SPINDLEWORKS ARTIST Nancy Bassett sketches fish and ocean creatures on a plastic sphere that eventually will become an ornament to hang on Maine’s Christmas tree in the nation’s capital. She soon will color or paint the sketches on the finished globe.

SPINDLEWORKS ARTIST Nancy Bassett sketches fish and ocean creatures on a plastic sphere that eventually will become an ornament to hang on Maine’s Christmas tree in the nation’s capital. She soon will color or paint the sketches on the finished globe.

BRUNSWICK

F or the second time in three years, Spindleworks artisans will design and create 24 ornaments that will hang on Maine’s Christmas tree in the 2013 holiday display on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C.

The Maine Arts Commission selected the Brunswick nonprofit on behalf of the U.S. National Parks Foundation, which organizes the annual holiday display.

Every state and U.S. territory will be represented by an evergreen in the display. Like the others, Maine’s tree will stand on the Ellipse during a monthlong celebration that begins with the annual tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1.

The trees come from a farm in the northwestern high country of Jefferson, N.C.

Because there are so many to be set up and decorated, however, the National Park Service requires a lengthy lead time. Artists in the Lincoln

Street shop are busy working on their masterpieces, said program supervisor Brian Braley, and trying to meet a Nov. 1 shipping deadline.

“But we got a bit of a late start this time, so we’ve asked for an extension,” he said. “They sent us globes that are about six inches wide, and they’re clear plastic, and we can do pretty much anything (we want) that fits inside them.”

About 15 artists will create the 24 ornaments. Some are crafting miniature displays that fit inside the spheres, while others have begun to sketch or paint scenes spanning the circumference.

“Every year, one-of-a-kind ornaments are designed and displayed on 56 trees — one for every U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia — that surround the National Christmas tree,” said Alanna Sobel, communications manager for the National Park Foundation.

“We request that the design of the ornaments — the theme — reflect the holiday season in your state or territory, which leaves a lot of room for creativity,” Sobel said. In this case, the National Park Service is boss because the White House itself — as well as its visitor’s center, Lafayette Park, the North and South lawns, Jacqueline Kennedy Garden and Rose Garden — stands within an 18-acre refuge called President’s

Park, which was established 221 years ago this month.

Spindleworks, an affiliate of the Independence Association, is a nonprofit center that provides space, materials and guidance for artists with disabilities. This is the second time its artisans have been chosen to make ornaments for Maine’s Washington, D.C., tree; the first time was in 2011.

[email protected]timesrecord.com


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: