Upland students decorate Longwood tree

The Christmas tree designed by students from Upland Country Day School is on display at Longwood Gardens.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — Students from the fourth, fifth and sixth grade at Upland Country Day School were selected to  decorate one of the beautiful Christmas trees at Longwood Gardens this season.

Located among the half million twinkling lights and thousands of beautiful poinsettias, Upland’s tree is decorated with handmade ornaments based on Latin American retablos, a folk art form often featuring small devotional paintings. Upland students’ ornaments depict ancient Aztec and Mayan animals, the sun and the moon and are made out of punched tin, copper and brass. The students also created and strung a colorful garland of tiny hot peppers grown in art teacher Terry Anderson’s garden. Decorating the tree connected to Upland’s cultural studies with students researching their creations in Spanish and inscribing the words for them on their ornaments.

The theme for the tree display at Longwood this year is Stars. The Upland art department submitted the Latin American Retablos theme for the tree in May along with a sample ornament and was accepted. The students began working on the ornaments two months ago and traveled to Longwood to see the tree displayed last week.  Upland’s tree, along with the rest of the beautiful Longwood Christmas trees, will be on exhibit through January 6, 2013.

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