Stickwork Opens this Saturday!

Holden Forests & Gardens (HF&G) will open an outdoor sculpture experience at the Holden Arboretum on Saturday, August 29, 2020. Patrick Dougherty’s Stickwork  – twisting mazes, towering castles and hedges full of faces – have been featured in more than 300 locations around the world from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States. This is the first time he is coming to Northeast Ohio.

Stickwork is being presented by support from Fleet Response and Key Private Bank. Pre-registration is required, and Stickwork is included with the price of admission. For ticket information visit

“We are thrilled to bring this whimsical outdoor sculpture to Northeast Ohio,” said Jill Koski, president and CEO of Holden Forests & Gardens. “Patrick Dougherty’s outdoor artistry celebrates our connections to the natural world, and we are all appreciating and relying upon the benefits of nature more and more these days.”

Dougherty and his son will begin to create the structures made completely from willow sticks and branches beginning on Monday, August 10th. They will work daily with volunteers to complete the intensive creative project throughout the month of August. Arboretum visitors can view the work being created in the Spruce Knoll.  Stickwork will be complete and open to the public on Saturday, August 29th. The universally appealing creation will be on view at the arboretum for at least one year, until it naturally deteriorates.

“While touring the Holden Arboretum, I was struck by what a wonderful public resource it is, especially in these times,” said Dougherty.  “It offers people contact with the natural world in a refreshing way.  I look forward to contributing a sculpture to such a beautiful place.”


A Media Sneak Preview will be held on Monday, August 24th. Please email Margaret Thresher at to register and receive media credentials.

Dougherty will present a free lecture about his work titled “Primitive Ways in an Accelerated World” via Zoom on Friday, August 28, 2020 at 6 p.m. To register visit

An exclusive member event will be held on Monday, August 31, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This event is free for members however pre-registration will be required. The Arboretum campus will be open to members only including access to Stickwork and the Murch Canopy Walk and Kalberer Emergent Tower (weather permitting). Rain or shine event.

About Patrick Dougherty
Born in Oklahoma in 1945, Dougherty was raised in North Carolina. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina in 1967 and an M.A. in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa in 1969. Later, he returned to the University of North Carolina to study art history and sculpture.

Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Patrick began to learn more about primitive techniques of building and 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 entitled, 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. Over the last thirty-some years, he has built over 300 of these works, and become internationally acclaimed.

Thirty-eight of these works are collected in “Stickwork,” a monograph-memoir, published by Princeton Architectural Press. He also is the subject of a film documentary called “Bending Sticks.” Dougherty 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. More information is available at

About Holden Forests & Gardens
Holden Forests & Gardens is made up of two of Northeast Ohio’s most important environmental and cultural institutions — the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden — whose mission is to connect people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communities.  The 14th largest public garden in the country, Holden Forests & Gardens has over 17,000 member households and an annual attendance of over 350,000 for whom we strive to provide inspirational and educational visitor experiences. For more information, visit and