PHOENIX, AZ (October 19, 2009) –Every year since 1970, a Christmas tree has been presented to the United States Congress from a national forest and is known as “The People’s Tree.” This year, for the first time, the tree will be a gift from Arizona. In honor of this occasion, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Arizona Art Alliance collaborated to host a statewide, juried art exhibition to select an official artwork to represent the 2009 National Capitol Christmas Tree (CCT). 

The exhibition, on display during business hours at the Arizona Capitol Executive Tower Lobby now through October 30, 2009, recognizes the creative achievements of 33 visual artists from across the state. A panel of Arizona jurors selected the Arizona’s Gift Award recipient and 10 Merit Award recipients. Jurors included Deb Bentlage, Museum Curator & Collections Manager at the Phippen Art Museum, Prescott; Kathy Duley of Duley-Jones Gallery, Scottsdale; Robert McCall, Artist, Paradise Valley; and Julia Patrick of Frontdoors Lifestyle News and Capitol Christmas Tree Steering Committee, Phoenix. Nearly 3,000 Arizonans cast their vote to select the Viewer’s Choice Award recipient. 

Award Descriptions and Recipients 

Arizona’s Gift Award Recipient: Alan Arne (Phoenix)
Title: Christmas in Arizona (ink collage on paper)
Selected by the jury panel, Alan Arne’s artwork is designated the official 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree artwork and will travel with the Arizona Christmas tree on route to Washington, DC. Ultimately, the artwork will hang in the Office of the Chief of the Forest Service for one year, becoming part of the permanent collection at “The Tree Gallery” in Washington, DC. Arne will be honored at Capitol Christmas Tree festivities in Phoenix during the month of November, and the artwork will be printed on holiday greeting cards. 

Viewer’s Choice Award Recipient: Joye DeGoede Petrine (Cave Creek)
Title: Passing on the Spirit of Nature to Future Generations (pastel)
Selected by citizens of Arizona, Joye DeGoede Petrine’s artwork will become part of the State of Arizona’s permanent collection, destined for the Arizona State Governor’s Office. The artist will be honored at Capitol Christmas Tree festivities in Phoenix during the month of November, and the artwork will be printed on holiday greeting cards. 

Merit Award Recipients:
Selected by the jury panel, the artwork of ten Merit Award recipients will be printed on holiday greeting cards: 

Michael Cunningham, Goodyear, AZ
Title: Seasons Greetings America  

Judith Delmonico-Roll, Scottsdale, AZ
Title: Arizona’s Gift   

Winona Fox Peterson, Mesa, AZ
Title: Desert Rocks and Light on Christmas Night 

Judy Bottler, Mesa, AZ
Title: Sahuaros in the Snow

Liz Kenyon, Phoenix, AZ
Title: Pine Art   

Richard T. Mangum, Chino Valley, AZ
Title: Red Rock Christmas

Roger Kirk Nelson, Glendale, AZ
Title: From AZ to DC With Love

Sandy Tracey, Apache Junction, AZ
Title: Sonoran Holiday

Dave Wilson, Phoenix, AZ
Title: Christmas in March

 BJ Horsefall, Apache Junction, AZ
Title: Luminary Christmas  

Artists Featured in the Exhibition:
Alan Arne, Anne Allemann, Pat Beans, Judy Borrajero, Judy Bottler, Kenn Coplan, Jaxine Cummins, Michael Cunningham, Joye DeGoede Petrine, Judith Delmonico-Roll, Nancy Drigotas, John Fontana, Winona Fox Petersen, Linae Frei, Sylvia Hererra, Liz Kenyon, Roger Kirk Nelson, Chris Kitzmiller, Richard T. Mangum, Sarah McAnerny, Kathy C. McClure, Lee Anne Park, Julia Patterson, Judy Phillips, Jay Michael Schwartz, Arline Tinus, Sandy Tracey, Nancy Troupe, Samar Waterworth, Carmen Watts-Clayton, BJ Horsefall, Dave Wilson. 

About the Arizona Commission on the Arts
One of 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies across the United States, the Arizona Commission on the Arts is an agency of the State of Arizona that supports a statewide arts network. The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports access to quality arts and arts education opportunities for all Arizona citizens; the development and retention of statewide jobs in the nonprofit arts, culture and education sectors; and increased economic impact in local communities through arts-based partnerships that develop tax and small business revenue.  

We imagine an Arizona where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.  

# # #  

Click on the link below to download the full release about the Capitol Christmas Tree exhibition, including images of the award recipient artwork. 

Capitol Christmas Tree Juried Art Exhibition Press Release with Images (2.1MB PDF)