LAWRENCE.- World-renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty will give an artist’s talk about his work, which consists of large-scale tree sculptures, on Thursday, May 21 at 5:30 PM in the Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.
In conjunction with Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature & Culture, Dougherty is serving as artist in residence at the Spencer during the month of May. He is creating a tree-sapling sculpture outside The Commons @ Spooner Hall: http://www.spencerart.ku.edu/exhibitions/artist-in-residence/dougherty.shtml
Dougherty has gained an international reputation for his natural-wood structures and has created hundreds of monumental, site-specific sculptures around the world. For material, he gathers saplings from local sources and shapes them into massive, swirling forms that soar as high as 40 feet. The Spencer project is being constructed predominantly of Silver Maple and Rough-leaf Dogwood saplings that were harvested from dense, sustainable populations west of Lawrence.
Dougherty’s residency and commission represents yet another Spencer-driven collaborative opportunity that involves KU faculty and students, and the Lawrence community. A project of this magnitude requires a large team and diverse talents, and the Museum thanks all of the volunteers who have made this work possible.
Matthew Burke, assistant professor of sculpture, is project site coordinator. KU film student Sandra Ristovska is filming a documentary about the project. Craig Freeman, curator in the Division of Botany for the Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center and associate scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey, was consulted about site selection and the harvesting of saplings. Chris Lecuyer, Clinton Wildlife Area manager for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, helped secure the harvesting site. Kevin Wilson of First Management Inc. helped bundle, tie, and load material at the harvest site, and delivered the saplings to campus. Numerous student volunteers also helped harvest and deliver the saplings to campus. From KU Facilities Operations, Mike Lang, project manager for landscape and construction, and Bill Siebenaler, engineering technician, provided key logistical support on campus. Students representing diverse disciplines are assisting in the sculpture’s construction.
For their generous support of this project, the Spencer thanks the O'Connor Company-Piller Foundation, Reed and Stacey Dillon, the Capitol Federal Foundation, the School of Architecture & Urban Design, First Management Inc., the School of Fine Arts Department of Art & Design and Department of Theatre & Film, the Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, KU Facilities Operations Landscape and Engineering, the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.