Friday, January 21, 2022

Middle School Art in the Spotlight Students Interpret Alligator Theme for Next Christmas Ornament

Continuing a long-standing tradition, judges pored over dozens of drawings before choosing just one that will become next year’s Marco Christmas tree ornament.

Marco Island Charter Middle School students submitted the colorful drawings reflecting this year’s alligator theme, and they ranged from cute to quirky, and from jaunty to jovial.

One, probably not destined for a tree ornament because it showed a ‘gator chomping down on Santa, nevertheless raised chuckles from the judges, who included Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, and island personalities Shari Brousseau, Keith Dameron, Barbara Murphy, Bill and Denise Duncan.

Also scrutinizing the imaginative talent was Myriam Kriel, graphic designer for the Marco Island Center for the Arts, host venue for the judging.

“I was actually amazed at the quality of the artwork,” said Rep. Rommel. “I can tell how much effort the students put into it. Each one had different expressions, and it’s nice to see the kids using their God-given talents in expressing how they feel about Christmas.”

Their teacher is Gigi Garraty.

In the end, the judges chose student Dustin Provoyeur’s delightful image of a ‘gator truly chilling out on a small island as the winner.

Second and third places went to Katie Carley and Ashley Francis, with honorable mentions going to Shamus Coyle, Laney Dunstan and Jenna Jackson.

Bette McGilvray and Barbara Dasti co-chair the ornament design contest, which is under the auspices of the Christmas Island Style series of festive season events.

“This is our 10th year,” McGilvray said. “The contest is always held a year before the production of the new ornament, so the 2018 ornament (designed by student Jaden Conrad) is now on sale.”

The ornament costs $13, and helps swell Christmas Island Style coffers.

It can be bought at Marco Island Center for the Arts, Keep in Touch, Marco Island Florist, the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce and Shore Goods, as well as online at

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