In October 2013, Patrick Dougherty, world-renowned for his larger-than-life, site-specific sculptures made of locally harvested twigs and saplings, created a unique work of art in front of the Ruth Caplin Theatre and the Arts Commons, the latest additions to the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds. Constructed with the help of UVA and community volunteers, the sculpture responded to and reflected its physical environment and the process of its own creation.
Dougherty, a native of North Carolina, has received numerous awards for his art, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He began constructing sculptures in the early 1980s. Using local materials, the artist weaves a work into being based on each location. Acknowledging the biodegradable and ephemeral nature of the materials, Dougherty's sculptures inhabit a space for only a limited time.
The sculpture celebrated the culmination of the first phase of Arts Grounds construction and initiated the site as a home for works of art. The Fralin and a confluence of departments, including the McIntire Department of Art and the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, were proud to bring Dougherty to Grounds and, with the dynamic cooperation of the University community, present a project that promised to set a precedent for this new space.
This site-specific sculpture installed at Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds was made possible through the generous support of The Ray A. Graham Endowed Fund, the Arts Enhancement Fund sponsored by the Vice Provost for the Arts, the Office of the Provost and the Vice Provost for the Arts, the McIntire Department of Art, albemarle magazine, and Ivy Publications LLC's Charlottesville Welcome Book.