OUR NEW SCULPTURE AT PINECREST GARDENS
Patrick Dougherty is a North Carolina artist who weaves tree saplings into fantastic sculptures. He just completed his latest one in Pinecrest Gardens. It will be a prominent part of next month's Art Basel. Forty of us have been helping him these last three weeks.
Patrick at work
As we wove willow branches into winding shapes Patrick told me about his past. Now a youthful 72, he enjoyed playing with sticks as a kid. Later his interest in art, carpentry and nature inspired him to experiment with tree saplings and learn ancient stick building techniques. In 1982, he created his first work and over the last 35 years, has created over 250 “stick works” worldwide.
For the Pinecrest Gardens sculpture (it will get an official name at a grand opening ceremony Thursday night) they imported three truckloads of young willows from New York. I learned they grow there on "willow farms" as they do Christmas trees.
Volunteer artist, landscape architect Sefora Chavarria
Patrick and his son, Sam, spend three out of four weeks on the road building these things. For
$35,000 (plus expenses) the Doughertys will create one for you. They move on to Austin, Texas, to begin their next piece in January. The will build it in the park where General Custer gathered his troops for their final trek.
Sam has gotten very good at this.
These sculptures have their last stand after two years exposed to the elements. They begin to fall apart and often get recycled into tree mulch. I am going try to give one of the older ones "new life" by transporting it to Burning Man.
It would be a welcome addition to the other 300 art pieces that are exhibited at the annual desert festival. And when the big event ends, we wouldn't have to truck it home, we'd give it a Viking funeral!
Patrick's South Florida stick sculpture, to which I have given the temporary name, "King Mango on Mushrooms", can be seen at Pinecrest Gardens until we set it on fire at Burning Man two years from now.