How did a giant glowing acorn end up on Magnolia Avenue? It sprouted from public art

dfwnewsa | March 11, 2024 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

How did a giant glowing acorn end up on Magnolia Avenue? It sprouted from public art

Husband and wife Mickey and Patty Bradley show how they posed their hands for the acorn sculpture. The duo are among the roughly 200 people who had their hands cast in bronze as part of a public art installation by glass artist Clifton Crofford. (Marcheta Fornoff | Fort Worth Report)
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The giant glowing orb frequently stops pedestrian traffic on Magnolia Avenue.Some are convinced it’s meant to be a dragon’s egg; other passersby decline to guess, while the answer is clear to some right away: It’s an acorn.

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The public art piece drew a large crowd to celebrate its installation, which has been a long time coming. Fort Worth Public Art selected glass artist Clifton Crofford to work on the project in September 2019. After multiple community meetings and some pandemic-related delays, the first of three sculptures is in place.

The piece sits on the sidewalk near 1227 W. Magnolia Ave. and is just a couple of blocks from SiNiCa Studios, where Crofford has worked since 2007.

About 200 bronze hands are layered on top of one another to mimic the texture on the acorn’s cap. For Crofford, this symbolism represents working together to cultivate a brighter future.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Clifton Crofford (@cliftoncrofford)

“Hands are the ultimate symbol of humanity,” he said in an interview with the Report. “If you go back in time, some of the earliest cave paintings feature handprints … that’s what’s left from the community.”The hands represented on the sculpture are those of lawyers, doctors, teachers, family members and the area’s neighbors.“I wanted to put the acorn here, because it is a symbol of growth and of potential,” Crofford said. “We all know how this neighborhood is transformed and how it’s changed and how inspiring it has become to so many.”Just under 200 LEDs with three controllers sit under the two glass domes on the front and back of the sculpture. Anyone with a phone may connect to the sculpture’s Wi-Fi network, “Acorn-wled-AP,” and choose which colors shine through the glass.A pine cone and Magnolia seed pod, also designed by Crofford, will have similar interactive elements and will sprout on the street soon.Art is important to the city’s identity, which is why the City Council dedicates a small portion of money within each bond project to create public art, said council member Elizabeth Beck, who represents the district.“There’s a lot of really mighty hands in here,” she said. “I think it’s a great representation of how a lot of little things can come together to make something much bigger and much more beautiful.”Husband and wife Mickey and Patty Bradley participated in the project. Each person who took part was asked to hold something important to them while getting their hands cast; he and his wife reached for each other’s hands.“It was a joint thing, I guess,” he explained. “(Crofford) said that and I immediately thought, ‘Well, something important to me is my wife, Patty, and that would be the ideal thing to hold.”Now, their hands will be part of the neighborhood forever.“We’ve lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and watched Magnolia blossom into a vibrant part of the neighborhood,” he said. “It just reinforces our commitment to the neighborhood and the area.”Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at marcheta.fornoff@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board.

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