Chaia Heller has developed a distinctive approach to creating museum quality embellished giclee prints. Chaia reworks each print by hand, using hundreds of brush strokes so that each embellished print is a one of a kind piece of art. Her paintings draw from folk imagery, illuminated manuscripts, and a rich grammar of cultural symbols to depict Jewish imaginairies, past and present. For Chaia, paintings are windows that open into vast places in which to praise, bless, and express gratitude for each other, the Earth, the greater cosmos and the Divine. Chaia creates joyous art ‘To Live With’; her vibrant colors bring ruach (spirit) to Jewish homes and communities while celebrating life’s most joyful simchot and sacred moments. Chaia’s art reflects contemporary Jewish worlds that are spiritually evocative, feminist, gender egalitarian, culturally inclusive, and politically and ecologically aware. As an anthropologist and social ecologist, Chaia’s art is a living visual library of cultural and naturalistic traditions lost, sustained, and poetically transformed. She lives in Leverett MA with her husband, daughter, and Mazel, her unreasonably affectionate labradoodle.
Chaia is a self-taught painter and illustrator whose mixed media works incorporate a range of applied materials, artistic mediums, and surfaces. While some works combine archival inks with acrylic and gouache paint, others combine the medium of pen and ink with gold leaf and premium gold acrylic to achieve a raised dot, three-D effect. Other works are collage, incorporating found objects, and decorative papers. She utilizes a variety of surfaces including canvas, gesso board, bristol board, water color paper, and wooden board.