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These eggs are just waiting to be purchased and leave their nest at the Red House Art Gallery in Graeagle. Proceeds will benefit art at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School. Photo submitted

Buy an egg and support art in the schools

What began as a lark is now a bird’s nest full of opportunity for students at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary in Portola.

Local artist Marian Haid liked to paint small stones. There might be a heart on one or a bee on another, with an inspirational message on the flip side such as “Be kind.”

A couple of years ago she placed them around Graeagle for people to randomly find.

Some of those stones ended up near the Red House Art Gallery.  “The kids would find them in the barrels and I would tell them that the Graeagle rock fairy left them,” said Toni Carl, who owns the gallery with her husband, Brian.

Toni said that a couple of those children came back the following year and looked for the rocks. When they didn’t find any, she heard one child say to the other, “Oh no, this is the weekend, I’m sure that the fairy is home painting rocks.”

If those children came back now, they would find an entire nest of eggs/rocks, hand painted by various artists and others.

Toni said that the nest is the result of a six-month collaboration. “All participants were simply asked to participate and paint an egg,” Toni said. “Various techniques and designs were used based on the decisions of each individual egg painter.”

She added that not all of the eggs were painted by artists; other individuals participated as well.

The eggs were just placed into a large woven nest now on display at the Red House Art Gallery. Once the nest was completed, the idea of using it as a fundraiser to enhance the art program for local school children evolved.

“The idea is to choose an egg and leave a donation,” Toni said. The suggested donation is $25, but any amount is welcome.

The money raised will be used to promote art at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary in Portola.

“As the eggs sell, the nest will simulate the natural process of birds leaving the nest,” said Brian Carl, co-owner of the gallery.

Donations can be made at Red House Art Gallery located behind Graeagle Park on Highway 89. The gallery is open daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call the gallery at 836-0104.

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