In June 2019, a one-of-a-kind stick sculpture by internationally acclaimed sculptor Patrick Dougherty will be built on the front lawn of Highfield Hall & Gardens. For three weeks in June, Dougherty will work with many of Highfield’s garden and community volunteers to construct his artwork on site. The large-scale Stickwork at Highfield will be open for exploration beginning June 30, 2019 during Highfield’s annual summer open house.
The design for Dougherty’s site-specific structure will be inspired during the creation process. Known for his whimsical, elegant structures made of woven branches, Dougherty toured the seaside village of Falmouth and Highfield Hall & Gardens this past summer to inform his preliminary design concepts. Saplings from a farm in upstate New York will be used to create the massive sculpture.
Due to the organic material and outdoor setting, the massive sculptural installation will be on view on Highfield’s front lawn for approximately two years for visitors and the community to enjoy. There will be numerous programs and special events to celebrate and embrace the creativity of this beautiful, interactive art.
“We are excited to bring to this world-renowned sculptor to Cape Cod for our community to experience,” said Nancy H. Porter, chair of the board of trustees and interim executive director of Highfield. “We love that Dougherty’s work combines art and nature, furthering our commitment to provide exhibitions that inspire and engage all ages. As a destination for outdoor exploration, Highfield’s gardens and wooded walking paths are the perfect complement to Dougherty’s rustic style.”
Visitors can learn more about Stickwork sculptures, including the process of building the structure, in an educational room located inside Highfield Hall.
During the last 30 years, Patrick Dougherty has created more than 250 Stickwork sculptures for museums, colleges, cities, and parks around the world. Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Dougherty uses rudimentary building techniques 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 titled 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. His sculpture has been seen worldwide–from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.
He 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 Dougherty and his work in 2009.
For more information on Dougherty, visit and to follow the process at Highfield visit