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Artist to construct natural sculpture at Gainesville's campus of Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Artist Patrick Dougherty uses branches, twigs and other natural elements to create sculptures at different venues across the globe. His next stop will be at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy in Gainesville. He will start creating the sculpture March 23. It will open to the public April 9.

‘Woven Whimsy’ by Patrick Dougherty
When: Construction March 23 to April 8; opening April 9
Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville
Cost: $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free to Garden members and children younger than 3
More info: atlantabg.org/visit/gainesville or 404-888-4760

North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty is coming to Gainesville to build a sculpture, and he’s not bringing any materials.

Dougherty will create one of his monumental sculptures from wood, branches and twigs harvested at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy in Gainesville. Visitors to the garden may watch the creation of the sculpture March 23 through April 8 and view the exhibition “Woven Whimsy” officially beginning April 9.

“It’s really neat to watch him work with natural materials, especially ones indigenous to the area,” said Danny Flanders, public relations and marketing manager for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

He said Dougherty never knows what he’s going to create until he gets on site and can study the community, environment and plants.

“It really kind of localizes his art,” Flanders said.

During his 25-year career, Dougherty has made more than 250 sculptures throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

The Gainesville sculpture will remain installed as long as possible, Flanders said.

“It’ll stay up until it just sort of disintegrates,” he said. “It’s made of natural materials, so whether it’s three months, six months or longer, they’ll leave it there indefinitely. They predict it will be there maybe two years, and then it will just kind of return to the environment.”

There are benefits to working with the natural textures, Dougherty said.

“There’s just lots of associations connected with sticks, and I try to play with those and build up kind of a depth of feeling so that when you walk into something or you walk up to it, you’re transported for a minute,” Dougherty said in a release from the garden. “You want to go over and look at it. You forgive the real world around it. And you’re captivated by a certain kind of illusion that I’m casting.”

Visitors to the Gainesville garden, at 1911 Sweetbay Drive, may view the exhibit from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Admission (excluding sales tax) is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free to Garden members and children younger than 3.

For more information, visit atlantabg.org/visit/gainesville or call 404-888-4760.

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