The Red Earth Art Center will celebrate the Christmas season with a decidedly Native twist this year. A new holiday tradition starts this season when the month-long Red Earth Treefest opens free to the public December 1 at the Red Earth Art Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The first Red Earth Treefest features Christmas trees adorned with handmade ornaments created to highlight the diverse Native cultures that make Oklahoma unique.
Red Earth has invited five Oklahoma tribes to participate in this inaugural holiday event by creating handmade ornaments that showcase their distinctive cultures. Representatives of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Chickasaw Nation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Comanche Nation and Osage Nation have been hard at work for several months creating handmade ornaments for their trees. Their creations will be showcased on six-foot trees featured at the Red Earth Art Center. Red Earth has plans to invite additional tribes to participate with their own tribal Christmas trees in subsequent years.
Additional Christmas Trees featured at the Red Earth Art Center include the Red Earth Docent Tree with handmade ornaments including beaded corn, dreamcatchers, mini tipis, drums and parfleche bags; and an Artist Stocking Tree with stockings decorated by Oklahoma Native artists and available for sale to the public. Each tribal Christmas tree featured in Red Earth Treefest includes complete descriptions of the handmade ornaments adorning the tree.
“Before we relocated to downtown Oklahoma City in 2010, Red Earth was located for over 30 years at the Kirkpatrick Center Museum Complex (now known as Science Museum Oklahoma),” said Leslie Blair, president of the Red Earth Board of Directors. “One of the most popular annual events we participated in while at the Kirkpatrick Center was their Holiday Treefest. By presenting our new version of Treefest, we hope to carry on the tradition of featuring Christmas Trees adorned with beautiful ornaments representing different cultures.”
The Red Earth Art Center is open free to the public Monday through Friday at 6 Santa Fe Plaza next to the historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. Visit www.RedEarth.org or call (405) 427-5228 for additional information. Red Earth, Inc. is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, a museum and fine art markets.