One of the many benefits of living amidst the wild beauty of Maine’s coast is the abundance of artists who find inspiration in this remote and dramatic setting. St. Aidan’s is especially blessed to have artist Geoff Moran among our congregation. Geoff is a gifted painter who has donated and/or loaned us numerous pieces created in the style of Byzantine icons decorating the walls of our Sanctuary. We invite you to share in this uplifting visual experience in person. You may also see some of Geoff’s icons by clicking here.
Geoffrey P. Moran trained as an historian and archaeologist at the University of New Hampshire and University of Massachusetts and taught at Bradford College in Haverhill, MA and Brown University. With specialties in historical archaeology and public archeology, he has excavated at Fortress Louisberg (Nova Scotia), Strawberry Banke (New Hampshire), Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia), Salem MA Maritime Historic Site, and ‘right in front of the bulldozers’ on a 14-mile extension of Route 495 to Cape Cod.
In his hometown of Norton, MA and neighboring Foxboro, MA, Geoff served as Recycling Coordinator. He is an avid naturalist and fisherman, and once even owned his own set of seafood establishments in the Norton area. He has always lived in antique homes (in Newburyport, MA, Norton, MA and now East Machias, ME) that give him the pleasures of architectural restoration.
A winter resident of Norton, MA, he shares a home there with his wife, Grace Baron, who teaches at nearby Wheaton College. They often escape the rigors of a New England winter with ecological and historical adventures in warmer climes, such as the Southwest and Mexico.
These travels provide, along with the Maine and Maritime coastline, the inspiration for his nature and wildlife photography, sculpture and painting. His East Machias home holds many of these artworks including sculptures of Atlantic salmon and a 4-foot striped bass.
“I’ve always been an avocational artist, grateful for episodes of training over four decades, the longest of which was a year, as a young man at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts,” says Geoff. “Whether the medium is sculpture, painting or photography my expression of both natural and industrial landscapes has always been broadly ‘naturalistic’.”
Geoff attributes his interest in iconography to his introduction to Orthodox Christian liturgy and theology some 20 years ago, an interest which continues to this day. “I am especially intrigued by sacred art outside the mainstreams of Greek, Russian and Counter Reformation Schools. Nothing has been more satisfying than finding a spiritual home in St Aidan’s, Machias, named for a Celtic saint with walls awaiting icons, and church members enthusiastically embracing the products of my modest ministry.”
To learn more about Christian Iconography, click here to read Geoff’s thoughts on the subject.