Albert Lea Art Center hosts annual festival of trees

Published 9:08 am Saturday, December 6, 2008

There’s something magical about a Christmas tree. And with more than 20 of them decorated at the Albert Lea Art Center for the annual festival of trees, the magic is more than evident.

The exhibit opened the day after Thanksgiving and continues through Dec. 31. Hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted to help defray Art Center expenses.

Email newsletter signup

Individuals and organizations decorated the trees, all of which are unique.

The Shades of Jade Regional Garden Club has decorated a tree with dried flowers from their gardens and from Higbie Gardens, a project of the club.

The Scarlet Seniors, a Red Hat Society club, has, of course, decorated a tree in the traditional red and purple of the club.

The Albert Lea Chapter of the American Association of University Women used pheasant feathers, dried flowers and glass balls in fall colors.

Wedding accessories on a Christmas tree? Mary Umstead and Leslie Millhouse took such items as a dress, veils, purses, gloves, cake toppers, toasting glasses and pictures to give their tree a unique flavor.

Diane Landaas decorated a tree for the Next Step Clubhouse with homemade paper ornaments and chains.

Pat Mulso used old glass balls and ribbons to decorate another tree.

The Woman-in-the-Shoe Doll Club has used Kelly dolls (Barbie’s little sister) to make an entire tree festive.

Grace Skaar used glass balls in a turquoise scheme to bring her tree to life.

Mary Evans used gold monogram letters and beads.

The Story Lady Doll & Toy Museum painted wooden doll cut-outs and adorned its tree with them.

Donalie Jensen and Trena Hanson used netting and gold-colored ornaments to create their magic. A cardinal provides a splash of color.

The festival of trees committee has decorated a couple of trees in the exhibit.

Each has a unique flavor.

Hope Holz decorated a tree entirely in white.

Signature Real Estate saluted the troops with a patriotic-themed tree.

Building Blocks Preschool students made ornaments shaped like cookies and hot chocolate for its tree.

And the Wa-tan-ye Service Club, the group that helped start the Festival of Trees in 1987, has a purple-and-gold theme tree.

That year, there were 10 trees on display. Wa-tan-ye’s tree was decorated with ornaments of felt and sequins depicting various storybook characters such as Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty and more. The ornaments were made by member Norma Robson, a retired school librarian.

Wa-tan-ye members served coffee and goodies each afternoon of the exhibit, which ran for 19 days — from Dec. 1 to Dec. 19.

Over the years, the exhibit has grown and has at times filled both galleries. This year, the second gallery is filled with wreaths made by Art Center members.