Efthimios (Altin) Stoja is an Albanian and Greek artist and iconographer. Ancient frescoes decorating the church walls in his father’s village in Albania first inspired his love of art. Altin trained in the Byzantine/ Macedonian style iconography under master artist Tsuni Spilio in Nea Makri, Greece, before opening his own studio. He later moved to the U.S. to begin working with the St. Sophia Orthodox Church in Albany.
His iconography (in the Macedonian tradition – which shows movement and facial expressions) can be found within Albany-area Orthodox Churches. Altin uses a variety of techniques to create large-scale art including a canvas transfer, and architectural drawings, to place the subjects of his work. In both his religious and secular arts Altin’s personal style is apparent, particularly when looking at the facial structure of his subjects. Biblical figures and contemporary portraits feature a reflection in eye which is a signature of Altin’s style. The landscape of the Mediterranean and Upstate New York are common subjects in his secular painting. From the waters of the Mediterranean and the many lakes, rivers, and waterfalls of New York, Altin draws inspiration.
Both his large-scale murals and smaller works appear in churches around the Capital Region including Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, St Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church and St Nicholas Russian Church. Altin makes his living as a professional iconographer and painter. Altin’s non-religious pieces can be seen within public venues, such as in the recent (Dec 2020) Albany Center Gallery’s Member Show and the 2021 “Angels and Icons” exhibit in The New York Folklore Gallery.
New York Folklore Supported Activities:
- Mohawk Hudson Folklife Festival
- Angels and Icons” exhibit at the New York Folklore Gallery
- Shining a Light, A Public Art Project in Greek Orthodox iconography.