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.