Nutcrackers as we know them today have been a part of holiday traditions for hundreds of years. German folk artists first began carving these popular keepsakes in the likeness of kings and soldiers in the 1700s, with teeth shown, it was said, to ward off evil spirits and protect the home.
While artist Holly Adler’s Hollywood Nutcrackers™ may still have that toothy smile, the characters she brings to life re-imagine these traditional keepsakes in whimsical ways that have made her one of the most collectible nutcracker artists of our time.
This year, we asked Holly to help us create a unique collection of nutcrackers for our SeaWorld parks. Holly drew her inspiration from some of the sea’s most beloved animals, including dolphins, polar bears, penguins, and for SeaWorld, of course, Shamu. The results are the kind of pieces collectors will have fun displaying all year long. “Creating something new out of something old has always intrigued me,” Holly says, explaining how traditional nutcrackers are usually soldiers with stern looks. Hers, she says, “are traditional, but twisted with whimsy and color. They are meant to add sparkle and conversation to your home.”
“Holly has that wonderful way of creating the kind of imaginative pieces of art that make people do a double-take when they see them,” says Juanita Davis, whose work at SeaWorld includes finding talented artists like Holly to create unique gifts and collectables for our guests. “That’s what we love about her work. Her creations are just the sort of fresh, unexpected treasures we want our guests to have fun discovering in our shops.”
Find Holly’s 2012 collection of nutcrackers created for SeaWorld at shops throughout the park, wherever seasonal items are sold. Also, be sure to check out the Busch Gardens Tampa collection, available in at seasonal shops throughout the park.
Meet Holly for a special artist’s signing: Holly will be visiting SeaWorld Orlando to meet collectors and sign nutcrackers purchased from this collection on Sunday, December, 9 from 4-8 p.m. at Under the Sun located at SeaWorld's Waterfront Marketplace.