International artist Joni Zavitsanos was featured in a Q & A interview on the website CanvasRebel in “Meet Joni Zavitsanos.”
In her interview she discusses how art has permeated her life from the time her artist father let her sit beside him in his studio with her own paper, pencils, ink, crayons, and paint; through to her impressive creation of a currently museum-housed tribute LIVING ICONS: A Commemoration of the Victims of Houston’s Covid-19 Pandemic.
“The teacher who inspired me most was my father. He left this life nearly six years ago, and it seems everything I create is with him in mind. His words of wisdom to me were really one in the same: ‘Always make art that matters,’ or ‘Make art for man’s edification,’” Ms. Zavitsanos told the folks at the website devoted to creative stories and creators.
She discussed her past Houston and New York shows and how she mixes her father’s Byzantine influences and the current with collages, color and use of religious images and symbols.
Her LIVING ICONS exhibit at The John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, which features a picture of each lost soul with a gold leaf halo, has been so popular it has been extended to December 2022. She is looking for a permanent space to house the exhibit in the city of Houston.
The current space was the scene of a memorial event held for those lost in the Houston area. “The memorial service was so memorable, with over 600 family members attending in funeral attire, ready to mourn the loss of their loved one in a proper way. I hosted everyone, brought in food and drink, had religious leaders from the community come to say prayers, had Mayor Sylvester Turner give words of comfort, brought in the Windsor United Methodist Choir sing gospel songs, and ended the evening with a butterfly release across the street at McGovern Park. It was a night to remember for all,” Ms. Zavitsanos said.
When asked about what is most rewarding about her work she said: “I am happiest when those who come to see my work and ask hard questions can leave with a perspective that perhaps they had not thought of before.”
Upcoming for Ms. Zavitsanos: In the Spring of 2023 her modern icons will be shown alongside her father’s work at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania. She will host lectures on Byzantine Art at that time.