Cedar City students design ornaments for Christmas tree in nation’s capital

Students making ornaments for the National Christmas Tree, Cedar City, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Ornaments by local Utah student artists are dazzling President’s Park in Washington, D.C. as part of the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting display. Middle school and high school students from Cedar City designed ornaments that showcase the unique and beautiful landscape of Southern Utah through collage.

Students making ornaments for the National Christmas Tree, Cedar City, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

The handcrafted ornaments are adorning one of 56 trees representing each state and territory and the District of Columbia through Jan. 1 as part of the America Celebrates display.

“I enjoyed having the opportunity to work with these amazing students,” said Alisa Petersen, Beverley Taylor Sorenson endowed chair of elementary art education at Southern Utah University. “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.”

The students, who attend multiple area schools, met in the classroom of the Southern Utah Museum of Art to create the ornaments under the direction of Petersen. They worked together to paint sheets of Tyvek, a polyethylene material often used in construction for house wrap, 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.

Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is one of America’s oldest holiday traditions. The first lighting took place 95 years ago on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse. Since 1923, each succeeding president has carried on the tradition.

For more event information and updates, please go here or follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2017.

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