Christina Saj
  • Female
  • Cedar Grove, NJ
  • United States
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Profile Information

Organization or Business Name
Christina Saj Fine Art
Contact Email
Art Interests
Glass Arts, Iconography, Illustration, Mixed Media, Painting, Printmaking, Works on Paper
Artist / Personal Statement
"It is not the purpose of the icon to touch its contemplator. Neither is it its purpose to recall one or the other human experience of natural life; it is meant to lead every human sentiment as well as reason and all other qualities of human nature on to the way to illumination."

-- Ouspensky and Lossky, The Meaning of lcons

Close and careful study of icons and their technique has made their reinterpretation an inevitable challenge for me. It is both part of my cultural heritage as well as a longtime, personal fascination with spiritual objects and universal symbols. Using their formal and structural elements as a departure point, I have worked to create paintings in which symbols could be recognized and reinvented so they may reflect the character of the time in which they were created.

My paintings betray a fascination with geometric abstraction, a preference for modernism and an acute awareness of historical context. There is no doubt that my family's rich cultural background has broadened my perspective. But every generation searches for its own vocabulary. I feel that one must assimilate knowledge of the past in order to elucidate the present. It is my attempt to create a synthesis of the things which I find meaningful in order to create a new ideal and a personal aesthetic representative of my own generation.

Turning to icons is just part of the story. Somewhere in my travels I discovered some x-rays and decided to try incorporation of these "bodies" in my paintings. First collaged and then painted into my images these intricate and very evocative forms allowed me to introduce the human figure in the abstract. They provide the template for everyman.

Suddenly, the perspective had changed. The combination of using body parts in the abstract to create modern icons has afforded me a new universal symbol unavailable to previous generations of icon painters. Viewers can now interpret these paintings in relation very specifically to their own selves.

It it in this spirit of discovery of modern symbols and their meanings which a new art can be created.
Accomplishments / CV
Solo Exhibitions

Wait, Watch, Wonder Central Presbyterian Church Gallery, Atlanta GA | 2011
Images of Faith, Grantham Church Art Gallery, Grantham, PA | 2010
Form Seeking Expression, Marion Artistic Creations, University of Dayton, Dayton OH | 2010
The Six Days of Creation, New Brunswick Theological Seminary Chapel, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ | 2008
Visions and Imaginings, artpsace 129, Montclair, NJ | 2006
Lisova Pisnia, UECC Gallery, Philadelphia PA | 2004
The Tree of Life, American Embassy, Doha, Qatar | 2004
Words and Images, works on paper The Rosalind & Alfred Lippman Gallery, Short Hills, NJ | 2003
Indomitable Spirit: Paintings of Faith, Hope and Remembrance The Interchurch Center, NY, NY | 2001
The Guiding Spirit, The Bible Technologies Conference, Chantilly, VA | 2001
The Corporate Landscape, Brodsky Gallery, Chauncey Conference Center, Princeton, NJ | 2001
Painted Prayers, St. James Chapel, Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, NY, NY | 2000
Drawing on Inspiration, Midland Gallery; Montclair, NJ | 1999
Music as Art/Art as Music, Central Presbyterian Church, Montclair, NJ | 1999
Celebration of Faith, Central Presbyterian Church; Montclair, NJ | 1997
Remembering Myth, Midland Gallery; Montclair, NJ | 1997
Allegories, The Lobby Gallery, New York, NY | 1995
Saints, Kings and Prophets, The Lobby Gallery, New York, NY | 1995
Contemporary Icons, Norbert Considine Gallery, Princeton, NJ | 1994
New Painting, UCAF Gallery, Toronto, Canada | 1993
Recent Works, The Ukrainian Institute of America, New York, NY | 1992
Defining the Spirit Within, (MFA show) Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY | 1991
Group Exhibitions


Artful Living, Ashenfelter, Slous McDounough & Trevenen LLP, Montclair, NJ


MICAS 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Genesis & Evolution, Studio Montclair, Academy Square, Montclair, NJ
Fellowship and Communion, EVCA online

