Woodland artist creates handmade Merry Go Round horses

Published 9:00 am Friday, January 5, 2024

The Valley Merry-Go-Round has inspired a strong tradition in many families over the last 67 years, but Hannah Herren took the inspiration one step further.

Herren, a 26-year-old artist from Woodland, Alabama, created four handmade and painted carousel horses to represent Valley’s famous Christmas ride. The sculptures are now on display at the Valley Parks and Recreation office.

Carousels are the artist’s passion, and she said she has visited the ride several times since she first learned about it in 2012. When she first discovered the carousel was in Valley, she began making the trip to Valley with her parents just to visit the ride.

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“I loved horses when I was a kid, and I always loved the Merry-Go-Round ride,” Herren said. “And not just at the city of Valley but anywhere.”

Herren said she just enjoys drawing horses and carousels. This year, she decided to take the project a step further. To commemorate the visit, she made miniature horses of the merry-go-round.

The miniature replicas are made of aluminum foil and masking tape. The stands and poles were made with supplies from the craft store.

Herren studied art while at the University of West Georgia. Since college, she has started to do freelance artwork in the community.

“It was just a way to introduce myself to meet new people and promote my art, which is one thing that truly makes me happy in life,” Herren said. “Someday I hope to have a career in art and my own designs of carousel horses.”

Herren said she also does animation and designs art for logos and vinyl wraps. In the spring of 2023, she was commissioned to design a vinyl wrap for a Himalaya-themed carnival ride in Sarasota County, Florida.

The company, Big Rock Amusements, is a Tennessee-based traveling amusement park.

“I also love the Himalayas as well,” Herren said.

Herren said hopes to create murals and logos for commercial businesses in the future.

“I think it’s really important that I put myself out there by promoting my artwork to others,” Herren said. “I enjoy sharing my artwork with people and those who say it makes me feel great about myself.”