UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 01 Fall 14 Library
Photo: Belinda Gordon
Studio Art & The Fralin

Patrick Dougherty's On the Fly

The landscape of the John and Betsy Casteen Arts Grounds has seen some exciting additions over the past several years with the completion of the Hunter Smith Band Building and the Ruth Caplin Theatre. Last fall, that landscape changed again in a most unique way when world-renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty returned to Grounds to create another in his celebrated series of larger-than-life, site-specific cultures. Working with U.Va. sculptor and studio art professor Bill Bennett and his class, along with a group of U.Va. and community volunteers, Dougherty used locally harvested twigs and saplings to weave together a series of interconnected structures that have at various times throughout the year, both inspired discussion and provided shelter for art lovers and curious onlookers alike.

The work was designed to both respond to and reflect its physical environment. And like all of the famed sculptor’s works, it began with a general plan, and then was allowed to evolve in response to the process of its creation. Dougherty’s installation was accompanied by an exhibition at The Fralin that allowed museum–goers to get inside the artist’s process by viewing artists and photographs of some of his earlier works as well as drawings he had prepared for this sculpture.

Read the next story

Special Guest: Tippi Hedren