The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Valley 's grand, historic national landmark hotel, welcomes the return of local artisans Calvin and Loretta Lyster on Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29. The artists' cedar Santa sculptures will be on display and available for purchase both days from 12pm to 6pm over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The Lysters originally began crafting "Old World Father Christmas" wood sculptures as gifts for friends and family back in 1991. The cedar wood is collected from their property in Cedar Valley, California , lovingly hand carved into a one-of-a-kind sculpture and carefully hand-painted to give each its own unique personality.
Each Christmas season, Calvin and Loretta create a limited number of sculptures available to the public. For their Ahwahnee showing, they have crafted unique pieces that depict Yosemite's natural environment on Santa's painted clothing, including Half Dome, the Grizzly Giant Sequoia, Yosemite Falls, black bears, and coyotes. The sculptures have been welcomed into families' homes as cherished heirlooms, and have found their way into Santa collections world wide.
Calvin's wood sculptures have been shown in Carmel, California , the Enthios Gallery in New Mexico , "Back Street Gallery" in Lone Pine, Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst, as well as the Ansel Adams Gallery and The Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park. He also participated in the "Affaire in the Park" in Beverly Hills for five years and has several pieces represented in the collection of renowned fine wood art collector, Dr. Irving Lipton.
The Lysters have lived in the Yosemite area since 1971.