Zoey Cooper, Senior Graphic Design Specialist at Schreiner University, can’t wait to see her work displayed on the official Christmas tree on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives, after being selected to create the official ornament of District 53 by Rep. Andrew Murr.
Each year, House members are invited to select a voter to imagine and create a visual representation of what makes their Texas House District special, in the form of a Christmas decoration, according to a statement posted on www.house. texas.gov.
This year, Murr chose Schreiner University to commemorate the school‘s 100th anniversary.
“Each year, these glass balls are distributed to the 150 members of the house and they can decorate them however they wish,” Murr said. “Many look to their constituents at home in their neighborhood to find a way to decorate it.”
Murr said past submissions were created by elementary school children, well-known artists, or some representatives created an ornament themselves.
“I always wanted something representative of the Hill Country,” Murr said. “Zoey did an amazing job. Finding someone willing to work on a curved surface is particularly difficult, she showed her skills by being able to draw, color and put words on this glass ball.
Murr said he thought this year would be the perfect time to help celebrate Scheiner’s centennial year celebration, so he reached out to see if a collaboration on the project would be an option.
“I am delighted to display the Schreiner ornament. I think it gives us a chance to set the stage for 2023 and introduce the State of Texas to 100 years of Schreiner,” Murr said.
The tree and ornaments will be on display in the Texas State Capitol building from November 29 until January 2.
“We would love for Zoey and her family to come see the tree,” Murr said. “If his schedule permits, I look forward to doing this.”
“Initially, Professor (Deb) Conner asked me if I would be interested in doing it with another student, but the other student was unable to help, so it was all up to me at that point. there,” Cooper said. “I started by looking at the galleries of ornaments from the past year.”
Cooper said she was inspired by photos she saw on the Texas House of Representatives website.
She said she had more than one glass ornament to work with and initially attempted to laser engrave the artwork, but found it unsatisfactory.
She then filled the ornament with “faux snow” foam to provide a background, then applied the artwork by hand.
Cooper chose to include Schreiner University’s motto “Enter with Hope. Leave With Achievement”, as well as the school mascot “Monty”.
“I wanted to express what the Schreiner spirit is,” Cooper said. “While making it festive.”
In addition to the ornament, Cooper has included a glass-etched accessory that bears the SU 100th Anniversary logo, along with the District 53 ornament designation.
Cooper said on a scale of 1 to 10, she would rate her work a 9.5.
“But, I’m very hard on myself,” Cooper said.
Murr formally accepted the ornament during an informal meeting on the Schreiner University campus last week. He spent time with Cooper and Professor Conner, asking about how the details of the ornament were created and praising Cooper’s work.