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Neal asked to decorate ornament for governor's mansion
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Local artist Carol Neal has been asked by Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee to decorate a Christmas tree ornament. - photo by Lisa Hobbs
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Local resident Carol Neal has been asked to decorate an ornament for a holiday celebration at the governor’s historic mansion in Nashville.

Tennessee’s Home for Holidays 2020 will feature the artwork of a local resident.

First Lady Maria Lee has extended an invitation for artist Carol Neal to decorate Warren County’s ornament for the holiday display at the governor’s historic mansion. The project celebrates Tennessee’s 95 counties with one ornament per county. 

“It will be fun,” said Neal. “Little things like this are fun and I enjoy doing them.” 

Tennesseans are invited for a holiday tour of the governor’s historic mansion to enjoy the decorations. 

“Each December we host tours at the Tennessee residence where we proudly display ornaments highlighting the unique beauty of each county,” said Lee in the invitation. “Since it has been several years since the original ornaments were commissioned, we have decided to refresh the collection for guests to enjoy.”

Neal was nominated for the honor by The Tennessee Arts Commission. 

“I invite you to take creative liberty in decorating your county’s ornament, bearing in mind that the goal is to capture what makes Warren County stand out from all the others,” said Lee. “For example, you may wish to paint a landscape scene or spotlight a historical figure from your area, but also please be sure to include the name of your county somewhere on the ornament.” 

The governor’s historic mansion was built in 1929 as a private residence for the Ridley Wills family. It was sold to the state in 1949. 

A swimming pool was added by the Alexanders, and the massive renovation and addition of the Conservation Hall was a Bredesen project. 

Tours are offered in December and are free of charge, but do require reservations. 

Neal has until Nov. 18 to submit her completed ornament.