Him.    


About a year after leaving the convent, not having done anything even remotely related to art and my love of beauty for years, I was introduced to iconography by a spiritual director who strongly encouraged me to take a workshop.  I immediately fell in love with this sacred art which so wonderfully combines beauty, technique, theology, a deep spirituality and, most of all, prayer, with its roots deeply in the rich tradition of the Faith.  I have taken two workshops from a Byzantine Priest and one from another accomplished iconographer, and have continued to paint (or "write") icons ever since with the hopes of continuing to pursue this special calling.  I have recently felt the call to commit myself more intentionally on following this path.  From the first, I had a desire to teach workshops as a means of sharing the beauty of iconography with others.  I was blessed and privileged to teach my first workshop to some of our Seminarians this fall.