How lovely are thy (decorated) branches
A pair of Boerne Independent School District students will forever be linked to the holiday season in Austin and the state of Texas.
Boerne High School sophomore Valerie Reveles and Champion junior Maci Middleton have designed the official 2019 Christmas ornament that will be displayed at the Texas State Capitol to represent District 73 Rep. Kyle Biedermann.
Each year, every Texas House district has an official ornament, and Biedermann came up with the idea to have high school students within his district design his. Last year, students from Fredericksburg, his home city, came up with the decoration that hung in Austin.
This year, the state representative decided to contact Boerne ISD. School officials opted to do a split ornament with a student from each high school designing half.
“Thank you to Valerie and Maci, as well as the Boerne ISD art teachers for their collaboration in the design of the ornament,” Biedermann said. “We are blessed to have so many talented students in our district!”
The ornament will be displayed on the Capitol Christmas tree beginning Dec. 6, information from Biedermann’s office stated.
Boerne ISD art teachers at both campuses worked with their students to create dozens of designs, Communications Director Jocelyn Durand told The Boerne Star. During the November board meeting, trustees anonymously voted on their favorites, and the two winners were selected.
Reveles and Middleton then painted their designs on the ornament.
“I was shocked that I won because I wasn’t that confident in my design,” Reveles said. “But I was thrilled I was chosen to paint the ornament, and it gave me a boost of confidence.”
Middleton said she found out when everyone else at CHS did.
“I was surprised when I heard my name on the morning announcements saying I was chosen to represent my school in creating this Christmas ornament,” she said. “I am very excited that I have been noticed with the competition of dozens at my school.”
As far as the ornament itself, Reveles said she struggled with her half at first.
“I thought my side of the ornament would look awful because my first try was not my best work, but as I kept working with it the better it looked. It was pretty difficult (to paint the design on the glass bulb). I have never painted on a round surface, but once I practiced on small glass ornaments it got a little easier along the way.”
The half Reveles designed and painted features the gazebo at Main Plaza draped in Christmas twinkle lights.
“I thought of the times when I would walk around town during Christmas and take pecans from the trees in the gazebo area,” she said. “I would see a whole bunch of Christmas trees that were made out of stream lights and the gazebo decorated.”
Middleton’s half features a buck with snow on its antlers standing among some shrubbery.
“I came up with this simple idea based on my love for animals,” she said, adding that animals are her favorite subject to paint and draw. “Because of the holiday season, I chose a deer influenced by a Disney classic, ‘Bambi.’ Instead of doing a cartoon, I wanted to create realism and more detail in this piece.”
She, too, said the process wasn’t easy.
“Painting on a sphere is not easy compared to painting on a flat surface,” she said. “It took me a little over three hours compared to painting the draft on paper which took 30 minutes. It wasn’t my first time painting on a 3-D object, but overall it was way more difficult than I was expecting.”
Both girls said the experience and recognition is awesome.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have something I painted be in the Capitol and be forever in history,” Reveles said. “I thought meeting a state representative (Biedermann) was awesome. It was a thing you could only do once.”
“It is a very proud and honorable moment knowing I’m recognized in what I enjoy doing,” Middleton said. “This is something that I could tell friends and family about for as long as it’s still up. This is a very amazing opportunity for me and will always be remembered.”