...painter of the sacred

Sacred art is a passion for which Meltem Aktas has truly given her heart, soul and hands.

Born in Turkey, Aktas grew up in the shadows of mosques as well as Orthodox monasteries that left indelible impressions on her and her developing sense of artistic identity. Having received an BFA and MFA from Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, Aktas came to the United States to further her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Unknown to Aktas as the time, her journey was to be one of a spiritual as well as artistic nature that would take her to previously unknown heights. Becoming interested in western spirituality, particularly that of the holy women of the Middle Ages and the Spanish mystics , Aktas was drawn deeper into the heart of the Christian mystery.

The most logical place for her native and adopted art forms to meet was the ancient and silent language of Byzantine iconography. Drawn to the richness of these 'windows into paradise', Aktas developed her skills as an iconographer and developed a reputation as one of the finest sacred artists working in the medium. The response from churches, religious communities and individuals grew and Aktas has been busily writing commissioned icons ever since.

The influences guiding the artistic vision of Aktas are numerous, but all are rooted in the commitment to excellency that has been the hallmark of great art through the ages. Aside from Turkish miniatures and Sufi mysticism, Aktas draws inspiration from Flemish painting, New Mexican retablos and the poetry of St. John of the Cross and Gerard Manley Hopkins. This well of inspiration from which Aktas draws has provided her the opportunity to create works of a timeless and classical nature while employing a modern artistic idiom.

The search for truth is the search for beauty. Meltem Aktas and IMAGO Sacred Images are committed to helping communities and individuals acquire works of art that will enrich private prayer and communal worship.