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November 25, 2013

One tree is a work of art in the Southern NH Festival of Trees

One special tree highlights this year's festival

PELHAM — The Southern New Hampshire Festival of Trees will raffle a one-of-a-kind gallery of art this year.

Ornaments created by Pelham High students will adorn one of the trees that go on display this week.

At the invitation of Pelham Community Spirit, which organizes the annual festival for charity, students have spent the last three weeks designing ornaments that will long outlast this holiday season.

“They can enjoy these all year long,” art teacher Mike Norton said of the potential raffle winner. “These don’t have to be stuck in a box.”

His colleague, art teacher Casey Locke, said students have put their hearts and souls into the ornaments.

“These can be kept as a family tradition or given to a relative, say an aunt who comes over,” Locke said. “There is the potential to give a lot of people a lot of enjoyment.”

As many as 100 students have worked on the ornaments. Most are in art classes, but some belong to the art club or are honor society students who love art.

The ornaments aren’t all about Santa.

“We didn’t want a bunch of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman,” Norton said. “We left it wide open to their artistic voice.”

The result is a collection of small, individual pieces of art. They are signed and dated by the students.

“Little masterpieces,” Norton said.

Most, but not all, are paintings on masonite fiberboard.

Freshman Jessica Gerakines estimates she spent four hours on an ornament with two wolves nuzzling in snowfall.

She based it on a picture she admired.

“I thought of the wolves because it was snowy,” Jessica said.

Senior Lauren Austin created decorative balls from yarn, glue and water.

She knows of at least one person eager to win the tree.

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