HollyPOP reimagined… a Festival of Lights


Throughout the holiday season
(until January 16, 2021)


Old Art Building outside



This weekend would have been the 5th Annual HollyPOP, an artful holiday market presented by the Old Art Building. Each year, with a slightly different theme, we transformed our space (indoors and out) into a vibrant community shopping destination. Over the years HollyPOP became a favorite event of the season. Visitors could shop and support small business artisans while enjoying the seasonal decorations. (We typically have 40 – 50 different vendors involved in the two day marketplace.) Families experienced the magic of the season with sleigh rides, reindeer visits, craft projects and more. 

In late summer however we sensed that HollyPOP could not be the same event this year. Once again we found ourselves needing to pivot.

Festival of Lights
Our goal remained similar to the original intention behind HollyPOP: to share the spirit of the season with our community and spread joy. To this end the team of volunteers (Amanda Johnson, Kim McManama, Nannie Maxwell, Sarah Mills, Kerry Satterwhite) spent hours brainstorming what we could do. Ideas ranged from sleigh rides and s'mores to cocoa and caroling. We considered taking the event virtual, as we have with several of our art shows this summer. After speaking with vendors and revisiting our goals, we concluded that an online HollyPOP event would lose most of the aspects that made it such a special community experience.

At long last we turned to the image of trees and lights on our front lawn. It would create an experience in which people could safely enjoy a magical ambience on their own time, with family and friends. Whether you take time to park and meander through the decorated trees or quickly pass by, we hope the display of lights will spread joy. 
12 Days of Christmas
Working with our friend Scott Cain, we designed the Festival of Lights – open from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Over two dozen trees were added to the front lawn and half were selected to represent a '12 Days of Christmas' display. Each tree was given a color, designated by the ornaments and the individual artists were assigned a tree and a line from the '12 Days of Christmas'. They were free to interpret/express their theme as they wished. 

As you stroll around the grounds, see if you can identify the 12 artistic trees with these themes:

  • 12 Drummers Drumming
  • 11 Pipers Piping
  • 10 Lords a Leaping
  • 9 Ladies Dancing
  • 8 Maids a Milking
  • 7 Swans a Swimming
  • 6 Geese a Laying
  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves
  • And a Partridge in a Pear Tree
    Tree decorators
    Heather Spooner (Ampersand Letter Lab); Barbara Burkhardt; Heather Harrington & family (Life & Whim); Maggie Mielczarek (Leland Gal); Charlotte Smith (DesignSmiths), Malcolm & Crissy Chatfield (Tug Stuff), Abby Chatfield; Jeanne Creighton; Laura Sprout, Linda Sprout, Michelle White; Sarah Mills & family; Amanda Campo Johnson. 

    Special thanks
    It has truly been a community volunteer effort – from the creative team, to the many donors who help purchase the trees, from the volunteers who strung lights on all the trees to others who came to tie on the colorful ornaments. It was so much fun we even had a neighbor walk by who went home to get gloves and come back to help. I call that the Tom Sawyer effect. 

    Last, but certainly not least, we greatly appreciate the support of the Leland Chamber of Commerce, Grant Tree Farm, Kolerick Tree Farm, and Scott Cain Construction.

    © 2021 The Old Art Building — Website by Taylormade / SteckDesign