Artist offers sneak peek at Grand America Hotel’s holiday window displays

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's been a Christmas tradition at the Grand America Hotel for the past six years, and on Friday Fox 13 got a sneak peek before anyone else.

It's the annual Holiday Window Display.

"Each detail is thought out to the full extent," said artist Jonnie Hatman as she points out everything from the bright paint, to the flickering lights, to all the moving parts.

For the past six years, this Park City artist has filled the windows inside the Grand America Hotel with Christmas spirit.

"I consider my art to be installation art, I come and take a blank space and make some magic happen," Hartman said.

The first year there were two windows, and now there are 16. Preparing the display has been a full-time job since May.

"The most difficult part I think is taking a flat sketch and making it into a 3D form," Hartman said. "I'm very glad that they trust me with this project."

This year's theme is Christmas Around the World. Every window represents a different country. "Merry Christmas" is even sketched in each native language.

"We have a little mascot who is a penguin, and he will be taking a magical locomotive ride to all the different countries," Hartman said.

One of her favorite stops on the tour is Scotland.

"There is a 5-foot hand stitched Nessie, Loch Ness monster, which I know the kids will just fall in love with," Hartman said.

Hartman said the traditional Christmas window displays she grew up with have become a lost art, and she's proud to bring them back.

"There are so many windows that just are cardboard cut-outs and very corporate, and this just has so much handcrafting and love put into it," Hartman said.

The only thing better than putting it all together will be unveiling it to the community.

"I love to come and be a fly on the wall and just hear and see the reactions of people, and it just brings a little extra joy," Hartman said.

The official unveiling of the Holiday Window Display will be on November 22. It will remain up all the way until New Year's Day.