Georgia Waid got the Christmas spirit early last year. In September she decided to hand-paint three ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. Two of them hung there throughout the capitol holiday season!
“I thought my chances were slim to none,” Georgia said. “So when I got the invitation to a White House reception in the mail, I was completely surprised.”
Actually, it was more of a surprise than you might imagine. Apparently the White House reception invitation went out before the SDP members were notified of their selection. So when the engraved invitation showed up in Georgia’s mailbox, she assumed her work had been chosen. “I figured that would be the only reason I was invited to the White House!” she laughed.
Only a few days later, the official notification from SDP came in the mail. Not one, but actually two of Georgia’s three submissions were chosen to hang on the 18 1/2 foot Christmas tree in the East Wing of the capitol.
“It was such an honor to see my work on the White House tree,” she said. “One of my pieces was high, near the top of the tree. The other was near the bottom.” A grid of the ornaments and their placement was available so artists could more easily locate their personal artistic contribution.
Georgia and her husband flew to Washington for the reception to honor the artists from around the country. “I had been before but my husband hadn’t so we were able to visit the monuments and a couple of museums before the reception,” she said. The artists’ event is the first official party of the holiday season.
First Lady Laura Bush met each guest in a receiving line with a personal welcome and an official photo. “She was very gracious,” Georgia added. “It was truly a once in a lifetime moment for me.”
Unless, of course, it should happen again. Georgia ex- plained that each year a different organization is tapped to solicit contributors depending on the theme for the year. “We would love to have the SDP contacted again,” she commented. “If so, maybe another opportunity might come my way.”
In the meantime, when Georgia’s not attending White House receptions, she’s busy as the business development assis- tant for Vanguard Contractors in Paducah. She also (obviously) enjoys doing decorative painting which includes faux painting techniques for walls, furniture, murals and room décor.
Georgia was one of 313 members of the Society of Decorative Painters who hand-painted ornaments. The 2004 theme was “A Season of Merriment and Melody.” A total of 350 ornaments adorned the White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room. SDP members painted gold-colored stroke work on brightly colored wooden flutes, maracas, jingle bells, tambourines and other instruments. The Society of Decorative Painters is a membership organization with 26,000 members throughout the United States, Canada and 47 other countries.