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Icons on Glass
Ioana Datcu                                                                                                                

   DAYTON, Ohio - Ioana Datcu grew up in Romania surrounded by glass and wood icons that are a traditional part of the Christian Orthodox church.
   "These childhood impressions have remained clear in my imagination through the years and are an important part of my artistic vocabulary even today," Datcu said.
   An exhibit of Datcu's icons will be on display at the University of Dayton's Marian Library through Friday, March 17. The gallery, located on the seventh floor of Roesch Library, is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free and open to the public.
   The images of the Love and Passion exhibit can also be found on the Web at
   Composed of acrylic on glass or plexiglass, the icons often contain photographs or other found images. "The central painted images are inspired from the tradition of Romanian icons on glass, but the use of two or more layers and mixed media often allows me to introduce contemporary or personal thoughts into the traditional settings," Datcu said.
   For example, in Mother and Child No.1, Datcu interwines modern, black-and-white facial images of a mother and child with symbols and traditional costumes that are painted with acrylics and black ink. In her two "Man of Sorrows" series, Datcu combines a series of twelve and sixteen framed glass images into one large collage.
   "I view my work as an expression of the investigation of my relationship with the world, society , family, God and myself," she said. Before working with plexiglass, Datcu worked with a combination of paint and photography. "I worked with black-and-white photographs on which I painted with oils. Through painting I altered the photographic reality. I created new light and shadow effects, enriched tones, textures and colors."
   Datcu came to the United States as a refugee in 1981. In Romania, she worked as biology teacher. "In my youth, I never dreamed of becoming an artist," she said. "I was good in math, I was practical, logical and analytical. But I read a lot about artists, biographies. The one that impressed me the most was of Van Gogh’s. His self-portrait with bandaged ear comes often into my work."


For media interviews, call Ioana Datcu in Bloomington, Ind. at (812) 333-0388 or e-mail For more information about the Marian Library gallery, call Sister Jean Frisk at (937) 229-3214.

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