Manitowoc holiday window display promotes cats
MANITOWOC The Flower Gallery and Gallery Interior Design's annual holiday window display this year has a feature that has never been done before. The fourth window features live cats for adoption from the Lakeshore Humane Society.
Each season, The Flower Gallery turns to local high school art classes to design a window for a given theme. This year, the gallery almost came up short to fill its final window, according to Dayna Nienow, interior designer at The Flower Gallery, corner of North Eighth Street and Maritime Drive.
That's when Jeannie Knutson, floral assistant, decided to mix her passion of art and animals. Knutson has volunteered at the shelter since May, and asked her employer to use the animals in the window.
It was the first time live animals had been used in a window display. It was also the first time the window wasn't used by a high school, Knutson told the Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc ( http://htrne.ws/S49OIv ).
The display features four cats at a time, which are replaced after adoption. Each cat may be adopted at The Flower Gallery through the Lakeshore Humane Society, according to Knutson. She said five cats were already adopted. Knutson said she hopes the display will encourage other businesses to participate in the humane society's cause. The window is on Maritime Drive.
However, the cats weren't just a last-minute feature. The cats supported the gallery's theme of "Let Heaven and Nature Sing" from "Joy to the World." Each window display features elements from nature, heaven and music, Nienow said. The windows will be on display until January.
In addition to the cat display, Nienow's main display, on the corner of Eighth Street and Maritime Drive, features snow, branches and handmade owls. Nienow said owls are popular this year after observing a trend at stores.
"It seems to be a fad that has come back," Nienow said. "And we're taking advantage of that."
The display features burlap owls of varying sizes stuffed with tulle, a type of fabric. Each owl also is filled with Christmas lights, which glow at night. The largest owl took Nienow about an hour to make.
To incorporate music into her display, Nienow draped a banner across the top of the window with music notes from "Joy to the World." The window took her two days to create, but the planning took about a month. Nienow said the work pays off when people get excited about seeing the display.
"Everyone says, 'I just can't wait to see your window this year,'" Nienow said.
The other three windows were designed by art students at Roncalli, Manitowoc Lutheran and Two Rivers high schools.
The Two Rivers display incorporated the nature theme using a deer, cardinals and a birch tree. Gold-painted stars hanging from above represent the heaven element of the theme, Nienow said. The window also has string instruments and a birdhouse. Three to four students created the display. The window is on Maritime Drive.
"I love it when the students make stuff," Nienow said. "It's one thing to display something that's already made, but when you're an art student, it's really nice to see what your brain kind of comes up with."
Lutheran's display, on Maritime Drive, focuses on the theme's music element. The display uses brass instruments from the school, record sleeves of Christmas albums, bulbs filled with sheet music and presents wrapped in sheet music.
To accompany Nienow's display, Roncalli's window, on Eighth Street, also features owls. The owls are made of fabric and foam core. The window also has fake snow and branches.
After the holiday season ends, Nienow and her co-workers begin planning next year's displays. She said she is reluctant to take her displays down, but knowing how much work went into them makes her feel fortunate to be a part of the project.
"It takes a long time," Nienow said. "It's stressful, but that's the fun part of it. It's just seeing it happen, and when it's done, you can kind of just look at it and go, 'Oh my gosh, how beautiful.'"