As the holidays draw near, Hannah Bates feels that there are two distinct aspects to the season.
While there is a heavy commercial component to the holidays, it’s important to remember the religious foundation, she said.
“When it comes down to Christmas, everyone bases their holiday on the commercial Santa Clause instead of celebrating the birth of Christ as it original was,” Bates said. “I wanted to remind everyone what Christmas is all about.”
Hannah Bates is an art student at Alvin Community College. She recently painted an ornament that was chosen by District 29 Representative Ed Thompson that will now hang on the Christmas tree at the state capitol. The ornament will represent Texas District 29, where ACC is located.
The ornament consists of two portraits: a detailed rendering of Santa Clause on one side and that of Jesus Christ on the other.
“It’s really an honor to have been selected to paint the ornament even though I am new to the painting experience,” Bates said.
The tree and ornaments will be on display starting Dec. 7 through mid-January.
Thompson said he is proud to have Bates’ work to represent his district on the capitol tree.
"This year, we were blessed to have Hannah agree to decorate House District 29's ornament for the District Ornament Project," he said. "The District Ornament Project began in 2009 as a way to celebrate the unique individuals who make up each of our state's 150 house districts, and I am proud that we had such a talented artist to represent our community."
Bates was selected to paint the ornament by ACC Art instructor Jennifer McClish, who herself painted an ornament for the capitol tree in 2016.
"I am so proud and honored to have Hannah as one of my students,” McClish said. “In addition to making excellent grades and having a part-time job, she was able to donate her time designing and painting a Christmas ornament for our community. As a talented young artist, I know she will be a major player moving forward in the Houston art scene or whatever she chooses to pursue."
Once she finishes her education at Alvin Community College, Bates said she hopes to become an educator and foster talent in budding artists such as herself.
“After I graduate from ACC, I want to hopefully transition to a major university,” Bates said. “I am not sure where I want to go yet but I want to major in art education so I can eventually become an art teacher at a high school or junior high level.”