Since 2010, the National Park Service has asked each U.S. state and territory to design ornaments for their own trees that surround the National Christmas Tree display in Washington, D.C.
Ornaments for New Hampshire’s 2016 tree were created by New Hampshire military families, many of whom participate in the Currier Museum’s summer art camp programs. The group worked with Holly Rousseau of the Currier Museum Art Center staff to craft a dozen New Hampshire-inspired ornaments that reference New Hampshire’s natural beauty, through birch trees and lilacs (State Tree and State Flower). Children of military parents, military spouses, and two adults who are in the military themselves constructed the ornaments, and the final globes were made in honor of two fathers who could not be at the workshop as they are both away on active military service duty. This project and similar outreach initiatives at the Currier serving diverse populations are funded by RiverStone Resources LLC, The Brown Foundation Inc., and the Currier’s Heart of the Arts Gala.
“Being part of this project was not only an honor but a once in a lifetime experience,” said Holly Rousseau, a teacher at the Art Center. “All of the participants shared about their military connections, experiences, and pride while they worked. By the end each person was joyful and excited by being able to create their unique ornament, many taking photos before handing the ornaments in. All participants expressed how much pride they felt in having the opportunity to be part of this project, and thankful that they could represent their respective military affiliations.”
The creation of the ornaments is a collaborative effort of the NH Department of Cultural Resources, NH State Council on the Arts, and various community organizations and volunteer artists (most of whom also donate materials). Previous years’ ornaments can be viewed from the links below.