• View from the Canyon Rim Trail. Photo by Jeff Kochevar

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Colorado National Monument Featured on White House Christmas Tree

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Date: December 3, 2007
Contact: Joan Anzelmo, 970-858-3617 x300
Contact: Michelle Wheatley, 970-858-3617 x363

First Lady Laura Bush invited Colorado National Monument to create an ornament to help decorate the official White House Christmas Tree. The theme of the 2007 decorations honors the spectacular scenery and unique beauty of our national parks, and celebrates the National Park Centennial Initiative.

Colorado National Monument is fortunate to have many outstanding artists in the area and it was difficult to choose just one. Ultimately Colorado National Monument Superintendent, Joan Anzelmo, asked photographer, Rob Kurtzman, to choose one of his most emblematic photos of Colorado National Monument to decorate the White House provided ornament. Kurtzman graciously agreed to complete the task and created a unique ornament using his award winning panoramic photo, “Winter Inversion”. The photo accentuates the breathtaking winter views from the canyon rims of the majestic monoliths.

On November 28, Kurtzman and his wife, Patty, attended the White House reception hosted by First Lady Laura Bush at which she unveiled the national park themed tree and ushered in the holiday season. In response to the opportunity, Kurtzman said, “My favorite place for photography is Colorado National Monument. It is a privilege and honor to represent the monument in this way.”  

Rob Kurtzman is a prominent photographer in the area and has been interested in the field since his youth. He felt that photography offered him an opportunity to combine creativity and science. Kurtzman has been able to pursue both passions through his work as a forensic pathologist and landscape photographer in Grand Junction for the past 15 years. His self taught mastery of the field has won him numerous awards from the North American Nature Photography Association, Popular Photography, and the Palisade Annual Art Show.

As part of the official invitation to participate in this year’s national parks theme, each park was allowed to select an artist to decorate a large gold ball ornament. Although Kurtzman used a photograph, artists were allowed to use any medium that did not alter the size and shape of the ornament. The subject of each ornament was to be the most recognizable feature representing the individual park. These original works of art will become part of the White House permanent ornament collection.

Colorado National Monument will host a holiday open house with guest of honor, Rob Kurtzman, at the park visitor center on Wednesday, December 19, from 2pm – 5pm.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

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