Born in 1983, in Long Island, New York, Michelle Sakhai's extensive world travels began at an early age and her mixed heritage have shaped her as an artist. With both Persian and Japanese roots, her art derives influences from both cultures. She grew up traveling to Japan to visit her family every summer for twenty years. In Japan, Sakhai was inspired by the culture and scenery of her grandparent’s hometown, Kashiwazaki, a tiny village by the black Sea, surrounded by vast mountains. This special place left an indelible impression that still today feeds her imagination. Sakhai’s creative perception and talent was also nurtured by her Persian culture. The exposure to both traditions in her young life has impacted her artistic vision.

In 2004, Sakhai received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors, majoring in Art History and minoring in Fine Arts from Hofstra University. She went on to receive her Masters in Fine Arts in 2010 from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. Before obtaining her Masters, she studied in Venice, Italy, and in Barcelona, Spain, at d'Arts Plastique I Disseny (LLOTJA) with the School of Visual Arts. Sakhai also studied at the Marchutz Academy of Fine Art in Aix en Provence. In 2006, she received a grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center as a resident artist in Johnson, VT. Shortly after receiving her Masters in San Francisco, she taught Fine Art at the University of California, Berkeley.

Michelle Sakhai divides her time between San Francisco and New York painting and actively exhibiting.  

In pursuit of her spiritual path, Michelle Sakhai is a Primordial Sound Meditation instructor through the Chopra Center, as well as a certified Reiki Master. She believes and trusts in the energy of the creative spirit as a healing force on the earth. Sakhai conveys this valuable message of healing through her art and her speaking engagements. She currently works and resides in New York City while continuing to travel the world.


My paintings reference the teachings of Transformative Art. With a focus on light and energy, each spontaneous stroke serves as a vehicle for healing and channeling peace. While my approach borders on the style of abstract expressionism with free subconscious markings, my formal background as a plein air painter directs my work to develop considering light. Using calm and at times warm colors and gold and silver leaf, the process is emotionally transformative and spiritually expansive. While my abstract paintings reflect an internal energy that comes from the present, my work continues to be informed by landscapes of my past.



“Cosmic Current”, Gallery Kasagi, Yokosuka, Japan

“Streams Inside”, Mitsukoshi, Niigata, Japan

"Into the Light”, Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA

"Winter Light" curated by Emily Timmel, The Westchester Children's Museum, Rye, NY


"The Far East Goes West", Gallery Kasagi, Yokosuka and Kamakura, Japan

"Treasured Elements", Madelyn Jordon Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY


“Prints in to Paintings”, Exhibit + Lecture, The San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA

“Oils and Metals”, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, San Francisco, CA

“Experiences Inside and Out”, Carmel Rincon Center, San Francisco, CA


“Awakening”, Ramp Gallery, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA

“Japanese Translations”, Exhibit + Lecture, The Consulate General of Japan, San Francisco, CA


“Through Time”, Hall of Justice, Superior Court House, San Francisco, CA


“Synchronizing With Nature”, curated by Thelema Dietler, 625 Gallery, San Francisco, CA




"A Whiter Shade of Winter", Madelyn Jordon Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY


"Bedazzled", curated by Bartholomew F. Bland, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, NY

"Summer Collection", curated by Danielle Fox, Slate Contemporary Gallery, Oakland CA

"The Art Show", organized by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY


LIC Arts Open, curated by June Kosloff, Long Island City, NY


Stanford Art Spaces, curated by Marilyn Grossman, Stanford University, CA


Tribeca Grand: Roots and Wings Foundation, curated by Kathy Murphy, New York, NY

“MarinMOCA Summer National Juried Exhibition”, Museum of Contemporary Art Novato, CA


“Exposicion Colectiva”, Galeria Aragon 232, curated by Maria Floxo, Barcelona, Spain


“Colectiva De Navidad”, Galeria Aragon 232, Barcelona, Spain

“Urban Landscapes”, 688 Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“My Funny Valentine”, curated by Tchera Niyego, Broadway Gallery, New York, NY


“New Art Inside New York”, curated by Jeanne Siegel, West Side Gallery, New York, NY


“Untitled”, Geary Gallery, Darien, CT


Intl. Art Exhibition, Kate Hoffman Art Association, Fort Davis, TX

“Doodle”, curated by Tchera Niyego, Broadway Gallery, New York, NY

“Exposition d'artistes Internationaux”, Marchutz Academie, Aix en Provence, France

“Intl. Exhibit of ‘Sainte Victoire’”, Galerie Imbert, Aix-en-Provence, France

“Untitled”, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL

“The Land of Vermont”, Vermont Studio Center: Johnson, VT



“Best of Show” and “Best in Oil” Kate Hoffman Art Assn. Fort Davis, TX

“Award of Excellence” Upstream People Gallery, International Juried Online Art Exhibition curated by Larry Bradshaw

“Artist's Grant” Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT

“Best practices in Art and Creativity” The World of Art Magazine, New York NY



HSBC Corporate: 601 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 2012 to current

Former US Secretary of State, George P. Shultz Collection, San Francisco, CA 2012



ArteFuse. "Theasured Elements: Precious as Silver & Gold" by Atif A.K., March 2016

Stanford Art Spaces. "Worth a look" Curated by Marilyn Grossman, 2013

San Francisco Public Library. "Artist Michelle Sakhai exhibit and lecture" Lecture on Japanese Prints, 2013

The Ramp Gallery, Somarts. “Awakening” November 28 - December 16, 2012

The Art Founders Project. Artist Spotlight U.S.:Michelle Sakhai September 24, 2012

Nichi Bei Weekly, San Francisco, CA January 2012

“Pini Giapponesi a Ventimiglia” February 7, 2011

Walsh, Suzie. “…Yet You’re My Favorite Work of Art” My Funny Valentine. NY 2008

Clark, E.K. “Shock of the Old” New York Arts Magazine: July-August 2007

New Art International, Woodstock, NY 2006-2007

Newsday, Long Island Newspaper, March 2006

New York Arts Magazine: Interview by Executive Editor Steven Psyllos, 2006

New York Arts Magazine: Tips and Picks Feature, 2005



2010 M.F.A., Painting, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA

2004 B.F.A., Art History; Minor in Fine Art, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

2006 Marchutz School of Art, Aix en Provence, France

2004 School of Visual Arts, Barcelona, Spain

2003 Long Island University, Brookville, NY

2002 New York University, New York, NY



2012 University of California Berkeley, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Painting

2011 University of California Berkeley, Fine Art Painting