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Kotz high school art to decorate national Christmas tree

November 2nd, 2012 | Carey Restino Print this article   Email this article  

The artwork of Kotzebue's high school students will travel all the way to Washington, D.C., this holiday season to hang on the 2012 National Christmas Tree display in President's Park.

Kotzebue High School art teacher Jeri Eck helped students design and create 24 ornaments reflecting their state. The ornaments feature children's faces representing the diversity of people in Alaska, as well as native animals representative of Alaska's wild spirit. The top ornament features dancing Northern Lights with the Big Dipper and the North Star as it is displayed on the Alaska flag.

"We are excited to be a part of the National Christmas Tree display," said Eck in a release. "This is the land of the Inupiat Eskimos and many still practice their subsistence lifestyle. The tundra plants and animals and the fish and sea mammals still provide a hunting and gathering way of life."

Eck said her young artists have a unique perspective, influenced by both western culture and traditional Native ways of living. Creating the ornaments for the tree allows the students to show their unique way of life to the rest of the nation, she said.

The program, sponsored by the National Park Foundation, solicits art from youth and artists from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia each year. Four weeks of holiday events in the President's Park will kick off with the 90th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m. You can watch the program online at

"We are very pleased that Kotzebue High School Art students and Jeri Eck, their teacher, will represent Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska 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."


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