The feature length documentary Bending Sticks will celebrate 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 at 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 at the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. At each location viewers see how Dougherty and others transform piles of sticks into energetic lines and exhuberant forms. Many of his projects invite collaboration and engage communities in the making and viewing of his very public art.

Bending Sticks is a celebration of Patrick Dougherty’s majestic art and an exploration of how childhood fascinations feed the soul of this amazingly prolific and insightful artist. After a quarter century of stick building in such places as Tacoma, Honolulu, Dublin, Brooklyn, Chateaubourg and Tokyo, among others, the time is right for a film about one of America’s great living artists, and the beauty, mystery and organic power he creates with his art.

Project Directors | Penelope Maunsell & Kenny Dalsheimer