Near Southside artist Clifton Crofford’s Seeds of a New Season is beginning to take shape along West Magnolia Avenue with the first of three sculptures, The Oak, now installed at the southeast corner of Magnolia and 5th. A series of three bronze and glass sculptures referencing an acorn, a pinecone, and a magnolia seed pod, Crofford believes these symbols from nature “remind us of the potential within all of us and within our community.” The artwork is intended to represent that the smallest of ideas can grow into great knowledge, and that there is, in each of us, a natural and substantial potential to be discovered.
The history of the Near Southside area of Fort Worth is rooted in collaboration, hard work, and 21st century innovation in various industries. The area has evolved into a diverse community of creatives and has recently received recognition as a Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts. With a deep understanding of the spirit of this neighborhood, Crofford is bringing residents and community stakeholders together to participate in the creation of the artwork by capturing molds of hands. Each impression is cast in bronze or glass to create different components of the sculptures and compose the artwork’s metaphorical statement of the community’s capacity as makers and cultivators of tomorrow. For The Oak, the artist worked specifically with Near Southside community members who have played a significant role in the areas revitalization, creating bronze impressions which are intricately placed to form the cap of the acorn sculpture. Further, the sculpture features subtle internally lighting that changes color with viewer interaction. Remaining sculptures currently in fabrication include The Pine and The Magnolia to be placed along W. Magnolia Avenue at S. Lake and S. Henderson.
Clifton Crofford was born in Houston and moved to Fort Worth after graduation from the University of Texas at Arlington. An integral part of the community, Crofford has lived and worked in Fort Worth’s Near Southside district for over a decade. A talented glass artist with installations in Oklahoma and Texas, Crofford is a founding member or SiNaCa Studios and serves as Executive Director of the school of glass and gallery. Creating artwork for his own community has been an incredible work of passion and storytelling for him.