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Patrick Dougherty - Stickman
Ready or Not, North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, NC
Photo credit: Juan Villa

Patrick Dougherty wasn’t born in the Carolinas, but he was raised in the Tar Heel State, in Southern Pines. After earning a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina in 1967, returning to study art history and sculpture, and purchasing ten acres in Orange County (near Chapel Hill), he is definitely one of our own. (There was that M.A. in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa, but clearly, his life’s calling went in another direction.)

There were the early, small pieces that fit neatly on a pedestal, but soon, his “monumental scale environmental works” appeared, requiring truckloads of saplings, and volunteers to help the visions become reality. The world took notice.

It takes about three weeks to create one of his installations, and although he has the vision and the sketches, quite often the creation emerges and evolves during the process. His work is temporary, of course.

Patrick Dougherty - Stick by Stick

Patrick Dougherty
Photo credit: Jonathan Mathis

During the past 30 years, Patrick Dougherty has built more than 250 amazing sculptures that have been displayed in various setting around the globe. His awards include 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 Patrick and his work in 2009. This monograph, Stickwork, has received excellent reviews and is available at

To visit one of his installations in 2016, you’ll need to travel:
02/2016 Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL
03/2016 Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville, GA
04/2016 Astrid Lindgren Näs, Vimmerby, Sweden
06/2016 Green Box Arts, Green Mt Falls, CO
08/2016 Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
09/2016 College of Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
10/2016 Hermitage Museum & Gardens, Norfolk, VA

Learn more about Patrick Dougherty at