Decorated trees, custom ornaments ready for Johnson Center event

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Julia Morrison hangs an ornament on one of the many trees decorated at the Johnson Center Tuesday. MESSENGER PHOTO/SCOTTIE BROWN

Julia Morrison hangs an ornament on one of the many trees decorated at the Johnson Center Tuesday.

Just think about it.

Ten uniquely decorated Christmas trees reaching up to 20 feet, Christmas carols sung by children’s choirs and a Christmas classic story read aloud to eager ears. What a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season.

And, that’s exactly what the Johnson Center for the Arts will offer at its Open House and Tree Lighting Ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

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Troy City Council President Johnny Witherington will light the 20-foot Christmas tree decorated by students from Troy City’s three schools at 7 p.m. and officially declare Christmastime at the Johnson Center.

Vicki Pritchett said this year’s Open House and Tree Lighting Ceremony will kickoff the Center’s Christmas season that will include a variety of exhibits especially for the holidays.

“Our Christmas trees are always a highlight of Open House,” Pritchett said. “We have 10 trees that are decorated in 10 different ways. Students at Troy Elementary, Charles Henderson middle and high schools, Goshen elementary and middle schools, Pike County Elementary School, Pike Liberal Arts and Covenant Christian decorated trees for the Center this year and they are all delightful.”

A special tree is decorated with hand painted ornaments by Mary Ann Casey, an artist who calls Troy her second home.

“Each year, the Johnson Center features special ornaments that are designed and created by Alabama artists,” Pritchett said. “Mary Ann Casey’s ornaments are made of reclaimed tin out of the kitchen of an old farmhouse. The rustic ornaments are various rectangular sizes and most of them have Mary and the Baby Jesus painted on them. Each one is different and they are signed by the artist.”

Pritchett said many people have become collectors of the Johnson Center ornaments and Casey’s ornaments will be wonderful additions to a collection or a great way to begin a collection. They also make special and meaningful gifts, she said.

The 2014 Johnson Center ornaments are $40 and may be purchased at the Johnson Center.

The Johnson Center’s Pop-Up Christmas Store opens to the public Thursday and offers a variety of items including paintings by such noted artists as Bill Hill, Woodie Long, Mose T., Walter Black, Betty Sue Matthews and Sergei Shillabeer, pottery, table runners by Holly Anderson, note cards by Nancy Murphree Davis, hand-blown glass by Cal Breed, baseball caps by Judith March, clay frames, a coral tree, Tin-Man coffee table books and Mary Holman Johnson’s handmade jewelry.

“We invite everyone to join us Thursday as the Christmas season begins at the Johnson Center,” Pritchett said.