MCALLA, Ala. (WIAT) — Each year in front of the White House, the Pathway to Peace stands proudly. It’s a garden of 58 Christmas trees, representing each U.S. state and territory decorated with specific ornaments by local schools.

This year in Alabama, Jefferson County’s McAdory High School was charged with the task – specifically Ms. Danielle Tickell’s art students. 

McAdory High School art students decided on different symbols and monuments that best represented the yellowhammer state. They researched their topics as a class, discussed them and got to work.

“The state flower is the camellia and I like that flower a lot,” McAdory High School Junior DeMonte Peterson said about the inspiration behind his ornament design.

“Not only were we able to talk about things in our state but we were also able to research personal style, history, culture, and different monuments important around Alabama,” Ms. Tickell, Visual Arts Instructor at McAdory, said. “Things they’re not often exposed to outside of history or economics. We were able to translate that into their artwork and put their own personal spins on it.”

Students were encouraged to find unique ways to represent Alabama. Junior Jessica Wesson says the street art throughout the Magic City inspired her ornament.

“I know there were a lot of murals around Birmingham. But I did the railroad because it looks pretty with the yellow,” Wesson said. “I’m glad that there’s a chance the president got to see my work.”

Though the students’ designs are hanging in Washington D.C., their original ornaments are hanging in their classroom.

I cut the originals and laminated them so we could hang them on our Christmas tree,” Tickell said. “So we have the pleasure of seeing them every day until we take them home.

You can visit the Pathway to Peace in the nation’s capital and see the local artistry in front of the White House all season long.