Acorn Steam - CODAworx

Acorn Steam

Client: Sacramento International Airport

Location: Sacramento, CA, United States

Completion date: 2011

Project Team


Donald Lipski

Project Manager

John Grant

Public Art Services


In the Fall of 2011 the new $1 billion Central Terminal B opened for business at the Sacramento International Airport and Lipski’s grand chandelier Acorn Steam was among the new works of art to be unveiled, located just outside of the security area. Acorn Steam is comprised of three massive valley oak trees, which Lipski first encountered in Sacramento’s Capitol Park. The three faux trees are joined at the trunk by steel collars and massive chains that suspend the work from the ceiling. The chandelier has about 5,000 Swarovski crystals hanging from the branches that catch and reflect the sun light during the day as well as the 3,000 LED lights that activate the work in the evening. The canopy of the trees stretches 30’ in diameter and measures 12’ tall. Well known for his playful titles, Lipski’s title Acorn Steam is an anagram of Sacramento.


In artist Donald Lipski’s words, “You have two experiences in an airport. You are rushing through and hardly see anything, or you are stuck here and have hours to kill. To try to come up with something to serve both of those situations is challenging and I love that.”