Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Greybull's GPS Art Club chosen to create ornaments for Wyoming's Christmas tree for D.C. display

Greybull’s GPS Art Club has been chosen to design and create the ornaments for Wyoming’s tree for the 2011 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C., the National Park Foundation announced today. [Shown above: Video from 2010 Christmas tree lighting ceremony.]

Local artists and local youth were selected from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia to design and create 24 ornaments.  Twenty-three of the ornaments will be hung from the state or territory tree as part of the National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park.  One of the ornaments will decorate the White House Visitor Center Christmas tree, which showcases one ornament from all 56 states, territories and the District of Columbia.

“The decorating of the state and territory trees in President’s Park is a highly anticipated holiday tradition,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.  “We look forward to including the creations of Karyne Dunbar and the GPS Art Club, representing Wyoming during the 89th annual celebration.”

As one of America’s oldest holiday traditions, the National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President’s Park.  Since 1923, each succeeding President has carried on the tradition of what now has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service.  In addition to the National Christmas Tree display, President’s Park hosts a variety of family-oriented holiday attractions, such as the Santa’s Workshop, nightly holiday performances, a Yule log, nativity scene, and model train display. 

“It is an honor to be selected because we are a small community, yet typical of so much of Wyoming, said Karyne Dunbar, artist and teacher. “We are excited to be a part of the National Christmas Tree display because Wyoming has a very wonderful blend of cultures that we can hope to represent with our ornaments.”

“Our participating young artists were quick to get involved as we discussed possible themes that would best represent our state. They have been inventive with materials, trying for a good blend of images that really say Wyoming mixed with Christmas sparkle and optimism.”

Four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park will kick off with the 89th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony hosted by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. EST. This year’s talent line up for the lighting ceremony will be announced in November.  Talent announcements, as well as other event details and a live web stream of the ceremony will be available at www.thenationaltree.org.  

Tickets for the event will be awarded via an online lottery system, providing the general public a chance to obtain free tickets to the ceremony.  The online lottery will be available beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, November 3 (or 9:00 a.m. CST, 8:00 a.m. MST and 7:00 a.m. PST).   The ticket lottery remains open through 9:59 a.m. EST on Monday, November 7 (or 8:59 a.m. CST, 7:59 a.m. MST and 6:59 a.m. PST). Visit www.thenationaltree.org for more information.

About the GPS Art Club: Students have been meeting with teacher Karyne Dunbar for after school studio time for the past 29 years. Both middle school and High School students can participate and adults have joined in activities from time to time. Art Club  members participate in art activities, special workshops, field trips and fund raisers. They provide prize money for purchase awards and scholarships.

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