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Paintings of Maria Callas by Eli Serfaty

January 6 through January 24, 2013.

In 1943, I was born in Fez, Morocco. After Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, when I was five, my family immigrated to Israel via France and Cyprus. For nine months we lived in a transition camp in Padres Hana. We settled permanently in Jerusalem.

My dream throughout my childhood was to spend my life studying and working in art. Thus my early years were devoted to drawing for the sake of drawing, participating in decoration of the classrooms of my school. Even while serving in the military on the air force base, I spent my free time on art projects.

While a student at the Betzalel Fine Arts Academy in Jerusalem, the most prestigious art school in Israel,I served as a guidance counselor and head of the art department at a summer camp, Camp Ramah, in Canada.I won a prize for the design of Independence Day posters for Jerusalem and was in charge of Independence Day decoration of the city’s streets.

In 1965, I volunteered to be a member of a group of ten Betzalel students who were sent to Florence, Italy to assist with the recovery and restoration of works of art after the flood that damaged many of Florence’s museums and churches.

I graduated from the Betzalel Fine Arts Academy in Jerusalem in 1967. That year, as a member of the reserves, I served in the Six Day War. I was appointed as the arts director at the Beit Hayotzer ceramics factory in Petal Tikva in 1968. I developed, together with a partner, an etching technique. We used this technique to design and manufacture a line of products. These products were in wide demand as gifts with the aeronautics industry, the military chief of staff, the municipality of Tel Aviv-Yahoo, the US embassy in Israel.

Golda Mire gave President Sad at of Egypt a clock from this line. This clock is called the Clock of Peace. The mayor of Jerusalem gave the actor George Seagal another work from this oeuvre. One of my creations hangs in the lobby of the American Ambassador’s residence in Herzlia. In 1972 I won first prize for this product line from the Israeli Export Institute.

I have continued to draw, paint, teach, and design. I am noted for the use of media inspired by ancient techniques such as fresco and etching and its application to modern themes.

I am married with three grown children and seven grandchildren, and still counting…

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