Panama City Beach –
To celebrate Christmas 2008, Laura Bush asked artists from all fifty states to design an ornament for the White House Christmas tree that will stand in the Blue Room of the White House. Working with members of Congress, she asked each Representative to select an artist from their district who would portray an image of their locale in a patriotic manner. Congressman Allen Boyd from the 2nd district of Florida selected Paul Brent from Panama City to paint the six inch diameter round ornament that was supplied to him by the White House. Brent chose to paint an eagle in the foreground, representing the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard installations in the Florida Panhandle, backed by the American flag. The eagle is looking over the shimmering emerald green and turquoise Gulf of Mexico and the sugar white sands of the area’s beaches. Brent has titled the ornament, “Gulf Coast Salute to Freedom.”
Paul Brent and his wife and business partner, Lana Jane Lewis Brent, attended the holiday open house at the White House, December 2, where the decorated tree was first seen. First Lady Laura Bush officiated at the ceremony where the artists from around the country were honored. The ornaments will hang on the 18 foot tree throughout the season and then will become part of the President’s collection of memorabilia.
Paul Brent is an artist who has resided in Panama City since 1969 when he was first stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base. He has focused on painting local subjects that are now known throughout the world. He currently works with over 80 manufacturers to design apparel, jewelry, home accessories and gifts. He has two collections of holiday ornaments, Coastal Christmas themed figures of Santa at the beach by Kurt Adler and a collection of hand painted glass ornaments that are painted on the inside of the glass by Ne’Qua. These ornaments as well as Paul Brent’s prints and other designed objects can be found on his website, www.paulbrent.com.