Monthly meetings are held at

St. Helen's Catholic Church in Burnaby.

Members share their work at a Show and Tell session during meetings

History of Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild

In the late 1990’s Chris Kielesinski, Mikal Janek, Tom Walker and Frank C Turner began discussing the establishment of a Sacred Arts Guild in the Vancouver area.  Inspired by the Holy Father’s “Letter to Artists” and encouraged by Monsignor D. W. Neumann and Fr. Charles Ryan, we assembled a band of Catholic artists, and supporters for a meeting held at Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC, in November 2002.  There the constitution and aims of the Guild were discussed and settled.  Over the next few months we held a few more meetings.  In September 2003 the Guild began holding monthly meetings at various churches around the Archdiocese of Vancouver, where we hosted talks on topics of restoration, church architecture and iconography.

At the Feast of the Epiphany 2004, Archbishop Adam Exner appointed Fr. Lawrence Donnelly as Chaplain to the guild and we held our first showing of sacred art at St. Augustine’s parish in Vancouver.  To follow this up we held two small exhibits that year, expanding our educational and promotional aims. Each year, we now visit three or four parishes with ‘Epiphany Showcases’, geared to raise the profile of the rich tradition of sacred art in the Catholic Church.

In September, 2004, the Guild was incorporated as a Society with the BC Ministry of Corporations and meetings began at St Jude's Parish in Vancouver. In 2017 meetings moved to St Clare of Assisi Parish in Coquitlam and to St. Helen's Parish, Burnaby, in the autumn of 2019.

October of 2006 brought our first juried exhibit of sacred art entitled ‘The Beauty of Holiness and the Holiness of Beauty’.  The hospitality room of St. Jude’s was transformed into a gallery for about thirty works, including vestments, paintings, jewelry, icons and altar furnishings.  The event was very well attended with over two hundred visitors over two days.  The exhibition is now held biennially and lasts a week. The most recent ESAG Exhibition was held at St Jude's Parish in October 2016 and in 2018 the 15th Anniversary Exhibition will be presented at The  John Paul II Pastoral Centre.


We continue to work for the greater appreciation of the role of beauty in the liturgy and in the daily lives of people of God. Please keep our efforts in your prayers.


Steve Knight
Head - Education Committee
Steve Knight is a professional painter, iconographer, and elementary school teacher in the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. He attained a B.A. in Classics and his formal training as a painter from the University of British Columbia.

He is a past member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and a long time member of  the Burnaby Artists Guild. He is a member of the Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild, serving as President and Education Committee head.

His formal training in iconography began in 2004 when he attended the St. Luke’s Iconography Institute in Vancouver. In 2006 he participated in an iconography course offered by Fr. Gianluca Busi of Bologna, Italy, at St. Gertrude’s Benedictine Monastery in Cottonwood, Idaho. In 2008 he studied gilding under Ana Diaz y Moreno of the Prado Museum, Madrid. In the summer of 2009 He attended the Iconographic Arts Institute in Mt. Angel, Oregon.
He has written over 80 icons in the Byzantine style, mostly in acrylic. His works are mostly from private commissions and churches in the Vancouver Archdiocese, including Archbishop J. Michael Miller, OSB, and in Alberta and abroad in Brazil, Ireland, and Germany. In 2014 he was commissioned to write the icons of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II for the canonization celebration.

Steve also conducts workshops for elementary school children in the Catholic schools around Vancouver and the Ukrainian Heritage School as well as holding adult iconography workshops at Christ the Redeemer, Holy Cross, and St. Mary’s Ukrainian Parishes. He participates with the Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild in making presentations to various Catholic groups in the Archdiocese and visits parishes to showcase the guild’s artwork.
Send a message to Steve here.
Patricia Ballard
Member at Large
University of Alberta        1971    Bachelor of Fine Arts
University of Toronto        1977    Art Ed. Specialist Certificate (O.I.S.E)
University of British Columbia    1988    Masters of Fine Arts

As a professional artist I have always been concerned with metaphysics and the journey of the soul on its pilgrimage towards God.  Although trained in modern art, since 1999 I have also been working in the sacred art tradition of the Eastern and Western Church.  I have written several icons but feel most comfortable painting in the period of the transition between the Gothic and Renaissance periods where mystical expression interfaces with the realistic depiction of nature.

I have been a member of the Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild Executive since it began formal regular meetings and since 2013 have served on the Sacred Art Commission for the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

In 2009 and 2011, I visited Rome, Assisi and Florence to view and study first hand some of the great works of sacred art in Western civilization from the period in which I work.  

Although I have taught art in both the Roman Catholic and Public School systems from kindergarten to first year university, I retired from teaching in 2008 and now work full time on painting and the promotion of the sacred art tradition in our culture. You can view my original work in the chapel of the John Paul 11 Pastoral Centre, Vancouver and St. Stephen’s R.C. Church in North Vancouver, B.C.

I work from the Esplanade Studios in Port Moody where other artists from the Guild also have studio space.


Send a message to Patricia here or call her at (604)944 4904



Chris Kielesinski

ESAG Co-Founder



Chris is the co-founder of the Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild. He has  a great appreciation for the sacred arts and a interest in the arts of the Renaissance. Being inspired by some of the great artists of that time which has lead him to the love of sacred arts in his faith for many years.

