Morris Artists; Cristina Mendoza, Susan Faiola and Dan Fenelon to Create New Jersey’s Ornaments for Holiday Display at President’s Park in Washington, D.C.
ORNAMENTS FROM ALL 56 U.S. STATES, TERRITORIES, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA INSPIRE PEOPLE TO FIND THEIR PARK DURING THE HOLIDAYS
WASHINGTON (October 8, 2015) The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced today that Cristina Mendoza, Susan Faiola and Dan Fenelon have been chosen to create New Jersey’s ornaments for the 2015 America Celebrates: Ornaments from Across the USA display at President’s Park (White House) in Washington, D.C. Cristina Mendoza, Susan Faiola and Dan Fenelon joins local artists from each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia in designing ornaments inspired by America’s national parks and their programs, paying tribute to the upcoming National Park Service Centennial in 2016.
The ornament display honors the holiday season and celebrates the National Christmas Tree Lighting, a national event presented by the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service.
The 93rd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting, being held on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 5 p.m., is a great example of the countless ways there are to find your park. Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the Service’s next 100 years, Find Your Park invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation’s natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.
“It is an honor to be selected because I get to be a part of something bigger than I imagined while working together with other local artists,” said Cristina Mendoza. “I am excited to be a part of the America Celebrates display because it is a new way for me to represent New Jersey in a creative way.”
Christina joins two other NJ artists, her former mentors from an after school Art Mentoring program at Morristown High School sponsored by Morris Arts and the Lauren and Emily Failla Foundation. Christina is a graduate of the program and now pursues her art full time as a junior at the College of Saint Elizabeth’s here in NJ.
All three artists were inspired by the local national parks and nature here in New Jersey. Cristina Mendoza is a sculptural artist who has most recently worked with handmade paper. She uses a series of drawings to highlight Morristown’s history along with New Jersey’s densely wooded scenery while creating the ornaments.
Artist Susan Faiola created ornaments featuring birds and animals native to New Jersey decoupaging those images with layers of Americana inside each globe. Each ornament features the name of a New Jersey National Park.
Artist Dan Fenelon also drew his inspiration from the National Parks here in NJ and painted the ornaments in his signature style incorporating vivid color and infusing his art with multi-cultural icons to reflect the rich diversity of New Jersey’s population.
“Art can be an incredible way for people to connect with national parks and we’re thrilled to carry on the time honored tradition of debuting ornaments from all over the country,” said Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We’re honored to have Cristina Mendoza Susan Faiola and Dan Fenelon represent New Jersey in this year’s America Celebrates display.”
As one of America’s oldest holiday traditions, the National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President’s Park. Since 1923, each succeeding president has carried on the tradition. In addition to the America Celebrates display, President’s Park hosts a variety of family-oriented holiday attractions, including nightly holiday performances, and model train display.
For more information, please visit www.thenationaltree.org and follow the National Christmas Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2015.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.
The National Park Service has cared for the White House and its grounds since 1933. President’s Park, which includes the Ellipse and Lafayette Park, was officially included in the national park system in 1961.
Visit us at: www.nps.gov, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice,
Twitter: www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube: www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org