Fine Art / Folk Art: A Dialogue, The Ukrainian Museum, New York, NY

A Collection Revealed: The Ukrainian Museum at 30 Paintings and Sculpture from the Permanent Collection, The Ukrainian Museum, New York, NY
Flights of Fancy, Artspace 129, Montclair, NJ 2007
Choose Your Muse featuring 11 Women Artists The Field School, Washington, DC 2007
Art Strings, NJ Symphony, NJPAC Newark, NJ Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton NJ
What's New! Studio Montclair, Montclair, NJ

Koliada: Winter Rituals, Ukrainian Institute of America, New York, NY
Art Connections 3, George Segal Gallery, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
What’s New, Studio Montclair Summer Salon, Montclair Public Library, Montclair, NJ
Perspectives on Ukrainian Culture and Art, Kreeger Gallery, Potomac MD

Truth, Gallery 214, Montclair, NJ
Landscape 4 Artists Views, Artspace 129, Montclair, NJ
125th Anniversary Exhibit, UCCA (Ukrainian Congress Committee of America) Museum of Cultural Heritage, Kiev Ukraine - traveling to Charkiv, Donetsk, Dnipro-Petrovsk and Lviv.

Works on Paper, Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ
A Full Plate, Makeready's Gallery 214, Montclair, NJ

Women Artist of Montclair: Black and White, Nandi Art Gallery: Montclair, NJ
Art: The Ultimate Asset, PNC Bank, Montclair, NJ
The Art of Collecting Fine Art The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
Art In Bloom, The Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
Connections, Kustlerbund, Graz, Austria

Remembrance, Renewal and Reflection - The Unity Quilt Arts Council of the Morris Area
The Art of Collecting Fine Art, The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
"Eggstavaganza" The Los Angeles County Zoo, Los Angeles, CA

SQUARED, Dupre Gallery, Montclair, NJ
Pysanka - The Easter Egg Roll, The White House, Washington, DC
Double Take, West Orange Arts Council Invitational, West Orange, NJ
The Bigger, The Better, Nabisco Art Gallery, East Hanover, NJ
SMI Fourth Annual National Juried Exhibition, Gallery 214, Montclair, NJ

Cow Parade, West Orange, New Jersey
Surviving Symbols, (with Gloria Rodriguez) Westminster Gallery, Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, NJ
The Word as Art: Contemporary Renderings, Museum of Biblical Art, New York, NY

Cross Purposes: Traditional Symbol - Contemporary Visions, Korn Gallery, Drew University, Madison, NJ traveling to American Academy of Religion Conference Exhibits, Boston MA
National 5ive, ALJIRA - Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ
Art at the Institute 1990-1996, Ukrainian Institute of America, New York, NY | catalogue
Studio Montclair: Annual Juried Exhibition Midland Gallery, Montclair, NJ

Montclair State University: National Juried Small Works Show, Montclair State University Gallery; Montclair, NJ
Studio Montclair: First Annual Juried Exhibition Midland Gallery; Montclair, NJ
Our Mother Theresa, ArtBuilders Gallery; Jersey City, NJ
Reflections and Projections, Church Street, First Night Montclair, NJ
NJCW Art Show, Van Vleck Mansion, Montclair, NJ
Matter of Substance, Midland Gallery, Montclair, NJ

Generations, A.I.R.; New York, NY
Artistic License, Nabisco Art Gallery; East Hanover, NJ
The Rest of the Colony, Midland Gallery; Montclair, NJ

25 Years of Contemporary Art, at the Institute The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago IL | catalogue
Signifying Love, The Lobby Gallery, New York, NY

Myth, Form & Spirit, (3 east coast artists) The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago IL, | catalogue

NJ Arts Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson College, Wayne, NJ

100 New York Artists, Whetherholt Galleries, Washington, DC

Ghosts of Byzantium, Literature & Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Press; Fall, 1997
Ilona Sochynsky - A Journey into Abstraction, The Creative Woman; Winter, 1993

