Courtesy: Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Collection


Arcadia, California

Patrick Dougherty (

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, California, 91007
Date:  2008
Placement:  botanical gardens
Artwork Type:  environmental art
Material:  plant material
Description:  Patrick Dougherty’s temporary sculpture adds delightful whimsy and architectural innovation to the Los Angeles County Arboretum grounds. The artwork, Catawampus, initiated and commissioned by the Arboretum, was fabricated and installed in February 2008 by Dougherty and a team of volunteers. The artist engages volunteers in the making of his works encouraging what he believes to be a universal human instinct to gather and build with sticks. Using tree saplings from a willow farm in Pescadero, CA, the artist and his volunteer team wove the sticks to form an organic sculpture that invites visitors to enter, touch and meander.

About the Artist: Patrick Dougherty, an internationally renowned artist based in North Carolina, began creating sculptures composed of tree saplings in the early 1980s. Dougherty was originally a ceramic artist, and came to use living materials partly through a desire to create more monumental work. He studied ancient building techniques and began to use tree saplings as the sole material for his art. He continued to explore this organic medium in the following decades and has created over 175 such works in the United States, Europe, and Asia including constructions at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and the Tallaght Community Art Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

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