About the Artist:
Justyn Michael Zolli is an American Visual Artist, an art restorer, a museum professional, and a scholar of theological aesthetics. He is currently based in Northern California.
Zolli’s art career and studio praxis is focused on the intersection of the visual arts, religion, faith, and aesthetic experience as a path to spiritual renewal and theological enlightenment. His work ranges across painting, drawing, printmaking, painted murals, architectural stained-glass, and published books of photography; and also include lectures, teaching, and restoration projects of religious art.
He has exhibited his artwork in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and contemporary art fairs nationwide, such as: Art On Paper Contemporary Art Fair (New York, NY), Texas Contemporary (Houston TX), ArtHamptons International Art Fair (Bridgehampton, NY), ArtMarket SF Contemporary Art Fair, (San Francisco, CA), Williamsburg Art neXus Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), The San Francisco Zen Center (San Francisco, CA), The Midway SF Art Gallery (San Francisco, CA), The SMFA Grossman Gallery (Boston, MA), Eubie Blake Cultural Arts Center (Baltimore, MD), The Blackfriars Gallery at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology (Berkeley, CA), the Yosemite Museum (Yosemite, CA), and the University of Guadalajara, (Mexico). His artwork is held in many private collections nationwide.
He completed his Foundation studies in design and glass art at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI, and studied anatomical figure Drawing at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. He was accepted into a joint program with The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University, and he completed his BFA degree in 1998. Here he studied painting under the international Professors Miroslav Antic (Yugoslavia) and Sensei Kaji Aso (Japan). His coursework included philosophy, comparative mythology, art history, painting, printmaking, and photography. Upon graduation he was awarded the Will Barnet Award in Painting.
In 2014, Justyn traveled throughout India, and while there undertook independent studies with the renowned artist and academic, Professor Om Prakash Sharma (1932 - 2019) one of India's greatest abstract painters and retired president of the National College of Art in Delhi. More recently, in 2020 Justyn was accepted to study at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, Berkeley, where he is working towards a M.A. degree in Theological Aesthetics in the Art & Religion Dept., and in 2021 he was awarded a prestigious ‘Civitas Dei Fellowship’ by the Thomistic Institute, at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC.
Justyn has traveled the world extensively researching the holy sites, mural painting practices, and sacred temple building principles of many ancient cultures. These research tours have included: all major archeological sites of the Mayan pyramids in the Route Puuc, Yucatan; the great medieval, Gothic Catholic Cathedrals and Renaissance churches throughout England, Spain, Italy, and France; Native North American petroglyph sites located in the western states of the United States; Celtic and prehistoric ceremonial sites within the British Isles; and Muslim mosques, eastern Dharma temples, and monastic caves complexes (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain) located throughout India.
He has also hiked and explored a large number of remote wildernesses and national parks throughout the North American west, later publishing many books of his landscape photography created from these treks.
Additionally, Justyn has held professional appointments as an Exhibition Preparator, Mountmaker, and artist in eminent museums of Fine Art and History, working with priceless collections of valuable artworks and historic artifacts. These institutions have included: the Anderson Collection Museum of American Art at Stanford University, the Oakland Museum of California, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Jack London Museum, the SFO Aviation Museum, and the National Park Service (US Dept. of the Interior). Prior to his employment in museums, Justyn completed an apprenticeship in the traditional craft of stained-glass at the historic Burnham & LaRoche Studio, and was employed as an art conservator and glass-painter of historic stained-glass windows. In this capacity, he primarily worked on major stained-glass restoration projects for churches, libraries, cathedrals and religious architecture throughout New England, New York, and California.
Presently, he maintains a large art studio in the Benicia Arsenal Arts District in Benicia, CA. He is represented by Gallery Sam, in Oakland California, who exhibit his paintings in contemporary art fairs in cities nationwide.