News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Internationally Acclaimed Artist Patrick Dougherty Returns
Contact : Ken heiman    6506173511

PALO ALTO, CA –Patrick Dougherty, an internationally recognized artist who has created more than 200 temporary sculptures around the world using sustainable materials, returns to the Palo Alto Art Center
Oct. 30-Nov. 18 to create another captivating willow sculpture.

Dougherty’s previous temporary sculpture, Double Take, was created as a temporary installation in 2011. After five years, the artwork had lost its structural integrity and was removed during an emotional goodbye ceremony in June. Woodchips from the piece were integrated into the City of Palo Alto park landscaping.

Following the destruction of Double Take in June, a crowdfunding effort was launched by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation to raise funds for Dougherty to construct another sculpture. The crowdfunding goal of $15,000 was met within a two-week period, and Dougherty agreed to come back to the Art Center to construct another environmentally friendly sculpture.

“Patrick Dougherty’s sculptures capture the imaginations of all who experience them,” says Art Center Director Karen Kienzle. “Our last sculpture, Double Take, received thousands of visitors during its lifetime, inspired several documentary films, and thousands of photographs. This is art you can touch, engage with, climb into, and experience. It is art that transforms the landscape, but also respects the environment. Made completely of natural materials, these works are ultimately part of the land. At the end of their life, the works are woodchipped to return to the earth as landscaping material.”

Patrick Dougherty’s engaging sculptures are inspired by the environment that surrounds them. Double Take, which was located on the Newell side of the Art Center building, was inspired by two large magnolia trees flanking and framing the sculpture. This new sculpture will be created on the Embarcadero lawn of the Art Center and will take an entirely new shape based on the inspiration of the surroundings. Uniquely, Dougherty does not create preparatory sketches, instead working intuitively based on his inspiration from the site.

Dougherty will spend three weeks in Palo Alto to create the artwork. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch the artist and his team create the sculpture, with a limited number of community members able to volunteer to assist. Those interested in volunteering to help create the sculpture may contact Grace Abusharkh, Art Center Director of Volunteer Engagement at

Like his first installation on the Palo Alto Art Center campus, this project represents another important partnership between the Palo Alto Art Center and the City of Palo Alto’s Public Art Program. The Palo Alto Public Art Program promotes the highest caliber of artwork, commissioning memorable public artworks and experiences that stimulate discussion and thoughtful reflection, celebrating Palo Alto’s character and enhancing civic pride and sense of place.

The Public Art Program is responsible for securing, placing, and maintaining works of art on the Art Center grounds for the benefit of the entire community. Another recent collaboration between both programs is the installation of Nathan Oliveira’s Universal Woman, donated to the Public Art Program by the artist’s son Joe Oliveira. It was visible in the Art Center’s Sculpture Garden and on view in the Art Center exhibition, The Painter’s Bronzes.

“Through the course of our Public Art Master Plan outreach, there was repeated praise for Dougherty’s Double Take and a desire from the community for more temporary public artworks,” says Palo Alto Public Art Program Director Elise DeMarzo. “The Public Art Program, with the full support of the Public Art Commission, is excited to partner in bringing this exciting new installation to Palo Alto.”

Marcia Pugsley, president of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, echoed DeMarzo’s sentiments and added, “The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation is honored to invite internationally recognized artist Patrick Dougherty back to Palo Alto to create a new sculpture that promises to spark the imagination of a whole new audience in our community.”

The public is invited to attend a free lecture by Patrick Dougherty about his artwork and methods on November 16, 7 p.m., at the Palo Alto Art Center. A press preview with the artist will be held on November 18 at 5 p.m.

This project is supported by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation and co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Public Art Program.

About Patrick Dougherty:
Born in Oklahoma in 1945, Dougherty was raised in North Carolina. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina in 1967 and an M.A. in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa in 1969. Later, he returned to the University of North Carolina to study art history and sculpture.

Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Patrick began to learn more about primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. In 1982, his first work, Maple Body Wrap, was included in the North Carolina Biennial Artists’ Exhibition, sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Art. In the following year, he had his first one-person show entitled, Waitin’ It Out in Maple at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

His work quickly evolved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental scale environmental works, which required saplings by the truckloads. Over the last thirty years, he has built over 250 of these works, and become internationally acclaimed. His sculptures have been seen worldwide—from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.

Dougherty has received numerous awards, 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 Patrick and his work in 2009.

About The Palo Alto Art Center:
The Palo Alto Art Center is your place to discover art. See, make, and be inspired because everyone is an artist. Created by the community, for the community in 1971, the Palo Alto Art Center provides an accessible and welcoming place to engage with art. We serve approximately 90,000 people every year through a diverse range of programs.

The Palo Alto Art Center is owned and operated by the City of Palo Alto as a program of the Division of Arts and Sciences, Department of Community Services. The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation was founded in 1973 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides financial support and advocacy to the Art Center through a public/private partnership that allows us to enhance our reach and impact in the community.

About the Palo Alto Public Art Program:
The City of Palo Alto Public Art Program is committed to contributing to the intellectual, emotional, and creative life of the Palo Alto community by creating engaging art experiences and dynamic public spaces for Palo Alto residents and visitors. The Program operates in accordance with Chapter 2.26 of Palo Alto Municipal Code to provide opportunities for the placement of permanent and temporary site-specific public art projects in municipal projects across Palo Alto. Additionally, the Program oversees the implementation of the Ordinance requirement to incorporate public art in private development projects. The Public Art Commission (PAC) reviews and advises the Public Art Program on selection, placement, and care of public art throughout the City of Palo Alto. 

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