Zoria Zetaruk is a unique Nevada treasure. She was born in Alberta, Canada, to Ukrainian immigrant parents and grew up with the traditions, foods, and crafts of that culture. She learned the art of pysanky, or decorated eggs, from her mother, who used to pretend she couldn't see well in order to get Zoria to draw the designs for her.
Pysanky employs a traditional method whereby tiny, intricate patterns of animals, plants, and geometric designs are drawn on eggs with wax. Successive layers of dye are applied, followed by more wax designs, until the egg takes on a dark, misshapen form. When the wax is melted and wiped off, a bright jewel of color and pattern appears.
Pysanky were traditionally made for Easter and taken to church for blessing by a priest. They have now become symbolic of Ukrainian culture as a whole.
Zetaruk has taught pysanky at Las Vegas senior centers and in school classrooms for thirty years. For her dedication to and mastery of this intricate art—and for her generosity in sharing it so widely—Zetaruk received a Governor's Arts Award for Excellence in Folk Arts in 2000.