Artists start to decorate salmon for fundraiser |

Artists start to decorate salmon for fundraiser

Susanne Haala
Susanne Haala / Tahoe Daily TribuneNick Sninkelletti paints his fiberglass salmon after the famous Vincent van Gogh painting "Starry Night" at Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery yesterday.

The Run Salmon Run art project, in which businesses pair up with local artists to create a fiberglass fish to raise money for the Tahoe Tallac Association, is in its final stage after the fish arrived early last week.

From now on, the artists and businesses have about two weeks to finish their fish.

Nick Sninkelletti, the senior art consultant at the Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery, already started to paint the salmon for the gallery. The painter, who is known for his landscape paintings got inspired by the Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting “The Starry Night.”

“The whole idea is that all the little white spots, instead of being stars, they will be fish,” he said. Instead of calling it “Starry Night,” Sninkelletti renamed it to “Spawning Night”.

On the fish’s tail, the water develops with a smooth transition into Emerald Bay. The other side of the fish he wants to keep in Lake Tahoe style, where he will paint a panoramic scene.

“It will be like van Gogh on one side of the coin and me on the other side of the coin, hopefully making a good comparison there,” he said. “Just have to avoid cutting off my ear and we will be OK,” Sninkelletti joked.

One of the other artists is Anne Armijo, who got partnered with Tahoe Bowl, a bowling location in South Lake Tahoe.

Armijo, who lives in Silver Springs, Nev., and has been involved with art for most of her life, publishes her art in local galleries such as at the Nevada Art Association in Carson City and several other galleries in Gardnerville, Nev.

“I lived in Tahoe in the early ’80s and my kids learned how to bowl at the Tahoe Bowl,” she said about her partnership with the business. “It’s kinda funny that it’s coming around later, with a connection from over 25 years ago.”

She always enjoyed the salmon run at Taylor creek and its colors, and envisioned a fish in colors like turquoise in acrylic paint.

“I’m not sure how long it’s gonna take. It could take between 10 hours or 80 hours to complete it, so I have to see the fish,” she said.

Armijo specifically requested a business that would let her decide on her own how to decorate the fish.

Pam Brekas, a local artist who got connected with the Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa, is planning on creating a biker salmon, since she hasn’t gotten any specific instructions.

Brekas, who teaches art workshops, is also involved with a lot of local charities in town and has a passion for motorcycles.

“I painted a bear for the Harley dealership, a biker bear,” she said about how she got the idea of creating a biker-salmon.

The fish will get the typical biker outfit with something that will look like an authentic leather vest, she said.

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