Local teacher to create state’s ornament

ELKINS – Artist and educator Nanette Seligman teaching art at the Elkins Mountain School has been chosen to design and create the ornaments for West Virginia’s tree for the 2013 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C., the National Park Foundation recently announced.

The art students at the Elkins Mountain School join local artists and youth from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia who were selected to design and create 24 ornaments for their respective state or territory tree.

“It is an honor to be selected. My students are from all over our state so we are truly are representing West Virginia,” said Seligman. “We are excited to be a part of the National Christmas Tree display because it is always an honor to represent the beautiful mountain state: West


The inspiration for this year’s ornaments is West Virginia’s winter sport, skiing. West Virginia is home to five alpine ski areas and many opportunities for cross country skiing including several touring centers. The design this year features a craft with many small pieces and processes, allowing for all of the students to have a chance to participate in the making of the ornaments. The Elkins School is a West Virginia department of Education school that provides residential services for boys ages 13 through 17 years of age. Seligman is a National Board Certified visual art teacher, and artist and has been a winter part-time ski instructor for many years.

“We are very pleased that Nanette Seligman and the Elkins Mountain School will represent West Virginia in this year’s National Christmas Tree display,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “This time honored tradition is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.”

Four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park will kick off with the 91st National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The exact date of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks.

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.

For ticket information and talent announcements, as well as other event details, please visit www.thenationaltree.org.

The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, raises private funds that directly aid, support and enrich America’s more than 400 national parks and their programs. Chartered by Congress as the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation plays a critical role in conservation and preservation efforts, establishing national parks as powerful learning environments, and giving all audiences an equal and abundant opportunity to experience, enjoy and support America’s treasured places. www.nationalparks.org.