A graduate of Kwantlen College in graphic design and illustration in 1979,
and has worked in the graphic industry for a number of years. Chris had the good
fortune of being a chief illustrator for a small Christian publishing house for
about ten years, illustrating children's Christian books.

Chris is still continuing his education in art studies and workshops in fine art and the study of oil painting techniques of the old masters.

Send a message to Chris here.

Ana Maria Silva



Born in Brazil, Ana Maria started the pursuit of her development as an artist in 1970 by completing the Publicity Sketching Course in Sao Paulo.


In 1974, graduated as a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Sao Paulo. In 1980, graduated at the University of Law in Sao Jose dos Campos. Even working as a Lawyer, Ana always found time for praying and art. Part of the Prayer and Life Workshop Group since 1990, Ana actively worked as an artist in that time period, dedicating herself to various projects ranging from pottery and China painting to traditional oil and acrylic canvas painting.


 In 2002, Ana met D. Jose Carlos Velasco OBS Cam (Camaldolense Monk), and painted her first Icon praying to Jesus  while considering immigrating to Canada. Immigrated in 2003 as a Catholic Missionary to represent Prayer and Life Workshops and introduce them to the local community with the approval of Most Reverend Adam Exner O.M.I. Archbishop of Vancouver. In that occasion, Ana was fortunate to meet Patricia Ballard, a fantastic person and a lovely friend, who introduced her to Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild. Ana painted second and third icons with the instruction of Frank Turner (egg tempera) and another one with the assistance of Steve Knight (acrylic). She is a Member of Prayer and Life Workshops and an active member of the E.S.A.G. An Association of Catholic Artists in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, B.C. with the Current Executive position of Secretary.


Exhibitions with Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild:

2010 - 2012 - 2014 Biennial (Juried) Exhibits – St. Judes’s R. C. Church.

2013  Joined Art in the Atrium at Holy Trinity Exhibit.

2013  Restored images of St. Joseph, Jesus and Our Lady and  participated in the Archangels Workshop with Frank Turner, and  wrote Our Lady of Fatima Icon with Steve Knight.

2014  Attended the Guild course with Ana Diaz Drew.


Send a message to Anna Maria here.



Paul Stilwell

Member at Large

Paul Stilwell is an executive member of ESAG and has been mentored in iconography under Frank C. Turner for almost a decade. In addition to working in egg tempera, Stilwell makes sacred art in oil paint, a medium he has practiced since his late teens, and he likes to keep a regular habit of drawing.


He has shown works in past ESAG exhibitions and has works in private collections. Stilwell resides in Surrey.


Send a message to Paul here.


Ilona Payne


Ilona Payne is a skilled craftswoman, a fabric artisan, with a practice focused on ecclesiastical needlework.

She lives in the Lower Mainland of BC.

Send a message to Ilona here.

Previous Executive Committee Members

Frank C Turner
Founder, ESAG


I have made my living mainly as an actor, with 40 years of professional experience. Favourite credits include, Airbud IV, The Addams Family, Lonesome Dove and The Duke.  In 2003 I appeared as George Bernard Shaw in debate with G. K. Chesterton on G. K. CHESTERTON: THE APOSTLE OF COMMON SENSE with EWTN and in the summer of 2008 completed more work for this program, In Search of Shakespeare and for Theatre of the Word.  Most recently I worked on Spooky Buddies, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3, and Spooksville.

In 1991 I began studying iconography under Vladislav Andreyev and have now completed more than 60 egg tempera icons in the Byzantine tradition for individuals and churches.  Since my initial studies with Andreyev I attended several times at the Mount Angel Iconography Institute where I studied with Charles Rohrbacher, Mary Katsilometes, Cathy Sievers and Claudia Coos.  In 2006 I took a workshop with Father Gianluca Busi from Bologna and in 2007 spent a month working in his studio in Italy.  In July 2008 I assisted don Gianluca in conducting a workshop in Edmonton.  I give private instruction in my studio and have taught workshops for Living Water College, Redeemer Pacific College, and Holy Family Parish.


Most of my icons have been smaller 'personal' or 'hand' icons for individuals however I have also completed a number of larger icons installed in churches, most notably a set of eight 3' X 3' icons installed on the doors of Corpus Christi Church in Vancouver, a St. Joseph for a chapel in London, Ontario and most recently the Crucifix installed in the lobby of John Paul II Pastoral Centre.

Along with Chris Kielesinki and Michal Janek, I was a founding member of Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild, and served as its president for ten years.


Married in 1976, I have four children, and am a member of Holy Family Parish, Vancouver, an apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.  In 2011 I renewed the Stations of the Cross for this parish.



Send a message to Frank here.

John Suter


John Suter was born and raised in Switzerland. After his schooling he made an apprenticeship as an Enameled Sign Painter. At the age of 17 he was introduced to Calligraphy at the Arts and Craft School in Luzern. The Love of Calligraphy stayed with him all his life.


Although John has some formal art training with a variety of art courses, he is also self-taught. Some of his work is in Switzerland, the U.S.A. and in Canada. One of his Celtic Crosses was recently installed over the Baptismal Fountain at Our Lady Of Assumption Church In Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.


Send a message to John here.