One of Owensboro’s oldest holiday traditions, the HOLIDAY FOREST FESTIVAL OF
TREES, will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a preview gala, Saturday,
November 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.
The festival is highlighted by two exhibitions, including The Forest of
Trees, 20 monumental Christmas trees designed to interpret Artful
Expeditions, a collection of paintings celebrating cultures around the
globe. The exhibitions are sponsored by The Glenmore Distillery and Atmos
The gala will feature holiday cuisine and entertainment by the Louisville
Jazz Trio. Admission is $50 per person, discounted to $40 for subscribers to
the OMFA Friends of the Foundation. Reservations may be made by contacting
the museum at 270-685-3181 or [email protected] and
visiting its website at omfa.us.
Artful Expeditions is an exhibition of 40 monumental paintings in the genre
of “Magical Realism,” by Michael Aakhus, Dean Emeritus, College of Liberal
Arts, University of Southern Indiana, inspired by his decades of world
travel. As a professor of art, he is considered a scholar of the ancient
art of Mesoamerica and South America. A special aspect of the exhibition is
a series of paintings based upon his research and study of these cultures.
He is also a recognized printmaker, bookmaker and poet who has exhibited
widely in this country and abroad.
The Forest of Trees will include trees throughout the museum’s three wings
themed to interpret the countries depicted in the collection of Aakhus’
paintings. Featured are archeological and architectural sites, including
Peru’s Machu Picchu, Mexico’s ancient monuments, structures of classical
Greece and cathedrals around the world. Cultural traditions include
Mexico’s “Day of the Dead,” Peruvian markets and South American dance
Contributors of trees inspired by these diverse cultures include Centro
Latino, an organization of local Hispanic families, the Owensboro Herb
Society, Burns Middle School, St. Stephen Cathedral, and Owensboro artist
Marion Vasterling. A special feature of The Forest of Trees is a showcase
of designs by Gary Tunget of Gary’s Fleur De Lis florist, who has decorated
all the galleries of the John Hampden Smith House. His exhibits will
include five trees complementing the era of the historic structure, one of
Owensboro’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture, built in 1859.
The Holiday Forest Festival of Trees will remain on view through December 31
and general admission, beginning Sunday, November 13, is $3.00 for adults
and $1.00 for children.
A special feature for children during the six-week holiday exhibition will
be free art instruction in the museum’s interactive art studio, ARTLAND,
where they will create holiday take-home decorations. ARTLAND, sponsored by
the Michael E. Horn Family Foundation, is presented free to the public
during regular museum hours.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is located at 9th and Frederica streets and
is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00
a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. For more
information, call 270 685-3l8l or visit the museum’s website at omfa.us
or follow us on Facebook.