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Ad Imaginem Arboris Vitae

In the Image of the Tree of Life

John Wesley Art Contest

Psalm 1:3

John Wesley United Methodist Church, Houston

April 29, 2014


Kamerkoor Kwintessens, The Hague

Dear Tatiana,

I thank you from all my heart! Your art was most beautiful counterpoint to our concert in Hague. Both the musicians and the audience could feel it. The highlight was the presentation of the original painting. I just did not have the words…

My deepest thank you! I am wishing to you all the happiness, and success in your work.

Arvo Pärt 


November - February 2013

 Most of these images are quite small, but they are rich and power-packed. Tatiana is an artist who deeply respects the art of the past and has had unusual access to manuscripts and illuminations from Slavic lands and Byzantine era. She researched, handled, and helped preserve important but neglected artifacts. This closeness to the real thing infused Tatiana's own aesthetic sensibilities until she could not help but produce her own visions.

Some of the works are closely aligned to medieval calligraphy, illuminations and icons. Others draw upon traditional Slavic folk art motifs and Orthodox concepts of the Tree of Life and the "I AM" sayings of Jesus. The best works branch off into imaginative configurations that bring such artistic vocabulary into the present. All of Tatiana's work is done with the reverence that allows both a careful use of fine detail and small explosions of sheer joy.

Ginger Geyer, curator at Laity Lodge Cody Art Center 

LOGOS - The Word/IKON - The Image         VAM Gallery  

As juror of a recent exhibition hosted by the First English Lutheran Church, of Austin, Texas, entitled “Journey of Faith”, I was introduced to the work of Tatiana Nikolova-Houston, whom I awarded a First Prize for her work entitled “I AM the light”.

On one hand, the viewer might be reluctant to embrace the celebratory spirit of the image due to such a generous incorporation of eye-catching colors, elements and materials.

The work kept drawing me back, much in the way that one might witness and begin to sincerely desire to break into song with a fresh-found exuberance.

Her work beckons us to lay aside adult anxieties, pride, and prejudice and enter reverently into God’s Holy Presence with the humility and sincere delight of a little child. Any healthy child is one still quite capable of experiencing ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’. She offers her art as a window to contemplate and commune with heavenly realms above. She posses a childlike sense of wonder of Christ’s majestic glory manifested throughout creation.

    I believe that Tatiana sees herself as a ‘participant’ in the long-established, time honored tradition of Slavic and Byzantine manuscript painting. At the same time, she is seeking new contemporary ways to expand her symbolic, visual, and metaphoric language beyond the conventions or strictures of the past.

Prof. Tim High - UT Art Department 

Tatiana between Tree of Life II and Christ Emmanuel - the Lamb of God