Attendees at Georgetown’s 2016 Red Poppy Festival on April 22 to 24 will enjoy an outdoor art installation of thousands of deep red ceramic poppies by artist Jen Rose. The poppies will blanket the west lawn of the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown’s downtown Square. The piece, entitled Blood of Heroes Never Dies, commemorates Texas World War I veterans and it will be on display from April 4 through May 5.
Individual poppies will be available for purchase for $10 apiece at the Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh Street on the Square. Proceeds will benefit Puppies Behind Bars, a nonprofit organization that provides service dogs for combat veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who have suffered a physical injury, including traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Blood of Heroes Never Dies was a collaboration between artist Jen Rose and Clive Siegle, a history faculty member; both teach at Richland College in Dallas. The original installation included 5,171 ceramic red poppies installed on the campus of Richland College for Veterans Day 2015 as reminders of the 5,171 veterans from Texas who died in World War I. The Georgetown installation will include about 4,000 poppies “planted” by volunteers.
Henry Purl Compton (nicknamed Okra) helped Georgetown to become the Red Poppy Capital of Texas when his service as a corporal in the Army during World War I ended and in 1919 poppy seeds he collected in northern France were planted in the yard of his mother’s home on Seventh Street in Georgetown.
The poppies installation on the Williamson County Courthouse lawn is on loan by the artist, Jen Rose. The display is co-sponsored by the City of Georgetown Arts and Culture, the City of Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau, Williamson County, and The Williamson Museum.