Jiela Rufeh was born in Boston, Massachusetts of German and Persian descent. She grew up in the small colonial town of Concord, encompassed by a rich cultural and literary history. Rufeh received her BFA from Syracuse University studying Photography and Sculpture. She then went on to do post graduate work at the International Center of Photography in New York City, and then to the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography. She worked
professionally in commercial photography for many years and now devotes her time fully to her art. She has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions in Berlin, and showings at the Oceanside Museum of Art, the Slater Memorial Museum, and most recently, at the Yellowstone Art Museum. Merging her photographs with
wax and repeated handling expresses a weathered feeling of the landscape and a hidden energy is revealed in translation. Her work has been influenced by her study of various cultures, in particular, tribes of the Native American Indians, mysticism, Shamanism, Yoga, and Eastern philosophies.