UVaM - University of Virginia Art Museum


Past Exhibitions

Patrick Dougherty
October 19 - December 22

Curated by Jennifer Farrell, Curator of Exhibitions and Contemporary Art

In October, Patrick Dougherty, world-renowned for his larger-than-life, site-specific sculptures made of locally harvested twigs and saplings, will create a unique work of art in front of the Ruth Caplin Theatre and the Arts Commons, the latest additions to the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds. Constructed with the help of U.Va. and community volunteers, the sculpture will both respond to and reflect its physical environment and the process of its own creation. An exhibition at The Fralin featuring models and photographs of Dougherty's earlier projects, as well as preparatory drawings for the installation at U.Va., will introduce Museum visitors to the artist's means and methods.

Dougherty, a native of North Carolina, has received numerous awards for his art, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He began constructing sculptures in the early 1980s. Using local materials, the artist weaves a work into being based on each location. Acknowledging the biodegradable and ephemeral nature of the materials, Dougherty's sculptures inhabit a space for only a limited time.

The sculpture will celebrate the culmination of the first phase of Arts Grounds construction and initiate the site as a home for works of art. The Fralin and a confluence of departments, including the McIntire Department of Art and the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, are proud to bring Dougherty to Grounds and, with the dynamic cooperation of the University community, present a project that promises to set a precedent for this new space.

The Fralin Museum of Art's programming is made possible by the generous support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Ray A. Graham Endowed Fund, the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, the Arts Enhancement Fund sponsored by the Vice Provost for the Arts: fostering access + innovation, the McIntire Department of Art, Albemarle Magazine, and Ivy Publications LLC's Charlottesville Welcome Book.

Download exhibition label copy (pdf) >

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for more information about U.Va.'s Stickwork and upcoming events >

Associated Events

Film Screening
Part of the Virginia Film Festival
Bending Sticks
Thursday, November 7
5:30 pm
Culbreth Theater
Tickets >

Manipulating branches and sticks has captured environmental artist Patrick Dougherty's imagination since his childhood, spent mostly in the woods making forts and tree houses. Decades later, his award-winning installation art can be seen all over the world. Bending Sticks offers an intimate glimpse of the creative process behind Dougherty's "stickwork" from initial conception, to construction with the help of enthusiastic volunteers, to public reaction. Through his visible connection to nature and ability to transform ordinary sticks into exuberant and lively structures, Dougherty invites community engagement in the creation and appreciation of his art.

Call of the Wild

Patrick Dougherty
American, b. 1945
Call of the Wild, 2002
Museum of Glass: International Center
for Contemporary Art, Tacoma, WA
Maple and willow saplings
Photo: Duncan Price