Thank you to Julie Guerrero for providing background information for this article —
The Churchill County Library staff recently held an Artist Reception for local artist Linda Jeffers-Spencer whose sea glass art and pen and ink drawings are currently on exhibit there.
Linda Jeffers-Spencer acquired an early interest in art through her grandmother, Thelma Calhoun, a well-known Carson City artist. “From the time we could use a pencil or a paintbrush she was teaching us art,” says Linda. “Her influence was a huge part of my life.” Having a grandfather, Jim, who was the director of the Nevada State museum in Carson City, also helped. “It was the best playground anyone could have.”
Linda has done some art through the years but never has had the time to devote to it – a pen and ink or a watercolor now and then was about all there was time for. With her daughter, Jenna, graduating from high school, and husband Mike a recently retired game warden, she has decided that now is the time to start painting again.
While a stay at home mom, Linda had a very successful bird taxidermy business. She thought it would be a great way to stay at home, raiser her daughter, and still work. Over the years she has won many awards for her taxidermy work, including a third place in the World Taxidermy Show. She judged a state duck competition and donated generously to waterfowl organizations. To her, building habitats for her birds was the most fun.
Just like painting, she likes to imagine “how this got there, who lived here, and what life was like.” Her love for historic buildings and places came from Thelma. They loved going to old, historic buildings in Carson City, Virginia City, and Belmont, all over the state. Linda attended many art classes that her grandmother taught and when it came to taxidermy, Linda studied under world famous Cabela’s taxidermist, Stefan Savides.
Linda would like to carry on her grandmother’s legacy and someday hang her art in the many galleries that Thelma helped to found: The Artist Co-op in Reno, the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City, and the St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City.
Linda’s show at the Churchill County Library is a result of the Celebrate Us art project, headed up by Julie Guerrero, Executive Secretary for Churchill County, that exhibits local artists in both the County Administration building and the Library. The Library features artists, one at a time, scheduled for two month blocks. Linda’s first two exhibits were shown at the County Administration building.
“Linda is just one example of many of our artists who had never shown their artwork,” said Guerrero. “She got involved with our program and started slow by showing at the Admin building and went on to have a Library show and a reception. I am always so happy and proud of the talent we have here locally, and I just love hearing these stories of our local artists building their confidence and branching out into new things.”