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About Elizabeth Ridgely "Betty" Gaither
Elizabeth Ridgely "Betty"(Gaither) was an oil painter and printmaker. A resident of Annapolis Roads for 15 years, Betty was born in 1928, in Baltimore, the daughter of Lt. Gen. Ridgely Gaither and Dorothy Bassford Gaither, longtime Anne Arundel County residents.
Betty was a graduate of The Greenwood School in Ruxton, Md. She also held an associate's degree in commercial art from the Columbia Technical Institute in Arlington. But she spent much of her life taking art classes around the world. The wife of Col. William VanDyke Ochs Jr., she studied art wherever the couple was posted: in Trieste, Italy, where they met and married in 1948, at the Grand Chaumier in Paris in 1964, at the Corcoran School of Art in 1967 and then again from 1970-1974.
Betty was a founding member of the Torpedo Factory Arts Center in Alexandria, where she had her printmaking studio for 30 years. She also was a member of the Spectrum Gallery in Georgetown from 1991 to 2005. She was a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She was also an active member of the Annapolis chapter of the National League of American Pen Women.
She was a mentor to aspiring artists and a loyal and wise companion. She served as a staff artist in the printing and graphics department at George Washington University from 1970 to 1975. She was a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center from 1978-1983. She was also affiliated with The Art League in Alexandria, Va., where she took numerous courses. Her work was exhibited both locally and nationally.
Betty was an officer in the John Gaither Society Inc. In her younger years, she was an avid equestrienne, competing internationally. Her love of horses-and all animals-became a source of inspiration for her art. Her closeness to the Chesapeake Bay also influenced much of her work.