“Stickwork” artist puts whimsical caps on installation

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 109 views 

FAYETTEVILLE — From where artist Patrick Dougherty was staying on an upper floor of The Dickson high-rise, he could see people moving through and around his “stickwork” sculpture in front of the Walton Arts Center.

They seemed to talk curiously among themselves, he said, about the series of twisted stick-and-sapling huts, each different but shaped enough alike to appear related within Dougherty’s installation. He described the works as “dramatic figures with personality on top of them.”

On Monday (May 28), the artist and the many volunteers who worked on the project celebrated the finished work with a casual reception in the Walton Arts Center lobby. They swapped war stories about encounters with snakes, ticks and other obstacles, including a last-minute lack of materials. Volunteers worked past dark on Sunday (May 27) and early Monday to finish the project on time.

Arts center officials began courting Dougherty three years ago and was finally able to land him for the commissioned work this year. The installation, appropriately named Out of the Woodwork, will remain in front of the center for two years.

During the reception, Dougherty asked volunteers to sign the worn work gloves he used during his three-week residency.

He told them: “I’ll keep your good intentions forever on the palm of my hands.”