It is with great pride and admiration that I get to announce that for the THIRD year in a row the art department at Robert L. Bland Middle School has been asked to design the ornaments for the National Christmas Tree in Presidential Park in Washington, DC. To our knowledge, this is the first time in the history of the program that the same school has been asked to design the ornaments three consecutive years.
Here are some thoughts from Mr. Joe Merrifield, art teachers RLBMS.
It was a real honor for our school to be asked to do the ornaments three straight years in a row. It was so much fun as an educator to see the faces of the students when I asked them if they wanted to be a part of something that could potentially be seen by thousands of people including the leaders of the free world. This year's theme was what makes your state beautiful. The students created a wide variety of subject matter like New River Gorge, mountainous landscapes, black bears, and cardinals. They chose a wide variety of media too. Some of the students illustrated and used colored pencils while others chose watercolor, pen, and ink.
The students were made up of both 7th and 8th graders. Our artists for this year are Zane Richards, Sloanne Alkire, Shelby Hamrick, Brooke Barnes, Reghan Carson, Ava Kennedy, Isabella Lasure, Hope Lamb, Kendra Benedum, Rachelle Johnson, Erin Flanigan, Rylee Whitaker, Ian Riffle, and Brianna Cermak. Many of these students have had their artwork showcased multiple years on the National Christmas Tree.
We are incredibly proud of our Patriot artists. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing the designs on our Facebook page and the school website.