Motif of Carnegie Trees gives nod to 2013 Carnegie International

| Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Chances were slim that you'd find anyone in the crowd at the Carnegie Museum of Art on Dec. 4 who wouldn't dub the annual Carnegie Trees exhibit as the official kickoff of the Christmas holiday.

Six towering trees decorated in a nod to the 2013 Carnegie International exhibit were unveiled for a crowd of 450, with co-chairs Melissa Ferrari and Tara Safar at the helm.

Among a crowd that read like a who's who of Pittsburgh were the tree chairs, including — most impressively — Mernie Berger, who, along with sister Lowrie Ebbert, has been tending to a tree for more than 40 years. Additionally, Carole Kamin, Cynthia Cooley and Suzanne McLaughlin, Nancy Lewis with the Carnegie Library, LauraBeattie with the Frick, and the Society for Contemporary Craft also had their creative prowess on display.

“Everyone from library personnel, their families, friends, neighbors and beyond helped make the paper dolls,” explains Lewis, whose “Imagination Builders” theme included approximately 700 paper dolls made by more than 50 people. “Everyone loved it and embraced it so much,” she adds.

The event, presented flawlessly by the Women's Committee of the CMA, has been a holiday tradition since 1961.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at or 412-380-8515.

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