Company - Elizabeth A. Miklavcic, Founding Co-Director

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1985 Capitol Christmas Tree Project - Salt Lake City, Utah

Ornament Design Samples Governor's Christmas Tree Project

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WINTER 1985/86 VOLUME 4/NO. 4

Utah Arts Council/Visual Arts Update - Capitol Christmas Tree Project

The Utah Arts Council in cooperation with Governor Norman H. and Colleen Bangerter and the Division of Facilities Construction and Management initiated the beginning of a Utah tradition this year - handcrafted ornaments for the Capitol Christmas Tree. Craftsmen submitted design proposals in September and the Selection Committee chose six artists to participate in the project. Five of these craftsmen - Greg Compton, Kathy Kankainen, Beth and Jimmy Miklavcic, Joan Reynolds - were asked to make ornaments 15" - 30" in diameter for the tree in the Capitol rotunda. The sixth artist, Julie Tanner, was asked to complete her design for a brass mobile. This mobile will be present to Mrs. Bangerter for use in the Governor's mansion. It is hoped that this project will provide an opportunity for the citizens of Utah to see the range and quality of handcrafted ornaments, which can be created by Utah craftsmen.

Example Ornament Plans Beth & Jimmy Miklavcic


Donors of the Tree were Mr. and Mrs. Goldburg on behalf of the Senior Citizens of Utah. The tree was a Green Spruce; the original height of the tree was 41 feet. However, it was necessary to trim 10 feet off the bottom of it in order for the tree to fit under the chandelier in the Rotunda. The tree received 30 gallons of water the first day it was placed in the Rotunda, the second day through the fifth day it received 10 gallons of water and from the sixth day on it received 4 gallons of water each day until it was removed. The task of cutting, moving and installing the tree in the Capitol involved two cranes. To preserve the shape of the tree, it was not allowed to tumble to the ground. After the tree was cut, one crane placed it on a flat bed truck for the trip to the Capitol Building. For the safety of the public, the tree was escorted from Bountiful by the Utah Highway Patrol. The tree traveled along the Old Highway and Beck Street to Victory Road and finally to the front of the Capitol Building. The second crane was used to assist in installing the tree in the Rotunda. The two west brass doors were used to move this beautiful tree into the Building. The doors from frame to frame are 8 feet wide. This magnificent tree had 3,000 to 3,500 lights on it and was further adorned with 54 ornaments, which were hand-crafted by Utah craftsmen. A committee consisting of Mrs. Colleen Bangerter, Carol Nixon, Director Utah Arts Council and the Division of Visual Arts staff selected five craftsmen to create the ornaments. Beth and Jimmy Miklavcic crafted the hanging mobiles with hand-painted foam core with sequins. Joan Reynolds used sequins to adorn her quilted and starched snowflakes. Kathy Kankainen designed hand-woven stuffed tapestries. Greg Compton sandblasted the images of the 12 days of Christmas on Plexiglas.