Arkansas Holiday Ornament Displayed on White House Christmas Tree

Arkansas Holiday Ornament Displayed on White House Christmas Tree

WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator Mark Pryor today said it was his honor to select Pat Larsen of Conway to design an ornament for the official White House Christmas tree.

“Pat’s talent as an Arkansas artist is uniquely evident in the ornament he designed,” said Pryor. “It gives me great pride to have his work hang on the official White House Christmas tree.”

Every year the White House invites Members of Congress to select an artist from their state to design a holiday ornament for the official White House Christmas tree. Larsen’s ornament features the Arkansas flag and U.S Capitol, as well as elements special to life in Arkansas. Complimenting his red, white and blue color scheme, Larsen included a fiddle, a trout, dogwood blossoms and diamonds (see attached photos).

“I wanted to include things about our state that had made a difference in the lives of Arkansans,” said Larsen. “One of the first things that came to mind was the Ozark mountain music which is reflected in my design by including a fiddle. I was also determined to place emphasis on the state’s wonderful physical environment.  Since Arkansas has some of the best trout fishing in the country, I depicted a large, mostly red, white and blue trout breaking water.”

Earlier this month Larsen and his wife, Patricia, attended a special unveiling ceremony of the White House Christmas tree with First Lady Laura Bush. The 18 ½ foot tall Fraser fir is on display in the Blue room and is decorated with 369 ornaments from artists around the country. During this holiday season, it is estimated that 60,000 guests will tour the White House.  In addition, there will be 21 holiday parties and 4 dinners in which 700 gallons of eggnog and 22,000 cookies will be served.

Larsen taught art at the University of Central Arkansas for 38 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lamar University and a master of fine arts degree from Stephen F. Austin University. In addition to many private collections, his artwork can be found on display in the River Market Artspace and Senator Pryor’s Washington, D.C. office.