We’re “Nuts” about Nutcrackers, Trees and Trains at the Arts Center!

The holiday season is rich with traditions for both families and communities, and the Community Arts Center’s holiday exhibits are no exception. Our annual “Trees of the Season” and “Trains of the Season” exhibits deck out the whole building in greenery, accented with trains and nutcrackers from regional collectors and a brand new nutcracker designed specifically for the Arts Center.

DSCN4127 CC“Trees of the Season” invites community groups and volunteers to decorate the Arts Center’s Grand Hall in holiday splendor. This year, Boyle County Gifted and Talented Program adorned two trees and Boyle County Football boosters decorated one. Individual volunteers worked in groups to decorate the rest of the trees.

“This is a community-driven exhibit that brings out a lot of volunteers who are passionate about the holidays,” says Mary Beth Touchstone, the Community Arts Center’s executive director. “We have one of the largest and most beautiful facilities in downtown Danville, and during the holidays the entire building just sparkles!”

This year we brought in interior designer Connie Beale to direct the exhibit set-up and placement of 30 nutcrackers, 18 trees and six wreaths throughout the Grand Hall. She created the ceiling adornments, a “Nutcracker Tree” and an 11-foot-tall nutcracker. The giant nutcracker, made from repurposed materials, is a preview of the Arts Center’s upcoming exhibit, “Re.” That exhibit, opening Feb. 5, will encourage the community to “rethink recycling” by turning discarded materials into unlikely but incredible works of art. This nutcracker was created from an exercise ball, plastic containers, a lampshade and Styrofoam cups, among other items.

Traditional nutcrackers can be found throughout the building too – these are on loan from private collectors Kelli Fitch and Nicky Hughes. Local artist Joe Baron has created two original nutcrackers, a Chef and “Chefette,” in – you guessed it – chef outfits.

“Trains of the Season” is another exhibit that will remind visitors of family traditions. Danville Model Railroad Club will set up model HO trains for this exhibit, which opens this Wednesday!

DSCN4123 CC â€œWe always love to have the trains out,” says Gary Barkman, one of our board members and a member of the Danville Railroad Club. “It brings back memories of childhood. All of us had trains as children.”

These exhibits are free and open to the public, and will be open through Saturday, Dec. 28.