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January 2014


Robert Hamilton and Cynthia Mulcahy


January 11 - February 1, 2014

Opening reception January 11, 6 to 9 pm


An exhibition devoted to the documentation of their collaborative, site-specific, temporary and evolving public art project Seventeen Hundred Seeds.

It all began on a late Friday afternoon in Dallas, Texas, in March of 2012 with the debris-clearing and mowing of a large vacant city block in preparation for a second day of tractor-tilling and prepping of the soil for planting. Finally, in advance of an obliging Texas four-inch rainstorm, over seventeen hundred seeds were individually planted in the newly created field by an eight-member crew in traditional farm crop rows.

Over the ensuing three and a half months, the efforts by our farm team produced an enormous crop of single-stemmed sunflowers with ten-inch flower heads in a blighted city block that had been vacant for over two decades. From the sprouting of over 1,700 seeds to the peak of blooms in mid-May to the formation of large seed heads in June and finally to the death of the crop in the field, visitors were able to experience nature's many transcendental stages of growth.

Located in the busy heart of the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas off a well-traveled car and pedestrian street, the public art project remained on view since field preparation began March 16th, offering up a daily tableau of the farmer's life of land tilling and seed planting, weeding and watering, and finally harvesting and sharing.

The activity in the empty lot, a form of artistic intervention or farming as street theater, drew many area neighbors, passersby, and local business folk curious about what was going on in their community." You don't often see a tractor tilling soil in the city," the very first visitor declared. Others shared their knowledge of the history of the land, even family photographs, or memories of flower gardens in their native Mexico. With our farm crew in the field, laughs and stories were swapped over as many tacos and beer during months of crop cultivation. All were part of the process.

Since the death of the field last year, seeds from the project have been distributed by the thousands to area residents and business owners as well as to friends, artists, curators and interested others in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. The first 1700 Seeds Workshop, sponsored by the Brazilian government, was held this past summer in the Rocinha favela community in Rio de Janeiro at the Biblioteca da Rocinha for area school kids and favela residents.


1700 Seeds Installation/Maintenance Crew
Juan Cano Chanito
Efren Gutierrez
Robert Hamilton
Cynthia Mulcahy
Courtney Rainwater
Jose Tinajero
Jose Villa

Seventeen Hundred Seeds was generously underwritten by Courtney Rainwater. Land provided by Rick Garza, Bishop/Davis LLC. Water provided by Juan Pablo Segura of Familia Auto Sales. Farming consultation provided by Mulcahy Farms. Graphic design by Lily Smith-Kirkley. Planting blueprint by landscape designer Kelley Murry.

Robert Hamilton is a visual artist and Cynthia Mulcahy is an independent curator, visual artist and cultural producer. Together they form an activist Dallas-based collaborative art practice that addresses social, political and environmental issues and places emphasis on the transformative experience of nature.

Robert's paintings, photographs and works on paper have been exhibited throughout Texas and his work has been reviewed in The Dallas Morning News, The Fort Worth Star Telegam, ARTnews Magazine and online arts journal Glasstire. Robert's work can be found in the public collections of American Airlines and many interesting private collections.

Cynthia's recent public art projects include Square Dance: A Community Project, co-curated with Leila Grothe, which proposed art as social practice in the form of an outdoor seasonal dance at Dallas' Trinity River Audubon Center in 2011 and was supported in part by of an Idea Fund Grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for The Visual Arts. Cynthia's recent curated exhibitions include Engines of War in New York City in 2013 and XXI: Conflicts in a New Century at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center in Dallas in 2011, both examining the subject of war. Cynthia's exhibitions and public art projects have been reviewed in The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times, The New Yorker and New York Magazine.






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