Maps of Memories - CODAworx

Maps of Memories

Submitted by Krissi Oden

Client: City of Bedford, TX

Location: Bedford, TX, United States

Completion date: 2023

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team

Cultural Arts Manager/Commissioner

Krissi Oden

City of Bedford, TX


Jess Green

City of Bedford, TX


“Maps of Memories” commemorates and honors the history of the park formerly known as Bedford Boys Ranch in Bedford, Texas. Inspired by topographic maps of the land, all three sides of the sculpture depict aerial views of the transforming landscape of Bedford Boys Ranch. Each map represents its own chapter in history, and as viewers walk around the sculpture, the visual story of the land they are standing on unfolds before them. By reflecting on the past and present maps of the Boys Ranch, the sculpture will keep its history alive while also looking toward the future of the Bedford community. 

The laser cut images point to the locations of the facilities and activities within each map and how they adapted throughout the years. The sculpture’s plaque includes a QR code that is linked to a webpage that describes the meaning of each image, encouraging interaction in the form of a scavenger hunt. 

This piece measures 72” x 60” x 52” and was created in raw steel with the intention of developing a rust patina slowly over time. This way, the sculpture will serve as a time capsule, commemorating the new era of Generations Park at Boys Ranch. 


The goal for this project was to tell the story of the space where it would be installed. The park, formerly known as “Bedford Boys Ranch”, holds decades of memories, stories, and defining moments that helped shape the city of Bedford into what it is today. Bedford Boys Ranch opened in 1949 to provide housing for boys who were wards of the court. After the ranch closed, the city created the Bedford Boys Ranch Park on the land, and the space became a gathering place for the community to celebrate, play, and interact with one another. As time passed, the buildings in the park suffered normal wear and tear and in 2017, a bond was passed to redevelop Boys Ranch Park into what is now Generations Park at Boys Ranch.

The commissioned work needed to speak for the past, present, and the future of the park and tell the story of each of the main ways that the space has served, and will continue to serve, the community. Over time, this space will be Bedford’s first sculpture park. This piece had to truly honor the space and its history as the first sculpture to be commissioned for the park.


The city partnered with the class, “Art in Public”, taught by Elisha Eggert at the University of North Texas. Based on the scope of the project, Professor Eggert chose a student from the class whose work and interests aligned with the city’s goals for the commission. The student, Jess Green, spent a semester with the city as an intern researching the history of Bedford Boys Ranch. This included filtering through hundreds of documents and archives, interviewing staff and community members, and hearing firsthand stories from some of the men who lived at the Bedford Boys Ranch as children. From the data that she collected, Jess created a sculpture that told a visual story of the history of the space, focusing on the three main purposes that it served: Bedford Boys Ranch, Beford Boys Ranch Park, and now Generations Park at Boys Ranch.