Internationally Acclaimed Artist Patrick Dougherty Named Artist-in-Residence at Holy Cross

Internationally acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty has been named artist-in-residence at the College of the Holy Cross. Dougherty’s art, known as “Stickwork,” bends, weaves, and flexes locally sourced saplings into architectural sculptures which relate to the landscape and built environment around them. Over the last 30 years, he has built more than 250 of these works. This residency is hosted by the College’s Arts Transcending Borders (ATB) initiative, and co-sponsored with the Cantor Art Gallery, the environmental studies program and the visual arts department.

Prior to his residency at the College, Dougherty will be in the Worcester-area in August to create a unique piece for Tower Hill Botanic Garden, a nonprofit educational organization that works to advance and improve the practice of horticulture.

“We are very excited to have one of Patrick Dougherty’s large-scale installations grace our campus,” says Lynn Kremer, director of ATB, an initiative designed to enhance the role of the arts in every aspect of the Holy Cross experience by infusing the arts into students’ academic lives and the surrounding community. “The work, which is certain to evoke a sense of home and community, is collaborative art-making at its finest and will require the assistance of many volunteers.”

On Holy Cross’ campus, Dougherty will create a site-specific installation with the help of campus and community volunteers. Volunteers will receive instruction from Dougherty, and then have the opportunity to work alongside him, taking part in the construction. The College will work with the Greater Worcester Land Trust to select saplings from two sites in Worcester. The sapling harvest benefits the project as well as the community, creating a use for saplings that would otherwise be cleared from the space and disposed of.

"The Greater Worcester Land Trust is very happy to be a partner in this community effort as the cut saplings will help create wildlife openings and early successional habitats on public conservation land,” said Colin M.J. Novick, executive director of the Greater Worcester Land Trust. “This isn't just a great community building and inspiring event, it is also one that leaves the wilds and woods of Worcester in better shape."

Students, faculty and staff and members of the Worcester community are welcome to volunteer to work with Dougherty, and can learn more about volunteering opportunities at the ATB website.

Dougherty earned his B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina and an M.A. in hospital and health administration from the University of Iowa. He went back to school for a third time to study art history and sculpture at the University of North Carolina. From there, his artwork evolved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental scale works.

Dougherty has also received numerous awards for his art, including the 2011 Factor Prize for Southern Art, North Carolina Artist Fellowship Award, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, Japan-US Creative Arts Fellowship, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Princeton Architectural Press published a major book about Dougherty and his work in 2009.

Featured Events

  • Tower Hill installation unveiling and reception with the artist – August 25, 6-9 p.m.

  • Artist Talk: Patrick Dougherty, ATB Fall 2016 Artist-in-Residence – September 13, 5 p.m.
    • Rehm Library, College of the Holy Cross
    • Co-sponsored by Arts Transcending Borders and the Tower Hill Botanic Garden

  • Holy Cross installation opening and artist reception – September 23, 3 p.m.
    • Lawn by Linden Lane, College of the Holy Cross

The College’s ATB initiative, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed to enhance the role of the arts in every aspect of the Holy Cross experience by infusing the arts into students’ academic lives and creating new opportunities throughout the curriculum and the community to cross cultural, geographic, and disciplinary boundaries. Previous artists-in-residency include Troika Ranch, an internationally renowned ensemble that fuses dance, theatre and technology, which spent time on campus in the fall of 2015, and Cristina Pato, Galician bagpiper, pianist, and composer, who visited campus in the fall of 2014.

Related coverage

Oct. 7, New York Arts: Patrick Dougherty’s Stickworks Augments the Experience of Fall in Massachusetts

July 5, Stickwork artist will turn saplings into structures at Holy Cross and Tower Hill Garden