Invited Presentations/Guest Lecturer

Museum of Biblical Art NYC - "Theology in Color: Tradition, Iconography and the Art of Icon Writing" June 2010
New Brunswick Theological Seminary, St Johns Campus, NY “Six Days of Creation” April 2010
New Brunswick Theological Seminary “Painted Prayers” May 2008
Studio Montclair: NJ“Salons: The Joy of Conversation” Jun. 2004
Temple Bnai Jeshurun, NJ “Words and Images” Feb. 2003
Union Theological Seminary, NYC “Painted Prayers” Feb. 2000
Caldwell College, NJ Visiting Artist Lecture Feb. 1999
Drew University, NJ “Through the eyes of icons” Mar. 1999
UAPBA NY/NJ Chapter, NYC “A Work in Progress” Sept. 1998
The Midland Gallery, NJ “On Myth & Painting” Sept. 1997
Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC “On Allegories” Apr. 1995
Ukrainian Museum, NYC “Faces one can pray to - the icons of P. Cholodny” Nov. 1994
Selected Bibliography
interview - Works with Soul: Christina Saj, Modern Icons, Ruminate Magazine Editors Blog May 4 2011
cover art: nativity, Nasha Doroha, Ukrainian Catholic Woman's League of Canada, 2010
image reproduction, adam and eve, Körper unter Körpern: Grundlegung zu einer Theologie des Leibes, Salzkorn 2, 2010
Baczynsky, Marta, Exhibit focuses on ‘dialogue’ between Ukrainian fine and folk art, The Ukrainian Weekly, June 14, 2009
Qarooni, Nawal, Shining The Light, Star Ledger, Thursday, May 1, 2008 p. 30
Nicholls, Rachel, Walking on Water, Reading MT 14:22-33 in the light of its Wirkungsgeschichte, Brill Publishing, 2007
image reproduction, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord Why 'Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier' is somewhere between heresy and idolatry. Christianity Today editorial, May 2008, Vol. 52, No. 5
cover art: “Flood”, New England Review, Middlebury College, 2008
image reproduction, Yancey, Philip Christianity Today, Ongoing Incarnation Would Christmas have come even if we had not sinned? 1/10/2008
Image Reproduction (Savior) The Progressive Christian, Nov/Dec 2007 p 48
Wunderink, Susan, Christianity Today, slideshow, The Transfiguration: Artists depict Jesus' meeting with Moses and Elijah. 8/02/2007
Leshko, Yaroslav, A Collection Revealed: The Ukrainian Museum at 30 Paintings and Sculpture from the Permanent Collection ,
The Ukrainian Museum, New York, NY (catalogue)
Image Reproduction (Melchior of the Magi) The Progressive Christian, Nov/Dec 2007 p 47
McGlone, Peggy, On the Town: Montclair – Running on creative energy, The Star Ledger, July 7, 2006
cover art: Jerusalem, New England Review, Middlebury College, Summer 2006
image reproduction: Annunciation, Catholic Catechism, Loyola Press, 2006
Nash, Margo, Picasso Legal, New York Times, Sunday March 27, 2005
Gilligan, Kathleen, Myth and the Modern World: Montclair Artist brings Iconic Art into the 21st Century Suburban Essex October, 2004
“An exhibition of monotype prints features work of Viridian artists”, Montclair Times, May 5, 2004
Nicholls, Rachel “Walking on Water: reflecting on Matthew 14:22-33 in the light of two paintings”
Cambridge University Senior New Testament Seminar, Cambridge, England 2003
Society of Biblical Literature's International Meeting, Cambridge, England 2003
Horsley, Richard, Image Reproduction (Nativity) Who is Our Savior?, The Other Side, Nov/Dec 2003 p23
cover art: (Tree of Life), Montclair this Month/This Month, LIfe and Leisure, March 2003
“Images of Jerusalem” The Montclair Times, February 27, 2003
Shevchenko, Olya, Connections: Montclair - Graz, Studio Montclair, Montclair, NJ 2003 (exhibition catalog)
“New exhibition opening in temple’s gallery” The Item of Millburn & Short Hills, January 23, 2003
