Art on the Outside: Acorn Treasure Hunt - CODAworx

Art on the Outside: Acorn Treasure Hunt

Submitted by Sophia Lee


Location: West Hollywood , CA, United States

Completion date: 2023

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team

tree, installation, hiding acorns & social media

Shane Izykowski


project coordinator & point of contact with city

Marcus Mitchell

Arts Division, West Hollywood


The “Acorn Treasure Hunt” is an interactive installation and scavenger hunt around the city of West Hollywood, CA. Using Google map as guide, I’ve created a publicly shared list that will help participants track down any of the 60 acorns I made and painted. These paper-cache clay “acorns” are made from up-cycled material, hand-painted, then sealed. They vary in sizes.
On April 29th, there was an installation/ exhibition where all the the 60 acorns are on display in the West Hollywood Park on a cardboard tree built by artist and collaborator, Shane Izykowski. Postcards with hunting instructions along with QR code for the map were passed out and placed all over town. The goal is for people to be outside and exploring the city but also have an art work they can to take home.
Following the exhibition, all the acorns were packed and hidden throughout the city and the “hunt” officially began on May 6, 2023.
Over the past week, I’ve been getting DM on my IG account about people claiming the Acorns. Telling me how they came upon it either through the exhibition or friends or by accident. When I’m notified of the found and claimed acorns, I update them on the map.


The goal for this installation was to reach people who normally won't be interested in the traditional idea of "art" in gallery or museum. It takes people outside and active. It's a playful and fun game, and they get to take home a piece of artwork for free.


My proposal for a grant called Art on the Outside through the City of West Hollywood's Arts Division was selected in 2022, and scheduled to be completed in 2023.
I began by collecting materials needed to create the "acorns" which were mostly reclaimed paper, wires from bubbly drink packages.
Over the past 6 months, most of my contact was with the WeHo Arts Division, coordinating the logistics and event order of the exhibition, the hunt, and sequencing timing, etc. Every step and any published material has to have city approval.
The original concept was to hang the Acorns under the ficus tree in the WeHo park for 2 weeks before the hide. However, 3 weeks leading up to installation, the park staff alerted us that they don't allow things to be hung from their trees and they worry about vandalism and theft. We had to rethink the installation/ exhibition and chang out timeline. Our solution was to built a cardboard tree, which turned out to be even more approachable for viewers, and only have the installation up for viewing for 1 day only.
It took me 2 days to hide the acorns throughout the city and the hunt began.