Insider: Branch Manager

By Kay Kipling Photography by James Fraher January 1, 2013

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"Playing with sticks" is the simplest way to explain what sculptor Patrick Dougherty does with his large-scale, site-specific assemblages, like the one he'll produce this month on the grounds of the old Sarasota High School (site of the future Sarasota Museum of Art, which arranged his visit). Dougherty takes about three weeks (in this case, Jan. 7-26) to put together his pieces, made from tree branches—for this work, crape myrtle branches—using local volunteers to help with the construction. "I choose the position for each piece," he explains."Here it needs to read from both sides, to have a skyline, so that people in their cars will stop." Once he's completed his work, nature will do its part to keep the piece changing over its lifespan.

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