The Film

The feature length documentary Bending Sticks celebrates the twenty-five year career of internationally renowned environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, who has created hundreds of monumental, site-specific sculptures out of nothing more than saplings. The film follows the artist and his collaborators during a year of stick work and reveals Dougherty’s process, personal story and inspirations.

The heart of the film is the creation of five Dougherty commissions in different locations – inside the new wing of the NC Museum of Art, on Main Street in Rock Hill, SC, at a private home in Chapel Hill, NC, at the Bascom Art Center in the mountains of NC, and in the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. At each location, viewers see how Dougherty and many others transform piles of sticks into energetic lines and exuberant forms. Dougherty’s projects invite collaboration and engage communities in the making and viewing of his very public art.

Bending Sticks explores how the artist’s childhood – spent rambling through the woods and building forts and hideouts with his four siblings – fueled his career and nurtured the prolific, insightful artist he is today. The time is right for a film about this great living artist who is at the top of his game after a quarter century of stick building in such places as Tacoma, Honolulu, Dublin, Brooklyn, Chateaubourg and Tokyo.

Bending Sticks has been supported by generous donors and supporters in our community and beyond.

Letters of Support for Bending Sticks

  •  Festival International du Film sur L’art (FIFA)
  •  Spencer Museum of Art at Kansas University
  •  Lo schermo dell’arte film festival, Florence, Italy
  •  The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Durham, NC
  •  The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
  •  The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  •  The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
  •   UNC- TV
  •  The Washburn Mulvane Art Museum