COLUMBIA — Columbia fiber artist Susan Lenz has been selected to create South Carolina’s ornaments for the 2015 America Celebrates: Ornaments from Across the USA display at President’s Park (White House) in Washington, D.C.
Lenz joins artists from each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia in designing ornaments inspired by America’s national parks and their programs, paying tribute to the upcoming National Park Service Centennial in 2016.
Lenz created double-sided ornaments using image transfers of South Carolina’s flora and fauna, historic monuments, recreational areas, and her favorite boardwalks at Congaree National Park. Each ornament is machine-quilted. The back of each ornament features the outline of the state along with the flag’s palmetto tree and crescent moon. Images include a box turtle, a summer tanager, the Carolina wren, several unique insects, and a spotted orb weaver spider.
The ornament display honors the holiday season and celebrates the National Christmas Tree Lighting, a national event presented by the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service. Lenz plans to attend the 93rd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting, taking place Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 5 p.m.
“I am excited to be part of the America Celebrates display for many reasons,” says Lenz. “I’m passionate about conservation and environmental issues. I’ve been an artist-in-residence at Hot Springs National Park and have visited several other national parks. I have very fond memories of kayaking at Congaree National Park and simply adore walking the raised boardwalks there.”
“Art can be an incredible way for people to connect with national parks, and we’re thrilled to carry on the time-honored tradition of debuting ornaments from all over the country,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We’re honored to have Susan Lenz represent South Carolina in this year’s America Celebrates display.”
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. In addition to the America Celebrates display, President’s Park hosts a variety of family-oriented holiday attractions, including nightly holiday performances, and model train display.
For more information, visit www.thenationaltree.org and follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2015.