Treasure Mountain students paint reindeer for Santa’s chair-lift arrival |

Treasure Mountain students paint reindeer for Santa’s chair-lift arrival

last spring, Treasure Mountain teacher Pam Strong’s art class painted and adorned eight wooden reindeer for Santa’s sled, for when he comes down the Town Lift at Park City Mountain Resort, Dec 14.

Although it might have been hard to relate to reindeer and Santa as summer weather approached, 32 life-drawing students split into groups to come up with a design for each of the eight reindeer. Students, however, didn’t finish Rudolph, who doesn’t go along for the lift ride, but instead goes on display.

"It was hard to paint Rudolph when the weather was so nice," said Strong.

PCMR has had Santa come down the chair lift for the past 10 years, said Paula Fabel, communications director at the resort. The particle-board reindeer were deteriorating from age and weather.

As ski resort hosts, husband and wife team Scott and Susan Gilson decided to do something about that. Scott Gilson cut new reindeer out of plywood. They approached Strong, to see if her students would be able to do the artwork on the reindeer.

Strong and her students jumped at the chance and went to work making designs for each reindeer then carrying out their designs, painting in acrylics.

"I just cut them out," said Gilson. The students did the real work.

On Thursday, Dec 7, Strong’s students, now in the ninth grade, and the Gilsons were reunited with their projects in the classroom. Rudolph was wet with paint, but Alexa Devereaux, 15, who worked on the famous deer, and Jake Whitlow, who designed it, thought Rudolph would soon be done and be ready to go on display.

The individualized deer were outlined with lights by Gilson, and are ready to make their debut down the Town Lift on Saturday, Dec 16, at 6 p.m. where they will be bolted to sides of lift chairs ahead of Santa and his sleigh.

Susan Gilson admired the artwork of the students, and was excited to see the students who had stepped in to help bring Santa fresh reindeer.

"The old ones had broken legs and were all painted the same color," she said

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