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    Nestor Topchy: Iconic Portrait Strand

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    September 11, 2010

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    Nestor Topchy:  Iconic Portrait Strand

    Contemporary artist Nestor Topchy’s Iconic Portrait Strand will be on exhibition Saturday, September 11, 2010, at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, Ten Ten Bering Drive in Houston, from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. The one-night-only event is open to the public and offered free of charge.

    This exhibition is the first public presentation of more than 100 portraits depicting notables of the art world, among others, and is the beginning of an ongoing word-of-mouth project to depict colleagues, family, and friends in 800-year-old Byzantine tradition. The unusual setting for the exhibition was conceived in part as a symbol that people are forever present in their portraits, that art transcends death and even time.

    To create each portrait, Mr. Topchy draws his subjects, sittings that last only a few minutes. The transformation into a final artwork, utilizing ancient techniques and materials such as mineral pigments and gold leaf over cloth on wood, takes months to complete. The strand has been years in the making.

    American writers Edward Albee and Elizabeth McBride sat for Mr. Topchy and are depicted in the portrait stand, as are artists Rick Lowe, Mary Ellen Carroll, Fernando Casas, Rahul Mitra, Terrell James, Bert Long, Forrest Prince, David Magee, Aaron Parazette, Bill Davenport, Sharon Engelstein, Michael Galbreth, Jack Massing, Molly Gochman, Paul Kittelson, Arielle Masson, Basilios Poulos, Dean Ruck, George Smith and many others.

    A number of museum directors and curators have participated in the project, including Josef Helfenstein, Bill Arning, Toby Kamps, Franklin Sirmans, and Alison De Lima Greene.

    Gallery directors, owners and art promoters, including Hiram Butler, James Harithas, Jimbo Pirtle, Michael Peranteau and Clint Willour also have portraits in the exhibition.

    Each portrait in the strand is painted on a deme shaped board, the special dimensions taken from a sacred geometrical system. While each picture in the strand is unique, together they comprise a corpus and will continue to do so while members are added over the years.

    Click here for a complete list of participants in the portrait strand.

    Music for the exhibition has been specially created and will be performed by Chicago musician/composer/arranger Scott Stevenson, and will reflect the ancient and timeless aspects of the strand. Mr. Stevenson’s previous works have ranged from choral cantatas and orchestral tone poems to jazz and other original work. He also is an accomplished classical organist.

    While many of the strand participants have histories in Texas, Iconic Portrait Strand includes notables from the world over, including New York City, where the next phase of the exhibition is being planned.

    This event would not be possible without the very generous support of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors in the Tanglewood-Uptown Park area of Houston. All catering has graciously been underwritten and will be provided by The Stone Kitchen Catering & Special Events of River Oaks in Houston.

    Mr. Topchy is a 2010 recipient of an Artadia Award and has shown his works at numerous museums, galleries and shows around the world. His next exhibition will be in March 2011 in Kiev, Ukraine. View  for more information.

    For more information about Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, call 713/789-3005 or visit

    For information about the award-winning Stone Kitchen Catering & Special Events, contact Ms. Elizabeth Stone at  or at 713/521-3500.

    Further information about the musician Scott Stevenson can be found at

    Geo. H. Lewis & Sons

    Ten Ten Bering Drive
    Houston, TX 77057

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    Free and open to the public.

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    Phone: 832-875-6477

    Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

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