Jona's Christmas Ornament was chosen for the White House - After our 2006 stint as the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Artist-in-Residence, I was honored to be asked to create a Christmas ornament to represent the park for the 2007 holiday. First Lady, Laura Bush, chose National Parks as the theme, and the call went out in July 2007 to all the parks and National monuments across the country. The project had to be kept secret until announced by the First Lady in early December. Almost all of the Ornaments were painted. The ornament arrived with several pages of lists of what you couldn't do. I had to get special permission to work with leather and beads, but I wanted to work with Alaskan materials and the subsistence mentality of using all of what you harvest.
I based my design on the elements of the park's logo - mountains, glaciers, rivers, the raven, Kennicott mine and copper. The Copper River salmon are known around the world, so they were included too. I used smoke-tanned moosehide, tanned salmon skin, various leathers and suede's. The salmon skins were beaded with spawning colors (also the colors of Christmas!) I also used copper, and beads that looked like leaves and berries.
My/the Park's ornament, was featured on the White House web site.
The invitation to the White House was a whirlwind adventure and the opportunity to meet the First Lady was priceless!