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Texas artist twists twigs and saplings for new art exhibit

Posted at 1:02 PM, Mar 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-28 13:02:08-04

Rain, sleet, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures didn't keep an artist from creating a new exhibit at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden in Texas this winter.

In fact, he finished it during the lone star state's recent deep freeze.

The sculpture puts a 'twist' on mother nature.

Every season brings new plants at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

But a new exhibit is prompting visitors to see plants in a new way.

"We're calling the piece 'Playing Hooky' because maybe you'd skip out for the day and take a look at the work and lounge around in it and explore, discover," said the artist, Patrick Dougherty.

Dougherty gets his inspiration from nature, twisting twigs and saplings gathered from 40 sites across Tarrant county.

"We have to ad lib as we actually work on it," Dougherty said.

The medium is unconventional, and sometimes eyebrow raising.

"When we start hauling our sticks in the same neighbors that call the police the first day are asking you to dinner the last day," Dougherty said.

Not all art hangs on a wall.

"When you do something like this it really causes people to focus on plants. What they do and how they work and I think from a perspective as a public garden, that's very important," said Bob Byers, Assistant Director for Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

"If you present something they really like they forgive the fact that its not in a museum. They might even forgive you for calling it a sculpture. The importance of sculpture in general is that it extends peoples ability to feel," Dougherty said.

By nature of the materials used, the 'Playing Hooky' exhibit is temporary.

Dougherty said it should last about 2 years.