CAMAS — Uta Zuendel’s admiration for art stretches back decades, but she had a few things to do before focusing on her own work.First, she had to see her two children off to college. Then, she had to give back enough to make up for the help she received throughout her life, which started 73 years ago in then-East Germany.To get from East to West Germany, Zuendel was upholstered into the backseat of a car. After the death of her first husband, she was alone in America without a job and didn’t speak much English. Friends from East Germany smuggled her school transcripts from the University of Leipzig, which showed her medical training and work as a nurse.“I went to the first hospital close to where we lived, and I presented my papers,” she said. “Luck again, the director of nursing was German and she could read my papers. She hired me and said, ‘What a wonderful thing. You can learn English with the patients.’ ”It was a relief for Zuendel, who eventually remarried, had two children and moved to Camas, where she became an advocate for revitalizing downtown and reconnected with art by working in galleries. Zuendel’s wood sculptures are on display at the Camas Gallery, 408 N.E. Fourth Avenue, where she is the December Artist of the Month.