Campus News

Artist to Construct Temporary Site-Specific Sculpture on Quad

Story posted August 20, 2001

North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty will visit Bowdoin College for three weeks starting on September 10 to design and construct a temporary outdoor sculpture on the College's historic quad.

His site-specific work will be inspired by the relationship between nature and architecture on Bowdoin's campus. Working with no tools other than a pair of simple clippers, Dougherty creates large-scale sculptures out of local saplings and branches that evoke shelters. Some quote nest-like and cocoon forms while others playfully refer to forts and fantasy structures of childhood. His way of working and the structures themselves evoke remembrances of the primitive past, of nature before industrialization.

An internationally known sculptor, Dougherty has created structures such as these around the world, from New York to Japan and Denmark. Each piece is created specifically for its surroundings; no two are alike. Trained to work in clay in art school and formerly employed as a hospital administrator, Dougherty discovered the joy of working with branches and sticks not long after building his own home, a log cabin constructed from materials he found on-site. Since that time, over a decade ago, Dougherty has constructed over one hundred of these temporary outdoor structures.

Viewers are invited to watch Dougherty's work-in-progress over the course of the three weeks he is on campus. The culmination of the project will be celebrated on the steps of the Museum of Art on September 28 between 5-7 p.m. followed by a talk by the artist in Kresge Auditorium at 7:15. An exhibition of photographs documenting the last ten years of Dougherty's temporary sculptures around the world will be on display in the Museum of Art from September 11-September 23. Dougherty's structure will be on view throughout the fall of 2001.

The programs and exhibitions of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art are open to the public free of charge. The museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and national holidays. For more information call (207)725-3275.

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