THE STORY OF LESLIE FRY’S COLOSSAL ACORNHEAD
Leslie Fry had a vision for her work and set out to find the means to realize it.
A temporary installation she created at Wave Hill in the Bronx had given her a taste for wanting to cast her five-footlong plaster “AcornHead” in bronze, so Fry took matters into her own hands. She created a GoFundMe campaign through United States Artists in 2010 and
successfully raised over $15,000 to cast her plaster “AcornHead” in bronze.
Since Tufts University had been one of the biggest donors to her campaign, it got the first loan of the piece in 2011. Amy Schlegel, director of galleries and collections at Tufts, had been a long-time fan and supporter of Fry’s work, and placed the first edition of Fry’s “Colossal Acorn-Head” on its Medford/Somerville campus during the 2011-2012 academic year as part of a new public art initiative.
At the same time, Nick Capasso, then deputy director of exhibitions at deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park (now director of the Fitchburg Art Museum), had been planning to show Fry’s work but had not selected a specific piece. He negotiated to borrow the “AcornHead” for the deCordova Sculpture Park after Tufts, in 2012-2013. However, when some students at Tufts discovered, upon returning to campus in August 2013, that their beloved “AcornHead” was no longer there, they sent Fry a singing telegram on her birthday with a request to bring it back.
Meanwhile, a windfall event occurred when the Gelmont Foundation of Montreal, which is governed by a Tufts alumna and parent, decided to give funds so that Tufts could purchase or commission a new outdoor sculpture for the campus. Tufts commissioned Fry to create a second edition “AcornHead” for its permanent art collection with these funds in early 2014. Last May, the sculpture was re-installed near the Tisch Library.
What did Fry do with the other “Colossal AcornHead?” She had another vision for her work — this time a permanent sculpture garden where he work could be seen in an ideal setting. She had recently built an addition onto her studio, and with it came the idea to design a sculpture garden on where her work could be seen in an ideal setting. She had recently built an addition onto her studio, and with it came the idea to design a sculpture garden on her own property.