ART BRANCHES OUT: Tree display brings good will to charities


Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — Take a stroll in a winter wonderland of decorated trees, in an art display designed to bring good cheer to local charities.

The second annual Festival of the Trees is on display all month at the Twenty North Gallery, 20 N. State St.

Ten local businesses and nonprofits decorated a tree for the exhibit, and are asking residents to chip in with monetary gifts or supplies for charities in need.

Zany elf feet top a tree made with dozens of hand-crafted ornaments by Cougar Cubs Preschool, for example. The preschool is collecting new winter clothing items for students in need.

Photographs of cats up for adoption adorn a red-and-green tree, as the Hancock County Humane Society collects pet food and supplies for homeless animals.

And a garland of faded literature and a black top hat don a Riley Boyhood Home tree, collecting monetary donations for the Hope House.

Carol Barrett, gallery and events chair for Hancock County Arts, said the effort kicked off last year as a way to bring awareness to local businesses. This year, they added the goodwill twist of collecting items for charity.

“We’re really excited we can actually allow people in,” she added, because last year the event was solely online due to the pandemic.

The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday (closed on christmas Day). A photo of each tree is also on the Hancock County Arts Facebook page daily. People may vote for a Peoples Choice Award by commenting on a photo on or by visiting the exhibit in person.

The exhibit is in conjunction with a display of 77 paintings on the wall by Greenfield artist Gale Sturm. From old airplanes, to landscapes, to winter scenery, the exhibit spans a decade of Sturm’s hand-framed oil paintings and stained glass since his retirement as a school art teacher.

Barrett said they invite people to visit the gallery year-round, but Christmastime is special and this exhibit makes sense with Hancock County Arts’ mission.

“Christmas trees are a work of art in many ways,” she said.