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Maps of Memories: Honoring Bedford Boys Ranch

Jessica Green

2022-2023

laser cut steel

72" x 60" x 52"

In 2022, the City of Bedford commissioned a sculpture to be displayed at the new Generations Park at Boys Ranch. Artist Jessica Green was tasked with designing a public sculpture that incorporates a respect and remembrance of the past, while also embracing the future of the Bedford community. Green worked closely with the City of Bedford during a five-month internship to research the history of the Boys Ranch through archived newspaper articles and documents. Green also conducted interviews with Bedford residents, city staff, and former residents of the Boys Ranch. The documents, interviews, and stories provided the narrative that Green then translated into the design of the sculpture.

Her goal for the sculpture was to represent and celebrate the history of the space as well as its future with the creation of the new park.

Green utilized topographic maps and images of Bedford Boys Ranch, as well as information from her research and interviews to illustrate an accurate representation of each map. She designed the laser cut illustrations within each map to depict the purposes of the facilities, events, and activities at Bedford Boys Ranch and how they transformed throughout the years. The illustrations are playful and simple, which encourages interpretation from the viewer. (See below to learn more about the illustrations)

The artist and the City of Bedford worked closely with Stash Design in Dallas, TX, to take her 2-dimensional vector design and transform it into a 3-dimensional steel sculpture. The sculpture was installed on site by Stash Design.

Illustrations

Illustrations

All three maps represent a distinct phase of transformative change with its corresponding years located in the bottom right corner. Viewers are encouraged to use the guides below to learn more about the illustrations and their meanings. 

Beginning with the years 1949-1957, this map portrays when Bedford Boys Ranch was first established, up until it closed in 1957:

As you walk to the left, the next map that is labeled “1974-2020” represents the changing landscape of Bedford Boys Ranch after the land was purchased by the City of Bedford in 1973 to construct a community park. Bedford Boys Ranch Park opened in 1974 and its original facilities continued to be utilized until 2020:

The following map to the left is labeled 2022- (and beyond). This map represents the redevelopment of this important landmark to create a space for the Bedford community and its future generations to take pride in and enjoy for years to come. The City transformed and updated all aspects of the community park from 2020-2022. The new Generations Park at Boys Ranch will continue to honor the history of the land by creating a beautiful space for the community to come together:

about

About the Artist 

Jessica Green is a sculptor, painter, and digital artist from Carrollton, Texas. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2022 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies and minors in sculpture, art history, and social sciences. Green has always had a passion for translating her thoughts and experiences into art. Throughout her work, she aims to focus on revealing the connections and stories between humans, places, and the environment.

Following her internship with the City, Jessica Green was officially hired as the City of Bedford’s Cultural Arts Assistant in October, 2022.       

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