Earlier this week I got a sneak preview of this year’s Festival of the Trees, now in its thirtieth year, at the Orlando Museum of Art, and I was amazed at the creativity and beauty of the trees, each decorated by different individuals or groups.
I was also invited to be one of three judges who would decide which decorated trees would get “Most Original,” “Most Whimsical,” and “Best of Show.” And let me tell you, it was a really hard decision.
Some trees were traditional, and some were very unique, like “Flights of Fancy” by DAC Bond, featuring a bodice of butterflies on top and intertwined with a tree base:
Some were just the decorated tree, and some were complete vignettes – a slice of the holidays, as it were – like this one, entitled “Midwinter’s Night Dream” decorated by Lafayette & Rushford Home:
There were also several trees dedicated to the Pulse tragedy. The one that really impacted me was called “White Swan Holiday,” decorated by Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary. It featured hand painted ornaments with the name of each one of the Pulse 49 on it.
So which trees won the awards? Like I said, it was hard to narrow it down to just one in each category, but these are the ones we agreed on:
The “Most Original” award went to “Sugar Angel” designed by Sugarfox Flowers. It featured a bodice of fondant on top of a tree with lights underneath. You could tell a lot of work went into the design.
The “Most Whimsical” award went to “Struggling Artist” from Something to “C” Antiques Mall. It was decorated with artist supplies like paint and brushes, and wooden figures posed as if they were models being painted.
Finally we awarded the “Best of Show” medal to “From Old to Nouveau” designed by Full Sail Digital Arts. The ornaments were handmade, and the entire vignette utilized a lot of recycled items that were reimagined.
If you want to see this year’s Festival of Trees…and you know you do…it will be at the Orlando Museum of Art until November 20, 2016.
This year’s theme is The Art of the Holidays, and revenues generated by this event, which includes trees and other holiday decor for sale, and the other Council of 101 events have raised more than $6.8 million for the museum’s educational programs.
For more information on Festival of the Trees, visit omart.org.
General admission tickets are $15 for adults, and $5 children ages 3-11. Discounted tickets are available for seniors (65 and over), OMA members, military personnel and first responders with proper identification
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