Spring reception shows off gallery renovations, new art

Elfriede Short has been painting her renditions of birds and animals on wooden and real eggs for 20 years. The artist speaks softly in her German accent about her miniature creations, some depicting characters from German children's books, now on display and available for purchasing at East Fork Gallery in Gardnerville.

"I keep most designs to re-create every year, with little changes," said Short. "I put the dates on every one."

Some of her designs are bunnies in little suits, chickadees, mallard ducks and Canada geese. This year she added lambs and golden retriever puppies.

"A lot of people come back every year and ask, 'Have you been busy painting eggs?'" said Short.

Initially starting out painting Christmas ornaments in 1982, the artist who paints with oils, acrylics and watercolors, expanded to Easter eggs four years later. Her paintings can also be found on canvas and on framed pressed leaves. Last year, she added emu eggs to her collection. Prices for the painted eggs range from $16 to $65.

Short is the featured artist for the month of March at East Fork Gallery. Her eggs will be on display along with all new artwork at the newly renovated gallery, located at 1503 Highway 395, Gardnerville. A spring reception will take place noon to 5 p.m. March 26, to celebrate the gallery's new look. The gallery is now designed to better showcase the original art of this region.

Short moved from Germany at age 25, when she married her husband, Russell.

"He was in the Air Force and we met in Germany," she said.

The young couple first moved to North Dakota, where Russell was stationed. After serving 20 years, he retired in Fallon. Russell took a job at Harrah's Lake Tahoe where he worked for 25 years and the couple moved to Gardnerville, where they have lived for the last 31 years.

Elfriede is one of the three remaining charter members in the Carson Valley Art Association, which she helped found 27 years ago this July. She and other artists began the East Fork Gallery, which originally was in a building that has since burned down at the site where the Historian Inn is now located on Highway 395. The gallery then moved to the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center for a few months, before ending up at its current site in The Record-Courier Center, 1503 Highway 395.

"This is the nicest location," said Elfriede. "We started out very little and humble."

For information on Elfriede's work or the spring reception, call the gallery at 782-7629.

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at jrafferty@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 210.


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