Folk Art PA

Michael Dimitri Kapeluck


Kapeluck was born in 1963 in Pittsburgh. He started his art training early in life, being chosen at the age of nine, to attend academic art classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Since 1987, he has written icons for Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches across the country. 

“Churches and prayer spaces are very personal yet communal places.  Altering or creating them requires the guidance of church leaders and the support and education of the parish community.  One of the most exciting aspects of my work is actually working with the pastors and parishioners in the creation of their new icons.”

Iconography is representation through art of Christ, the Virgin Mary, angels, saints, miracles and parables of the Bible.  Icons are written, not painted, and they are read by the viewer, not viewed.  Not just a work of art, icons are venerated and used as an aid to prayer by Church congregations. 

Kapeluck’s first love was contemporary art.  After a successful partnership with the Ukrainian Orthodox League (who asked him to paint an icon commemorating the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine) and a solo show in which his icons outshone and outsold his contemporary artwork, Kapeluck says, “I did it. I surrendered.  I said, Lord, if this is what you want me to do, so be it.” 

“What began for me as a passing interest in my heritage, has turned into a life’s work and passion.”