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April 17, 2014

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Local artist, landmark featured in gubernatorial Christmas decorations

Artist Jimmy Caswell displays his hand painted ornament of the Amis House.
Published: 11:48 AM, 12/07/2012 Last updated: 12:00 PM, 12/07/2012

Source: The Rogersville Review

By Bill Grubb
News Editor

NASHVILLE - A painting of a Hawkins County landmark will be on display this holiday season at the governor's mansion.                                                                                                                     
    Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam will host their second annual “Tennessee's Home for the Holidays,” an Open House event available to all Tennesseans to tour the holiday decorations at the executive residence during the first two weeks in December.
    This year's holiday dècor theme, “Tennessee Music,” was accomplished through partnerships with the Museum of Appalachia in East Tennessee, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Middle Tennessee, and Stax Museum in West Tennessee. Authentic pieces and reproductions from the museums' collections were incorporated into the holiday decorations to represent Tennessee's rich musical heritage. The museum pieces were supplemented with complimenting ornaments and decoration support from Jim Marvin, based in Dickson, Tennessee.  Marvin is known internationally for his holiday design and has assisted in decorating the White House for the holidays since 1997.
    “Tennessee has a historic music legacy that showcases the special talents and traditions indigenous to each part of our state,” said the first lady. “We were honored to work with museums in each region who helped us display this unique story of Tennessee.”
    Tennessee schools also contributed to the holiday decorations at the Tennessee Residence by creating ornaments to feature on sixteen trees located in Conservation Hall. To continue the music theme, elementary, middle, and high school students created ornaments representing their favorite holiday songs, gospel music, patriotic music, and the “King of Rock ‘n' Roll” Elvis Presley. Tennessee's colleges, universities, technical schools, community colleges were represented with ornaments for a higher Education Tree.
    A County Ornament Tree, decorated with ornaments representing all of Tennessee's 95 counties, was also incorporated into this year's holiday dècor. To create the County Ornament Tree, a local artist in each county was selected and asked to paint an ornament representing their home county, displayed in the main foyer of the residence.
    Local artist Jimmy Caswell has produced a one of a kind tree ornament for Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam featuring the historic Amis House.
    “It really only took a couple of hours,” Caswell said, adding that the hardest part was working with something other than a flat surface.
    Caswell used a painting of the local landmark for the ornament.
    According to a letter from Haslam, Caswell was requested “to create an ornament to represent Hawkins County” and to  “illustrate what makes Hawkins County special and unique.”
    “This is Tennessee's home, and Bill and I feel blessed to share it with visitors from across the state to enjoy holiday decorations,” she said. “We are thankful to the local artists, volunteers, museums, and school children across the state who helped make this year's Home for the Holidays so special.”
    Open home tours at the Tennessee Residence will be held Monday through Friday, December 3-14 and on Saturday, December 8. For more information about “Tennessee's Home for the Holidays,” please visit .

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