Goodbye to "Out in Front"

This month it was time to say goodbye to "Out in Front."  Patrick Dougherty and his 239th Stickwork sculpture made a tremendous and meaningful impact in Sarasota and for SMOA.  The volunteers who participated were phenomenal.  

We are eternally grateful to John Meyer and Bob Ripley, who worked on all the details to make this project a success.  

 Thank you Patrick Dougherty and the foresight of the SMOA Board. We will cherish the memories.  












"Out in Front"
Patrick Dougherty's 239th sculpture piece

Patrick Dougherty: Sculptor
SMOA ARTmuse Program
Held January 7-26, 2013 on the grounds of the historic Sarasota High School

To see more photos of Dougherty's piece on the front lawn of SMOA, please visit our Facebook page. To view the winners of the Sticks and Clicks photo competition, please click here.

To listen to a podcast of an interview with Patrick Dougherty during his time at SMOA, please click here.


Acclaimed Sculptor Selected for Ringling College’s 
Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA “ARTmuse” Program 

Internationally renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty weaves large-scale architectural forms from trees, twigs, vines, and other natural materials. In January 2013, the artist spent three weeks in Sarasota creating one of his unique sculptures on the grounds of the historic Sarasota High School and future home of the Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA. 

His imaginative monumental sculptures made of trees, twigs, vines, and other natural materials can be seen around the world. During his three-week Sarasota project, the artist built a site-specific installation on the grounds of the historic Sarasota High School, which will become the future home of the Sarasota Museum of Art/ SMOA. The community had many opportunities to view the artist at work—and watch his creation unfold and evolve. Surkis encourages people to stop by the high school to experience the piece for themselves.

“This was a remarkable opportunity for our community,” says Surkis. “Patrick has exhibited his work around the world; we're thrilled that he came here for SMOA. It’s an example of the fresh ideas SMOA will be bringing to Sarasota." Surkis adds that it was "pure joy to watch his creations come alive as he bent, twisted and cajoled tree branches into large, dreamlike architectural forms that invite people to explore, wonder and wander through his amazing environments." 

Born in Oklahoma in 1945, Patrick Dougherty was raised in North Carolina and studied art history and sculpture at the University of North Carolina. Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Dougherty 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. His work quickly evolved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental scale environmental works, which required saplings by the truckloads. Over the last 30 years, he has built over 230 of these works, and become internationally acclaimed. 

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. Princeton Architectural Press published a major book, "Stickwork," about the artist and his work in 2009. 


Patrick Dougherty's sculpture, "Out in Front," was named the Best New Work of Art in Sarasota Magazine's "Best of 2013" issue.

In the words of Sarasota Magazine, "SMOA scored a hit with Patrick Dougherty's newest 'stickwork' sculpture, 'Out in Front,' on the grounds of the old Sarasota High School, where thousands pass by every day on U.S. 41. Park your car and stroll around this intriguing fusion of nature and craft. Best part: Eager local volunteers got to help Dougherty create it.

For more information about Patrick Dougherty, visit