Inspired by the classical and spiritual images of his Hellenic heritage, internationally recognized artist Euripides "Rip" Kastaris creates works that have become significant to contemporary Hellenic culture. His award-winning commissions span a wide range of media and usus, from the Olympic Games to Icons that adorn sacred sanctuaries. Rip has been profiled in the PBS documentary series "The Greek-Americans" in the United States and on the "Horizons" international satellite television show out of Athens. He has also distinguished himself in producing quality commercial art for print, fiolm, and the Internet. Rip Kastaris' successful 22-year artist career began as a designer and commercial illustrator before he more fully pursued his passion for fine art. He is the first Hellenic-American to be chosen by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to commemorate US athletes. His company and studio, Petra Fine Art, Inc., is based out of St. Louis, Missouri. However, Rip's works have been prominently displayed throughout the United States and abroad, including fine art galleried in Athens. Kastaris also serves as Creative Director for the Hellenic Cultural Foundation. His many distinctions include receiving the Artist of the Year Award from the prestigious Elios Society in 2003. Rip's contemporary fine art reflects his depth at understanding and translating themes from antiquity and Orthodox iconography. This includes his signature style of using gold leaf, jewel-toned color and aged textures in his paintings and sculptures. His original award-winning Olympic works include the "Fire and Ice" series (Olympic skiing, ice skating, and ice hokcye), the 2004 Athena series, and the epic Olympic mural "Kyklos - Circle of Glory" that is permanently displayed at the VIP center in Athens "Spyros Louis" Olympic Stadium. Kastaris' mythological GOds and Goddesses, Byantine Icons and Angels are also among his most popular pieces. The son of a Greek Orthodox priest, Rip Kastaris immigrated to the United States as a young child with his family as part of his father's mission. Rip graduated from Washington University in St. Louis as Valedictorian of the School of Fine Arts and has also served as an adjunct professor there. His formal education has been supplemented by visiting and researching many historical sites, museums and ancient Greek monasteries.