Saint Javelin: Art, Faith and Mobilization

On February 21, 2023, in Art, Events, Paintings, by Chris Shaw


Join me in Kansas City, Friday, Feb. 24th, for a cool event: “Saint Javelin: Art, Faith and Mobilization” at the National World War I Museum & Memorial, where an original Saint Javelin icon has been on exhibit for the last 6 months. Also attending will be Christian Borys, the founder of, which has raised more than $2 million to aid Ukraine. This event will also be streamed.

Event Info HERE

I’m still humbled that Saint Javelin has become a global symbol of Ukraine’s resistance in the war with Russia.  For the last year I’ve been inspired by the hope she’s given, what she stands for, as well as the funds Saint Javelin has help raise for Ukraine.  I just hope this awful war will end soon

Saint Javelin: Art, Faith and Mobilization

 Friday, Feb. 24 – Reception 5 p.m., Program 6 p.m.  Auditorium and YouTube Live

March 2022 saw the viral rise of an icon symbolizing Ukrainian resistance to Russian invasion. Saint Javelin continues a tradition begun in World War I of Christian saint imagery being mass-produced for public consumption during wartime.

As the Museum and Memorial’s exhibition of Saint Javelin draws to a close, two key figures in the icon’s popularity – Christian Borys, former journalist and founder of the Saint Javelin corporation, and California-based artist Chris Shaw, who created the original painting that Saint Javelin is based on – will join in conversation with Museum and Memorial Specialist Curator Patricia Cecil and President and CEO Matthew Naylor. They will address the contemporary parallels, through religious iconography, between WWI and the present-day conflict, in a discussion on art, faith and mobilization amid catastrophe. Free with RSVP | 6 p.m. | Auditorium and YouTube Live

Begin the discussion on global democracy and resistance in a ticketed reception on the Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge before the program, in partnership with Stand With Ukraine KC. All proceeds will directly benefit Ukrainian aid organizations. Tickets $30 | 5 p.m. | Museum and Memorial

National WWI Museum and Memorial

2 Memorial Drive,

Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

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Saint Javelin – Painted Edition of 5 Icons

On November 17, 2022, in Art, Paintings, by Chris Shaw

The Painted Edition of Saint Javelin consists of five, hand-painted, signed & numbered Saint Javelin icons, painted by Chris Shaw.  Each painting is unique while retaining Saint Javelin’s precise original form, proportions and color.  The icon’s figures are painted with saturated acrylic color glazes over a custom ground of glass on board, giving the icon texture, a dimensional effect, and colors a subtle translucency.  The colors used in this edition of five were also painstakingly matched to the original Saint Javelin painting.  Saint Javelin’s halo tridents shine with 24-karat gold leaf, while hand-made silver and pearl paints embellish the figure’s rich green robes.  Each figure is completed with precise brushwork using a rich gloss black that brings Saint Javelin to life, empowering her piercing brown eyes while she effortlessly holds her famous Javelin missile launcher.  

The Saint Javelin icon’s gold backgrounds consists of multiple layers of metal leaf and rich amber varnishes applied over a wooden panel.  Each icon’s gold background and sides have been finished with a craqueleur treatment, further giving the paintings their own unique character and transforming the art into a unique object that can be viewed from multiple angles.  

Each painted Saint Javelin icon has been signed by the artist on the front, and include a title, edition number, and artist’s signature on the back of the panel.

Saint Javelin

Chris Shaw

18” x 24” Acrylic with Glass, Gold, and metal leaf, on wood panels

Edition of Five


The purpose of the Saint Javelin Painted Edition is to raise funds for relief in Ukraine.  The paintings will be released exclusively through – release info will be posted here as it becomes available.   

From the artist:

“As I have watched Saint Javelin propagate online, and among the countless stickers and shirts, I wanted my Saint Javelin paintings to stand apart as unique, hand-made objects.  Like my original Saint Javelin icon, conceptually and technically, I chose to use gold and metal leaf, combined with custom mixed colors. I gave the image further depth using textures and deep glazing – all things that can not be produced digitally or printed.   The art has been painted on thick wood panels to enhance the dimensionality of the art as a real world object.  Painted over two months, the paintings were completed in early November 2022.

“It’s been a privilege to partner with and Christian Borys to produce the Painted Edition of 5 original Saint Javelin icons – it’s a high honor to use my art to help raise funds for Ukraine”    

– Chris Shaw

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Saint Javelin

An original Saint Javelin painting by Chris Shaw is currently on exhibit through February 2023 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO, USA.

From the exhibit:

“This popular and moving contemporary painting became an online phenomenon in March 2022 as a symbol for the Ukrainian resistance movement. Mass production and public consumption of images of Christian saints in the environment of war began in WWI, and this unique temporary exhibition will display Saint Javelin in the context of historical prints from the National WWI Museum and Memorial’s collection.”  

More info:

Learn more about Saint Javelin, and religious icons in war HERE .

From the artist: 

“My first painting of Sant Javelin was large and on canvas, I felt limited with some materials I was able to use, and also felt that I wanted to create the image at a more intimate size. I decided to create an icon on wood, and to create something that was both image and object.  Perhaps as an artist’s reaction to Saint Javelin’s viral propagation as a digital image – I wanted the real-world art to be textured, dimensional, and used special colors with rich gold leaf, all things that cant be reproduced digitally or in print.  The icon was painted over two months, completed in late June 2022.

“It’s a honor to have Saint Javelin on exhibit at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, I love that she can be seen by so many people and that the art continues to provoke discussion.”   – Chris Shaw

Special thanks to Patricia Cecil and the National WWI Museum and Memorial for facilitation of this exhibit, and Christian Borys for his generous loan of the art.

Saint Javelin

18” x 24” Acrylic with glass on board, gold and metal leaf, on wood panel


Social media photos: @GhostIn_TheCity via Twitter