Cynthia Mulcahy and Robert Hamilton


Dallas, Texas USA

Seventeen Hundred Seeds places emphasis on the social elements of a community coming together to notice the potential within. The gathering of people to not only connect with nature but each other is the “art” and  the ultimate success the project. Produced in the busy heart of the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, off a well-traveled car and pedestrian street, the public art project Seventeen Hundred Seeds  offered a daily tableau of the farmer's life of tilling and seed planting, weeding and watering, and finally harvesting and sharing. Working with a crew of eight people, Mulcahy and Hamilton,  tilled, planted and watered the field from March - May of 2012. Each sunflower grew to five - seven feet with plentiful eleven-inch flower heads facing the sun. By mid-May the result was a golden field filled with not only flowers but neighbors getting to know each other in a once empty urban lot. All of this was the intended and thankful result of a collaborative spring that Mulcahy termed “farming as street theater” (taken in part from a review by Margaret Meehan in Glasstire).


The activity in the once empty lot drew many neighbors, passerbys, and local business folk curious about what was going on in their community - the same community where Mulcahy and Hamilton live. "You don't often see a tractor tilling the soil in the city," the first visitor declared. Neighbors shared their knowledge of the history of the land, and even family photographs, or memories of flower gardens in their native Mexico. 


At the end of the growing season, Mulcahy and Hamilton harvested the sunflowers, giving away seed packets to Dallas residents and mailing them around the word with the aim of having the project would continue in perpetuity, from one season, one year, one field to another, on and on and on.


Seventeen Hundred Seeds is 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.