Jack Mackie’s Trout Lily Clock keeps track of hourly time for transit riders, pedestrians, and motorists on East Lancaster Avenue. But it honors a seasonal timekeeper, the Dogtooth Violet, more suitably known as the Trout Lily. 
Despite the grand scale of Mackie’s sixteen foot tall public artwork, the diminutive trout lily is easily overlooked in the lush undergrowth of the winter-worn woods with delicate white flowers and mottled leaf markings similar to the markings of a brook trout, hence the name. 
Eastside resident, Don Young, recently reported in his popular Prairie Notes, a monthly on-line photo/journal from Tandy Hills Natural Area, that a bumper crop of Trout lilies is blooming in the nearby city-owned park. Mackie was inspired to use the trout lily after a tour through Tandy Hills with Young and his wife Debora.
Young describes the trout lily as “the crème de la crème of Spring's harbingers” and details the resolutely determined, but slow, maturing process: “Growing from corms (bulbs) roughly the size/shape of a dog's tooth, they spend the first six years producing a single maroon-mottled leaf reminiscent of brook trout markings. By the seventh year, two leaves, a stem and the lilliputian lily flower appear followed by bees that pollinate the flowers and the amazing process begins anew.”
Spring breakers can visit Jack Mackie’s Trout Lily Clock at the T’s transit station at Sargent Street and East Lancaster Avenue before visiting Tandy Hills Natural Area at 3400 View Street, 76103.
To read more about Trout Lilies:http://www.tandyhills.org/notes/behold-harbingers-spring















East Lancaster Public Art Plan

Public art projects along the East Lancaster Corridor were included in the Public Art Plan for the 2004 CIP at the intersections of Sargent Street and Dallas Avenue.  Later, the Art Commission recommended funding for projects in various Urban Villages, including Near Eastside and Historic Handley.  In accordance with the Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan (adopted by City Council in 2003), which encourages public art projects that stitch communities together, Fort Worth Public Art saw an opportunity link these sites so that they could relate to one another while still demonstrating the unique qualities of individual communities as well as guide future projects along the corridor.  Thus, in 2008 a public art master plan for the entire East Lancaster Corridor from I-35 to Historic Handley was recommended in the FWPA Annual Work Plan.  In 2009, the City of Fort Worth commissioned experienced artist/planner Jack Mackie to undertake the planning process with some conceptual design work with a $30,000 budget from Specially Funded Capital Projects Fund and the 2004 CIP.  The East Lancaster Public Art Plan was approved by the Fort Worth Art Commission on April 11, 2011.  It supports the City’s Comprehensive Plan by contributing to the development of the three urban villages along East Lancaster (Near East Side, Oakland Corners and Historic Handley).

The East Lancaster Public Art Plan articulates a vision of public art as an essential component of East Lancaster and presents opportunities to the communities along the corridor to partner with artists and one another in the growth, definition and stewardship of its neighborhoods. It identifies projects that can influence the design of public infrastructure, and large-scale, high-impact artworks that will draw attention to East Lancaster. Some projects currently have funding through the City of Fort Worth’s Public Art program, other projects are opportunities for funding partnerships with local entities and the private sector.  The goals of the Plan include:

          Create quality works of art that are responsive to and reflective of the cultural identities of East Lancaster neighborhoods

          Create quality works of art that contribute to a positive experience for residents, visitors, and guests

          Provide civic amenities that increase pedestrian safety, that stimulate urban vitality and nourish civic living

          Promote creative partnerships among community members, government, local businesses, developers, artists and others to shape the aesthetic character of East Lancaster Avenue


The East Lancaster Public Art Plan is based on concepts generated during workshops led by Jack Mackie in 2009 with local artists, stakeholders and community members and sets forth a conceptual framework for public artworks that enhance citizen’s experience of East Lancaster, linking “nodes” of activity along East Lancaster from the Near East Side Urban Village through Meadowbrook to Historic Handley, and celebrate unique qualities of each community along the corridor. Numerous citizens, elected officials, city staff, TxDOT staff, staff of the T, artists, design professionals and others, under the lead of Artist Jack Mackie, gave of their time and expertise in helping to shape a vision for public art in their neighborhoods. They participated in the development of this plan through workshops, community organization meetings, and through individual meetings with the Artist. Key stakeholders include: Flora Brewer, Helping Restore Ability; Wanda Conlin and Don Boren, Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association; Jane Fazi, Community Representative; Peggy Terrell, Saint Rita’s School; Keith Thomson, Firehouse Gallery, and Don Young, Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area. Former Council Member Kathleen Hicks and Council Member Frank Moss were involved in the creation of the plan, and Council Members Gyna Bivens and Kelly Allen Gray are actively engaged in the implementation of projects in the plan in their districts.


According to Jack Mackie, “East Lancaster is bound together through an underlying ethos of continuity – one of movements … through the landmarks, the destinations, the public places, and the in-betweens. Engaging this continuity with investment in public art will enrich what is now perceived as a rather utilitarian road and will re-vision that avenue into an energetic East Lancaster of poetic value.”

 Public art projects currently included in the FY 2013 FWPA Annual Work Plan are:

  1. Near Eastside Urban Village
  2. Sargent Street (near The T Transfer Station)
  3. City of Fort Worth Crime Lab (Community ID Project)
  4. Historic Handley Urban Village
  5. Dallas Avenue at East Lancaster (Police Station)

Future opportunities (large and small) for public art along the corridor include:

  1. Oakland Corners Urban Village
  2. Traffic Signal Control Boxes
  3. East Lancaster Crosswalks
  4. East Lancaster Sidewalks
  5. East Lancaster Sign Structures (vacant signs at business establishments)
  6. The T’s bus shelters
  7. Ben, Lewis, Clairemont, Boston and Chicago Avenues, (2007 Critical Capital Needs Program)
  8. Dallas Avenue Urban Hub (Weiler Boulevard and Craig, Stark, and Yeager Streets)


The East Lancaster Public Art Plan is available for download here