Friday, April 24, 2009

From TICKET: ‘A Summer Palace’ rises in Morris Arboretum

Donning his Morris Arboretum T-shirt, now worn from work, artist Patrick Dougherty ceremoniously weaved the last of thousands of twigs into his 25-foot high installation, thus completing the arboretum’s newest piece of art.

“I have just had a great time working here,” he told a crowd of staff members, volunteers and visitors at the arboretum April 17. “Even when we had the worst, rainiest weather, we managed pretty seamlessly—which is unusual for me.”

Read the Full Article Here:

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Summer Palace

So much has been going on today, the last day of Patrick Dougherty's residency at the Morris Arboretum. First thing's first - here is the finished sculpture, officially titled "The Summer Palace".

At 1:00, a last stick ceremony was held. Many gathered as Patrick placed the last few ceremonial sticks into the outside of The Summer Palace.

Many media outlets turned out for the event, including Channel 6 Action News. The footage should air tonight on the 5:00 show.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Layer 3

The picture below is from Tuesday. The scaffolding is back up for work on the 3rd layer.

The two pictures below show the first 2 layers of the sculpture.

Monday, April 13, 2009

2 Weeks = 2 Layers

These pictures are from the end of the day Friday. Pictured are some Longwood graduate students who were volunteering for the day. The 2nd picture shows how far the sculpture has come!

Here is another picture from the week, showing Patrick Dougherty being interviewed for a spot on WHYY.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Inside the Sculpture

The inside of the sculpture is really starting to evolve into a life of its own. You can walk through it and it has multiple doorways and windows to the outside.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Big sticks, speaking softly

Check out this feature article in today's (Fri, April 10) Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to download a pdf and read the article. You can also right click on the link above and choose "save target as" to download it to your computer.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday 4.8

The photos below are from Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Starting the 2nd Layer

It's windy and cold today, but no rain, so work is progressing at full speed. Patrick and the volunteers are on the scaffolding, working on the 2nd layer of the sculpture.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stuck in the Mud

It's raining pretty steadily today, but the work continues as usual. The team went to gather more saplings and ended up getting the truck stuck in the mud!

Luckily, they used rocks and planks and got the truck free to take the saplings back to the site of the sculpture.

WRTI Interview

Listen to this interview with Patrick on Creatively Speaking, a program on radio station WRTI. Patrick talks about the process of creating his sculpture at the Arboretum, including how he develops the various layers of the sculpture, the materials he uses, and his inspiration. It's just over five minutes long.

After The First Week...

Here is the sculpture on Sunday, after a week of hard work.  Notice how the roof is being formed. 

It is very spacious and has windows to look in from the outside, or out from inside.

The picture below is from Saturday.  Notice how the sticks for the top are not bent into place yet.

And only one week ago, it looked like this!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Where Magazine

Patrick was featured as the "Tip of the Month" in Where magazine.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 5

The rainy weather today won't stop Patrick Dougherty! Patrick and his wet volunteers continue to work hard to twist the piles of branches into something that resembles a structure.

Day 4

A little wet weather on Wednesday did not slow down the progress. Only 4 days in, and the sticks are already coming to life!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Daily Pennsylvanian

The Daily Pennsylvanian ran an article about Patrick Dougherty and Arboretum. An excerpt is copied below:

Art is the latest subject of an ongoing trend to become more environmentally friendly at Penn.

For the next three weeks, world renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty will work on an all-natural sculpture approximately 22-feet tall at the Morris Arboretum, Penn's historic public garden and educational center.

Members of the Penn community have volunteered to help Dougherty on the project, and the group began working yesterday.

Dougherty is known for his use of exclusively natural materials, such as twigs and saplings.

"There isn't a single nail in his work," said Susan Crane, Morris Arboretum spokeswoman.

For his current project, the sculptor will use materials such as maple, ash, oak and willow saplings.

"My favorite materials to work with are different colored saplings that bend easily," said Dougherty.

Read the full article at the link below:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End of Day 2

Things change fast! By the end of Day 2, the holes in the ground were already filled with sticks. If you didn't know better, you would think they were trees. Today's crew worked hard to "plant" the sticks, which will create the framework for the sculpture.

Day 2

Patrick Dougherty is on site, and began his creation yesterday. This picture is from this morning. The area where the sculpture will go is marked out with the pink flags and piles of dirt. By the afternoon, the holes have been filled with sticks, and the creation is already starting to come to life. It is going to be some form of a spiral, possibly inspired by the shell of a snail.

About Patrick

This spring, Dougherty will create a unique, abstract sculpture during a three-week on-site residency. Working with volunteers and staff, Dougherty will weave hundreds of sticks and saplings into a whimsical site-specific creation along the banks of the Wissahickon Creek in the Arboretum’s Butcher Sculpture Garden.

Dougherty arrives at the site of each new installation with no preconceptions as to what he will create. Instead, using locally gathered natural materials, he draws inspiration from the surrounding environment to design a large-scale structure that when completed, may remind visitors of a nest, cocoon or even a fairy tale dwelling. Each of his sculptures is designed and executed without the use of nails or other supportive hardware, and the result is a creation that may resemble something artful that was shaped by a powerful wind that swept across the landscape.

At the conclusion of his Morris Arboretum residency, Dougherty will name his creation and leave the Arboretum with a distinctive architectural element that will remain in place as long as it lasts in the natural environment.

You can also learn more about Patrick Dougherty and view his work at