ECCLESIASTICAL ART & DESIGN, LTD.
Ecclesiastical Art & Design Ltd., formerly known as Makarenko Studios Inc., evolved in Philadelphia, PA in the late 1950s. Conceptualized by Boris Makarenko, who immigrated to America from Ukraine after World War II, Ecclesiastical Art & Design became a true multi-generational family endeavor.
Officially co-founded in 1976 by Boris and his son Sviatoslav Makarenko, canons and traditions of ecclesiastical art have been handed down and instilled from generation to generation since the inception of the studio. Sviatoslav taught and trained his four children, Rostyslav, Vsevolod, Boyan and Ruslana in ecclesiastical art. The four siblings spent their childhoods learning from and working alongside their father on numerous projects.
Boris’s granddaughter and Sviatoslav’s daughter, Ruslana Makarenko, currently runs Ecclesiastical Art & Design. The studio is dedicated to providing original solutions specific to each sacred space in a way that preserves its heritage, beauty, and sacred tradition.
Our work is currently showcased in over 150 Cathedrals, churches, chapels and sacred spaces throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
Boris Makarenko was born one of three children in the Poltava region of Ukraine. With the outbreak of the second World War, Ukraine was thrown into turnmoil and Boris was drafted into the Soviet Army, which he quickly deserted with a group of friends in order to join the Ukrainian Resistance. Boris fought his way across Europe and was eventually recruited into the British Army. Unable to return to his homeland, and seeking opportunity, Boris immigrated in 1950 to the United States. He worked under the famed Ukrainian sculptor Mykola Mukhyn, eventually working in a German firm to learn and master the techniques of interior ecclesiastical art, restoration and design. In 1952, Boris married Lidia Ichtiariv. He passed on his knowledge of ecclesiastical art to his son, Sviatoslav Makarenko.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Sviatoslav Makarenko spent the majority of his childhood working and apprenticing for his father, Boris. As a teenager, Sviatoslav started working in churches and learning the fundamentals of monumental art. He studied under famed Ukrainian artist and iconographer Petro Cholodny while working alongside accomplished Ukrainian artists Sviatoslav Hordynsky and Myron Bilinsky. Sviatoslav became well versed in the design and composition of iconography, stained glass and mosaics. In 1974, Sviatoslav graduated with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and in 1976 he officially co-founded Ecclesiastical Art & Design with his father, Boris. Together, they completed cathedral and church interiors throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
Born as the last of four children, Ruslana Makarenko and her three older brothers spent their childhood working in their grandfather's and father's studio. By the age of eight, Ruslana was learning the delicate techniques of gold-leafing and studying color theory and composition under her father and grandfather. Her apprenticeship expanded as she grew older and she began studying iconography under her father and Anna Bilinsky. Ruslana continued to work with her father throughout her educational career, painting church interiors throughout the tri-state area and Canada. In 2011, Ruslana graduated with a BA in Architecture from Lehigh University and went on to complete her Master of Architecture from the University of Miami in 2013. Ruslana currently runs Ecclesiastical Art & Design.
Anna Bilinsky began practicing ecclesiastical art in the early 70's under the supervision of her father-in-law, Myron Bilinsky, a talented Ukrainian iconographer associated with Makarenko Studios Ltd. Having worked as his assistant for many years, Anna continued the family tradition after Myron passed away and began to work as an independent artist associated with Makarenko Studios and, later, Ecclesiastical Art & Design. Her work includes the painting of icons as well as the preparation of detailed art patterns and paintings for mosaics in a variety of churches and cathedrals around the world. Anna is now a mentor and teacher for the next generation of artists working at the studio.