YouBetcha Stick Sculpture

YouBetcha stick sculpture at sunset
Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis

Internationally-acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty traveled to the Arboretum in May 2019 and spent three weeks building this structure from sustainably-harvested willow branches gathered in Waseca, Minnesota. YouBetcha invites visitors to explore, with five fabulous towers, a labyrinth-like interior and a mysterious interior courtyard. It's a natural work of art, full of twists and turns, willow and whims. The structure will be on display on Scarecrow Hill for a limited time.

About Patrick Dougherty

Born in Oklahoma in 1945, Dougherty was raised in North Carolina. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina in 1967 and an M.A. in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa in 1969. Later, he returned to the University of North Carolina to study art history and sculpture.

Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Patrick began to learn more about primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. In 1982 his first work, Maple Body Wrap, was included in the North Carolina Biennial Artists' Exhibition, sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Art. In the following year, he had his first one-person show entitled, Waitin' It Out in Maple at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

His work quickly evolved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental scale environmental works, which required saplings by the truckloads. Over the last thirty years, he has built over 250 of these works, and become internationally acclaimed. His sculpture has been seen worldwide--from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.

He has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Factor Prize for Southern Art, North Carolina Artist Fellowship Award, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, Japan-US Creative Arts Fellowship, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Princeton Architectural Press published a major book about Patrick and his work in 2009. This monograph, Stickwork, has received excellent reviews and is available at

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Stick Build Sponsors