Artist Summary

My work is largely shaped by Byzantine Iconography, the earliest form of Christian art. Under its influence, color schemes, figures, architectural edifices, historical events, and visual perspective all play an important role in each collaged piece I create. At the same time, influence of my father, renown Byzantine iconographer Diamantis Cassis, is also visible in all the work I’ve created throughout my life.

Drawing from these two streams of artistic and spiritual exposure, I strive to convey to the viewer a sense of the ancient past made present in today’s world. In this way, the iconographic images crafted centuries ago mesh with contemporary events and people, giving Byzantine art a feeling of relevance and continuity in our current lives. On a personal level, the work allows me a connection with my father and my Faith, bridging my life on earth with what mysteriously lies on the other side.

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  • 2021 Reuters national story on Zavitsanos Covid-19 memorial project June 15, 2021
  • 2020 website ShoutoutHTX featured the COVID project and works in “Meet Joni Zavitsanos: Artist” (December)
  • 2020 Molly Glentzer of the Houston Chronicle wrote “Houston artist launches COVID-19 memorial project” (July)
  • 2020 KPRC-TV aired story “Local artist remembers faces of COVID-19 through new project” (August)
  • 2020 ABC-TV national story “Localish” featured “Artist wants you to see the faces of COVID-19 victims” (August)
  • 2020 The National Herald newspaper writer Connie Mihalos wrote “COVID legacy: Names and Faces, Numbers, Icons and Halos” (August)
  • 2020 Fox26 News story “Mourning America: Website honors lives lost to COVID-19” features the project at the end of the story (August)
  • 2020 January 20 – February 6 exhibition at MATCH Gallery Houston write up featured in both Houstonia and Swoon Magazines; calendared event featured in Houston Chronicle and Glasstire
  • 2019 Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, lecture on the Fordham museum exhibition in NYC, Hilton Hotel, 2019
  • 2019 Fordham University’s Museum of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art, NYC solo exhibition and lecture series, “Distant Relatives: Ancient imagery of the Classical, 2019 Pagan Past and the Modern Byzantine icons of Joni Zavitsanos”
  • 2018 European Art Magazine Nea Skepsi, cover art, article with personal interview, and several pieces featured
  • 2012 Cover Art for book Honor & Gloria: Poetry of the Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis, ascribed to St. Columba of Iona, edited by Sharon Pelphrey
  • 2010 Publication: Lefkoma, Artwork of Lefkada, Greece
  • 2010 Publication: European Printmakers, Athens, Greece
  • 1995 Michael Hobs, USA Ambassador, Ghana, Africa Collection for Embassy: 2 multi-media works
  • 1992 Art League of Houston, Juried Exhibition, William Graham, Graham Gallery, Houston, TX awarded 2nd place for Mixed Media work
  • 1986-1988 Cover art for monthly publication of magazine Estia


  • 2021 LIVING ICONS: A Commemoration of the Victims of Houston’s Covid-19 Pandemic, private family memorial October 15 & public opening October 16 through Spring 2022 at John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, Museum District, Houston, TX
  • 2021 Orthodox Arts Festival September Exhibition, Heavenly Path Gallery, Glastonbury, UK
  • 2020 Match Gallery, Houston, solo exhibition, “My Father’s Daughter”
  • 2019 Fordham University’s Museum of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art in NYC,
    solo exhibition “Distant Relatives: Ancient Imagery of the Classical Pagan Past
    and the Modern Byzantine Icons of Joni Zavitsanos”
  • 2015 & 2016 Assistance League Celebrates Texas Art, juried
  • 2009, 2010, 2011 Hellenic Cultural Center Greek-American Art exhibitions
  • 2008 Cultural Center of Vonitsa, Greece
  • 2007 Cultural Arts Center Lefkada, Greece
  • 2003 AZA Law Firm
  • 1996 C.G. Jung Educational Center, solo show
  • 1995 Women’s Caucus for the Arts/Cultural Arts Council of Houston
  • 1994 St. Edward’s University
  • 1994 Wierzbowski Gallery (2 showings)
  • 1991 & 1993 Art League of Houston
  • 1990 & 1993 LaStrada Restaurant, Houston
  • 1992 Art Con Corazon Gallery
  • 1991 & 1992 Jan Yates Gallery, solo shows
  • 1991 Cultural Arts Center, Lefkas, Greece, solo show
  • 1991 Icons Gallery of Art, solo show
  • 1989, 1990 & 1991 Lawndale ARt & Performance Center
  • 1990 Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston campus
  • 1990 Lowman Gallery, Sam Houston State University
  • 1989 & 1990 Butera’s Cafe
  • 1990 Club Proteus
  • 1989 River Cafe
  • 1987 Munchies Cafe, Ouisie’s Table & Bon Appetito Restaurant