Bischoff, Dan. “Spiritual Response” The Star Ledger, December 5, 2001
“Christina Saj Paintings Reflect the Spiritual Values of Our Civilization”, Montclair Times, Dec 20, 2001
cover art: (Nativity), The Other Side, December 2001
“Artwork by Christina Saj on view at Nabisco Gallery” The Montclair Times, March 22, 2001
“A look at the Cultural Scene” Ukrainian Weekly, Jan 7 2001
“A new look at reigious icons”, On the Green, Bloomfield college Alumni Magazine, Winter 2000 p 14
Burke, Marcus, B and Heller, Ena, The Word as Art: Contemporary Renderings, The American Bible Society, 2000 (exhibition catalog)
Turner, Patricia, “Contemporary Icons: scripture as interpreted by today’s artists” The Star Ledger, October 8, 2000
“Making Art Out of the Word”, Bible Review, October 2000
Image Reproduction (Last Supper) Maine Antiques Digest, September 2000
Humannitzki, Dorothy, “Relgious themes continue to inspire contemporary artists” Catholic New York, August 24, 2000
“Exhibition gives religious art a modern day makeover” Caribbean Life, July 25, 2000
Andre, Mila, “Spread the Word: Gallery is a blessing” New York Daily News, Friday, June 28, 2000
“Montclair Artist Christina Saj Draws on Byzantine Tradition”, Arts & Entertainment, Montclair Times, Thursday, June 27th, 2000
Smindak, Helen, “Ukrainian art works brighten area galleries” The Ukrainian Weekly, March 5, 2000
Martinez, Arturo, “Faith predominates joint exhibit” The Star Ledger, Jan 30, 2000
(interview) Uilana Teliouk, “University of the Airwaves” Voice of America, October, 1999
Krischer, Hayley. “Artists Give Hahne’s Building a Soul — or at Least a New Face” The Montclair Times, December 24, 1998
Martin, Antoinette. “Downtown Dazzle on 10th First Night” The Montclair Times, December 4, 1997
Juri, Carmen. “Can we wrap that for you?”The Star Ledger, December 18, 1997
Shevchencko, Olya. “Exploring Myth through the paintings of Christina Saj” The Ukrainian Weekly, December 18, 1997
Karasik, Sherry. “Galleries offer Voices to Artist’s in Montclair” The New Jersey Herald, September 12, 1997
Shevchenko, Olya. “Artscene: Allegories” The Ukrainian Weekly, Sept 4, 1995
Horodysky, Andrew, Myth Form Spirit The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, , May 1995 exhibition catalog
Peterson, Lisa. “Beyond Ambition, More Abstract Thinking Applied to Old World Icons” The Star Ledger, March 31, 1994


American Bible Society HQ, NYC
Blanc & Otis, TX
Cigi Gallery Assoc. St. Louis, MI
Museum of Biblical Art, Dallas TX
Museum of Cultural Heritage, – Kiev, Ukraine
The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art – Chicago, IL
The Ukrainian Museum, NYC
UCA Foundation - Toronto, CA
Awards, Honors & Public Art Projects

Artist In Residence, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ 2008
Art Strings, NJ Symphony, 2006
Arts In Embassies Program, US Dept of State 2003
The Egg Came First (selected to travel to the White House) 2001|
Cow Parade, 2000


The Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts Bard College; MFA; Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Sarah Lawrence College; BA; Bronxville, NY
Wadham College, Oxford University; Oxford, England
Studio Art Center International; Florence, Italy

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At 10:56pm on October 3, 2011, Cameron J. Anderson said…
FYI . . . you can click and drag you photo gallery to the top of your page if you like.
At 10:45pm on October 3, 2011, Cameron J. Anderson said…
Welcome to the CIVA Network!

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