Tulsa welcomes respected ‘Stickwork’ artist
Patrick Dougherty, an internationally known sculptor who builds temporary work, will build an installation on downtown's Centennial Green.
“A Waltz in the Woods,” a sculpture by Patrick Dougherty. He created it in 2015 at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Philadelphia.
If you have recently driven by the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green on East Sixth Street between South Boston Avenue and Main Street, you might have noticed an unusual, other-worldly art installation going up, resembling something out of “Game of Thrones” or “Harry Potter.”
The structure is actually the latest installation of “Stickwork” innovations by artist Patrick Dougherty, and the third project of Tulsa’s Urban Core Art Project (UCAP). More than 200 local volunteers will assist Dougherty to install the piece branch-by-branch.
“It is our pleasure and delight to bring an internationally recognized temporary public artist to Tulsa who is designing a magical structure to engage and enliven an underutilized space,” says UCAP member Holbrook Lawson.
Tulsa’s Urban Core Art Project welcomes artist Patrick Dougherty
Two years ago, Lawson saw the work of Dougherty, an internationally known sculptor who builds temporary work, on CBS’ “Sunday Morning.”
“I knew immediately he would be perfect for Tulsa,” says Lawson, a member of Tulsa Urban Core Art Project, an off-shoot of the Tulsa Arts Commission.
Based in North Carolina, Dougherty creates “Stickwork” sculptures using flexible saplings that are usually native to the areas in which he works — from St. Louis, Missouri, to Hawaii, Scotland and Australia. Each installation takes three weeks to construct.
Magical “Stickwork” takes shape in downtown Tulsa
Thanks to public and private donations, Dougherty will build his latest sculpture in Tulsa this month at the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green, 601 S. Main St.
The artist came here a year ago to get a feel for the city and its native trees, though he will create the piece in a reactive style, continuing to adapt the work as it grows. “As I work, I decide things like where to put the windows and doors for the best impact, which way an element should lean — into its neighbor or away, how the surface needs to look to create a feeling of motion,” he says.
Want to watch the action or get involved?
Dougherty will begin harvesting saplings March 5 on properties managed by Up With Trees and from a sandbar in the Arkansas River. Local volunteers will assist him with construction March 5-23. The completed installation opens to the public March 23 and will remain for one year.
To coincide with the opening, 108 Contemporary, 108 E. M.B. Brady St., will present, “Shelter: Patrick Dougherty and Rachel Hayes,” a collaboration of color photographs of Dougherty installations and the works of local fiber artist Rachel Hayes through March 25.