Holiday Forest shines at OMFA

December 9, 2019 | 3:20 am

Updated December 8, 2019 | 7:11 pm

Twin Fruit Trees in the John Hampden Smith Decorative Arts Wing. The trees were designed by Gary Tunget. | Photo courtesy of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art

The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is hosting its 43rd annual Holiday Forest, and the 18 decorated trees throughout the museum will help visitors find the holiday spirit as well as provide culinary inspiration.

The Festival of Trees is held annually, and Glenmore Distillery has sponsored the event since the beginning, which is something Mary Bryan Hood, OMFA director said is important to the event. Holiday Forest is a fundraiser for the museum and because of this, it is the only time admission to the museum is charged.

The 18 holiday trees are decorated to coincide with the museum’s current exhibition, Art+Food+Health: At the Table. Artist Joyce Garner’s exhibit, sponsored by Owensboro Health, includes 35 paintings that celebrate how art and food combine and affect one’s health, said Hood.


The trees are designed, created and decorated by local artists, organizations, schools and florists who interpret the theme of the exhibition.

The soaring 18-foot Watermelon Tree
featured in the Atrium Sculpture Court | Photo courtesy of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art

An 18-foot “Watermelon Tree” stands in the museum’s atrium, and it is decorated with over 200 slices of watermelon. There are also two trees that are filled with slices of fruit pies and cream pies.

The Owensboro Herb Society designed an “Herb and Salad Tree” and the Western Kentucky Basket Guild decorated their holiday tree with woven baskets filled with foods common for true picnic fare, Hood said.

Florist Gary Tunget, owner of Gary’s Fleur de Lis, designed and decorated four trees for the John Hampden Smith Arts Wing.

Children ages four to 10 who visit ARTLAND, an interactive art studio at the art museum, can make two pizza slice ornaments — one to keep and one to put on the ARTLAND tree. Children can also visit Kaleidoscope Kave at the museum.

The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is open Tuesday through Friday noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. It is closed on Monday and national holidays.

Holiday Forest is on exhibit until Dec. 31, and Art+Food+Health: At the Table is on exhibit through Feb. 16.

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is located at 901 Frederica St.

December 9, 2019 | 3:20 am

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