Utah students make ornaments for National Christmas Tree
Hayden Gunter holds an ornament she made for the National Christmas Tree lighting display, photo courtesy of Southern Utah University

Ornaments made by middle and high school students in Cedar City adorn President’s Park in Washington, D.C. as part of the 95th annual National Christmas Tree lighting display. The ornaments are on display on one of 56 trees representing each U.S. state and territory and the District of Columbia through Jan. 1, 2018 as part of the America Celebrates display.

The students met in the classroom of the Southern Utah Museum of Art to create the ornaments under the direction of Alisa Petersen. They worked together to paint sheets of Tyvek with a variety of colors and textures found in nature. Then they individually designed and assembled the small landscapes by cutting and layering the painted Tyvek.

“I enjoyed having the opportunity to work with these amazing students,” said Petersen. “They enthusiastically created artwork that beautifully captures the essence of the Utah landscape we love so much. We are honored to be able to celebrate the holidays and represent our state through art.”

Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the National Christmas Tree Lighting first took place Dec. 24, 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators. Since 1923, each president has carried on the tradition.

More information is available at thenationaltree.org.

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