published Friday, December 9th, 2011

Learn design secrets in Hunter's Tour of Trees

Visitors to the Hunter Museum get an extra treat this month as they wind through the Christmas trees that have been specially designed to correspond with some of the exhibits.

On Thursday, they can take a guided tour and learn more about the coniferous creations that deck the Hunter's halls.

Nine Christmas trees are featured this year, a reduction from last year due to the logistics of the Hunter lobby being rented out this season for various events.


  • What: Tour of Trees.

  • When: 6 p.m. Thursday.

  • Where: Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View.

  • Admission: Free with Hunter admission, $9.95 adults, $4.95 children.

  • Phone: 267-0968.

  • Website:

"We asked the designers to take a look at the galleries where the trees were located and take their theme or their feel from that gallery," said Katrina Craven, director of public relations. A tree set up alongside pop art, for example, features pipes and picture frames for an ultra-modern feel.

The Bessie Smith Cultural Center has designed a tree inspired by Friends of African American Art, a collaborative venture between the Bessie and the Hunter. Carmen Davis, curator and programming director of the BSCC, said they chose to represent programs and exhibits that have taken place over the last 18 months, including photographs and replicas.

Thematic African representations, including a tribal mask tree topper and the inclusion of animal prints, completes the tree, which is set up next to a work by artist Jacob Lawrence.

"It all came together and worked really well together," she said. "I was shocked."

Another design, by Making Arrangements, features vintage ice skates.

"Our inspiration was snow, cold and ice," said Sue Wright, co-owner.

A plaid skirt for a tree skirt and scarf as topper completed the look.

A decades-old tradition, the tour of trees used to focus on Christmas traditions from around the world but was revitalized in 2007 to complement the art.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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