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Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty
Now Open

Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty has captivated audiences around the world with its whimsical architecture and immersive designs made entirely from natural materials. Now, this novel art form has come to the Huntsville Botanical Garden with a brand new installation of massive scale, entitled “Roly-Poly.” Tucked away in the Garden and built from locally sourced sapling branches with the support of over 100 community volunteers, the giant sculpture twists and turns to create an interactive installation for visitors to explore freely. Like a portal to another world, Stickwork offers guests of all ages a chance to play, imagine, and find inspiration in nature.

A Note from the Artist:

“Taking inspiration from the rural landscape and the hay bales that litter the fields along Alabama highways, this sculpture, entitled ‘Roly Poly,’ features the swirling end-grain of those iconic bales. Wrapping loose hay as tightly as a ball of twine, the baler produces a roll-along motion that is captured as the grass is prepared for storage. This sculpture transforms locally sourced saplings into four tightly bound, swirling ‘bales’ that appear as though they might roll back into the field if given the chance. Viewers are encouraged to step inside and be caught up in the action. A thank you to the staff of the Huntsville Botanical Garden and all the volunteers who helped make the sculpture possible.” – Patrick Dougherty

Roly-Poly will be open every day during regular Garden hours beginning March 4, 2022, and the experience is included with Garden admission.

About the Artist:

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. Over the last thirty-some years, he has built over 300 monumental scale environmental works and become internationally acclaimed. 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 Patrick and his work in 2009, which has received excellent reviews and is available for purchase on the Stickwork website.

To learn more about Patrick Dougherty and his work, please visit

Thank you to our sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor:

Willow Sponsors:

Maple Sponsor:

Sweet Gum Sponsors:

Tony, Kathy, and David Chan

In Kind Supporters:

Mike Ellen

Philip Kromis

Shelley Moon

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