Anna Kheifetz

Serenity in a Painting

Anna Kheifetz arrived in Israel from the Former Soviet Union in 1995. She arrived from St. Petersburg, where she had studied painting at the world-famous St. Petersburg Art College. When Anna arrived in Israel, she traveled around the country, searching for an artists' community where she could paint and exhibit her work, which had been receiving good reviews among both the Russian and Israeli art critics. In Tzfat, she found the reviving Artists' Quarter, where serious artists from all over the world work together to support each other and grow in their art. She settled in Tzfat and opened her gallery on the edge of the Artists' Quarter.

Anna's gallery has, in the last 13 years, become a must-visit stop on the tours of visitors to the Artists' Quarter of Tzfat. Collectors from Russia, Germany, Canada, Israel and other countries have found in her work the magical beauty of Tzfat and the serenity of Jewish life in the town. Tzfat has inspired Anna to explore Jewish traditions and rituals in her art, and one cannot help but feel, through her work, the timeless pull that Judaism has on Jews, no matter how removed they may be from their ancestral heritage.

Anna's paintings are sought after by collectors who are looking for works which express Jewish spirituality. As Anna has said, " Both my inner world and my outer one include numerous layers, touches both the infinite freedom and the unavoidable bonds - layers that some people call mystic, though I don't distinguish them from the physical realm." In addition to her paintings, Anna has illustrated books, and her illustrations, some have noted, have sometimes sold more books than the text!

Batik on Silk

Some of Anna's best-known watercolors are her most recent. "Tzfat in Winter", a Batik on silk, is surprisingly colorful for a scene which is supposed to show Tzfat during a typical gray foggy day. Yet Anna seems to have gotten it just right - under the clouds and fog is a vibrant city, full of life and promise, where residents settle into their warm homes to work and relax.

Another compelling work, "Sabbath Reception in Tzfat", also watercolor batik on silk, uses greens and green hues to represent the city, while the orange glows of the stairs and stones of Tzfat's Old City make one clearly aware that the scene characterizes the town as the sun sets and the Sabbath begins. With no human characters whatsoever, Anna evokes the peace and serenity that the Sabbath brings as it settles onto Tzfat, and as Tzfat settles into the Sabbath.

Anna also paints in oils on canvas, and is working on mediums involving graphics on paper. But whatever medium she uses, her creativity and experimentation in materials and subject matter make her a developing artist to watch in Tzfat.