A Christmas tree decorated by Sandy Springs students is set up at the White House’s official display.
Nineteen students from Riverwood International Charter School’s National Art Honor Society were invited to design ornaments to decorate the official Christmas tree representing the state of Georgia, which is currently on display in Washington, D.C.
“It’s really exciting to think about my work being displayed in front of so many people,” junior Chloe Capes said in the release. “I think it’s so cool that Riverwood was given this unique opportunity to represent the entire state of Georgia.”
The six-foot state tree is one of 56 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park, outside the White House.
Riverwood, a Sandy Springs high school, was selected as the sole provider of handmade ornaments for the 2018 Georgia tree.
Students were tasked with creating ornament designs that best represent Georgia. Ornaments featured dogwood flowers, Vidalia onions, peaches, white-tailed deer, largemouth bass, honey bees and the state flag. One ornament is filled with Georgia peanuts.
With help from the Riverwood National Art Honor Society and Art Department Chair Dana Munson, as well as art teachers Lana Ensmann and Heather Meyer, the students researched unique characteristics of Georgia, including the official state tree, flower, bird, fish and insect, the release said.
“When we discovered Georgia has the second largest film industry in the world, a student insisted on doing a cleverly-named ‘Y’allywood’-themed ornament,” Ensmann said in the release.
Jessica Booth, the fine arts education director at the Georgia Department of Education, selected Riverwood to decorate this year’s Georgia tree because it is active in state-wide arts programming and education and boasts an energetic and engaged National Art Honor Society chapter. The tree project, dubbed “America Celebrates,” is coordinated through a partnership with the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Education, and it is funded by the National Park Foundation. The trees will remain on display outside of the White House through Jan. 1, 2019, the release said.
The students who participated are: Allie Abbott, Chloe Capes, Anaya Chennault, Morgan Cohen, Maria Coles, Ari Feingold, Alexis Fernandez-Hernandez, Diana Harden, Elizabeth Hernandez, Grecia Hernandez, Hague Johnson, Riley Mehrman, Liza Miller, Nissa Newman, Sage Patterson, Maggie Regier, Jacob Smith, Sydney Williams and Christal Woodward, according to the release.
“Creating an ornament for the President’s Park is such a great experience. I think it is amazing that my work will be featured there,” Maggie Regier said in the release.