To get you in the mood for Christmas, the Marco Island Center for the Arts has been transformed into a winter wonderland complete with more than 20 Christmas trees, holiday decorations and Christmas music throughout the building. Visitors to the Art Center also should expect a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus with an opportunity for a photo on Saturday, Dec. 13, 11 AM-2 PM. Children 12 years and under are free when accompanied by an adult; tickets for adults to the Festival of Trees are $5.
According to the Festival chairman Dave Rice, “Center for the Arts Executive Director Hyla Crane, Board President Rosemary Wick and many other interested members have been instrumental in what we hope to be an annual traditional holiday event. Our invitation to attend these festivities is extended to all islanders, families and visitors.”
The grand opening of the Festival of the Trees will be Monday, Dec. 8, 5:30-9:00 PM. Holiday refreshments will be served as the trees, both small and tall, are unveiled to the public for the first time. The Festival will also be open Dec. 9; Dec.12-13; Dec. 15-16; and Dec. 18, 5-9 PM.
Several area businesses, organizations and artists are taking part in the event. Shells by Emily is represented by a tree covered in flowers made of local jingle shells. The Women’s Club of Marco has submitteda tree decorated in Chrysanthemums, their official club flower, and local artist Barbara Parisi has covered a tree in handmade origami. Other tree themes include “Peace on Earth,” “Shoes,” “Around the World” and a “Teddy Bear Christmas.” The trees range in size from table top to up to 8 feet tall. Several of these trees will be available for sale and can be picked up on Friday, Dec. 19, 10 AM-4 PM.
Perhaps the most spectacular of the trees — and the exhibit’s signature entry — is a 6-footer carved entirely in glass by Marco Island artist Stan Saran. “The Everglades Tree,” as it is called, is 45” in diameter and features tropical birds, Florida Holly and stars repeated on three panels of ¾” thick glass.
“The awesome beauty of carved glass is wasted in windows,” says Saran. “It must be a part of our everyday existence. What I create in carved glass, you can touch, use and enjoy.” Saran’s tree is priced at $5,000 and is a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
Sunshine Ace Hardware, located on San Marco Road, is not only putting a tree on display but is also providing a discount to all participants in the Festival on the purchase of decorations, lighting, hardware and other electrical needs.
Proceeds from this event will go to support the Marco Island Center for the Arts. Contact the Art Center for more information at 239-394-4221, or visit the Center’s website: www.marcoislandart.org.