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Other Works

jb: You have created over 100 images of Christ. What are the differences and similarities of the icons?

RJA: All Christ icons are very similar and I wanted Him to have the kindest, most loving face.  The faces are very much alike but the clothing and colors are unique to each installation/location.

jb:  Some of your works are huge, ginormous!!  How do you envision them?  Some of the works in HTSF are 9’ x 20.’

RJA: The apse in Holy Trinity San Francisco is 600 sq. ft. The apse in Stockton is 300 square feet and the dome there is 1,500 square feet.  The apse in Lowell is 350 square feet.  The abstract at University of Massachusetts, Lowell is 350 square feet.  At Holy Trinity San Francisco, there are 9’ x 20’ mosaic screens.  Each of the supporting columns has 270 sq. ft. of iconography.  



The apse at Merrillville, IN, is 300 sq. ft. and the apse at Binghamton, NY, is 250 sq. ft.
Stockton and Holy Trinity San Francisco are almost entirely covered with Andrews’ mosaic iconography.  He also has extensive work at:
Annunciation Church, Dover, NH
Holy Trinity Hellenic Orthodox Church, Lowell, MA 
St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Springfield, MA
Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, Centerville/Hyannis, MA
Holy Trinity Church, Binghamton, NY
Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Merrillville, IN
Saint Demetrious Orthodox Church, Seattle, WA
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Seattle, WA

jb:  I was first introduced to your work at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix.  There are six mosaic icon screens making up the altar. 

RJA:  While I was installing work at Holy Trinity San Francisco, I was recommended to do the altar screen for Phoenix.  They are 3’ x 7.’  

jb:  There was an exhibit of your work in 1980 at the Maliotis Art Center in Brookline, MA.

RJA:  The exhibit included drawings, paintings, and plans for some installations. The exhibition consisted mostly of 2’ x 6’ renditions of icons and scenes from the lives of Christ, the saints and the apostles.

Robert J. Andrews Work

Photo Credit : Pete Smith Photography

Rendition: Nativity of our Lord by Robert J. Andrews


The exhibition included 32 framed paintings and 29 matted painting, sketches, and working drawings of mosaic works.  There are renditions for: 
Design Plans:  Holy Trinity San Francisco, Merrillvillle, Seattle, Stockton, Dover
Domes:  Holy Trinity San Francisco, Seattle
Apses: Merrillville, Binghamton
Icons: Ranging in size from 3’ x 7’ to 3’ x 9’
Screens:  Holy Trinity San Francisco, Stockton
Border Designs: Holy Trinity San Francisco, Seattle

jb:  When we were working on a list of your works you mentioned that you designed a grave marker.  You have certainly been involved in many media.

RJA:  I was contacted by a Greek Orthodox family from San Francisco who wanted a grave marker for their parents.  The father was a sea captain, and they wanted a design that reflected his years at sea.  I selected black marble from a quarry in Vermont and designed a marker with the face of Christ and rolling waves.  The grave marker is in the Greek Orthodox Cemetery in San Francisco.

jb:  I searched the Christ Episcopal Church in Cuba, New York and spoke with the priest who remembered that there was a work donated to the church in 1973 or 1974 by a parishioner in memory of her mother.  The family owned the local ice cream store for years.  The family was Greek Orthodox but worshiped in the Episcopal Church because there was no Greek Orthodox church in the area.    

RJA:  I was contacted by the family and was told they could not get to Greek Orthodox Church in Rochester on a regular basis and they worshiped in the church in Cuba and wanted an icon.  The mosaic icon is of Christ standing, holding a book that says “I am the light of the world.”

jb:  How did you get to do the work in London?

RJA: Archbishop Iakovos who named me an official iconographer later became the Archbishop of Europe and Scandinavia.  He recommended me to do work at the Cathedral of Divine Wisdom in the Baywater section of London, England based on my work at Holy Trinity San Francisco.

jb:  One of your non-church works is at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Rendition: Nativity of our Lord

RJA:   There is 3 floor high abstract mosaic of scientific terms in the lobby that is 12 feet wide and can be viewed from the balconies on each floor.

jb: Almost all of your work is mosaics but I understand that you worked with other media.

RJA: I was trained in painting and pottery. I did a wheel-thrown pottery bowl that was entered into a competition at the Russian Museum of Icons.  The competition was being judged by Shoji Hamada, the renowned Japanese sculptor and I was selected top artist in New England.  The bowl has an abstract Adam and Eve design.

I am also a talented sculptor.  My teacher recognized my talent and then reminded me that I had a family to support. So, I put sculpting aside. One of my most loved works is the sculpture of my wife Ann that is in my studio.  She was always watching over me.  The sculpture is fired earthenware and depicts her head, face and neck.  

I also have an extensive collection of all the renditions of future mosaics in my studio.  There are about 200 tempera paintings on paper, each measuring about 2’ by 6.’  I have several of these in my home and have given some to my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

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