Christ Church Episcopal School will host artist Patrick Dougherty from Oct. 6 through Oct. 22 as he constructs four stickwork sculptures, which will be made out of hundreds of saplings, on the school’s campus with the assistance of students, teachers and parent volunteers.
The idea of Dougherty possibly working with CCES followed a faculty meeting in which the school’s assistant head for advancement, Jamie Inman, said if teachers ever had a project they needed funding for, she would be glad to assist. That same day, lower school art teacher Marilyn Mullinax reached out to Inman about a dream of hers, said Jamie Bryant, director of strategic marketing and communications for CCES.
“Mullinax had seen a documentary about Dougherty and envisioned a collaborative project that would impact the entire CCES community,” she said. “Inman emailed Dougherty and opened up a dialogue about what the CCES arts faculty envisioned. From there, both parties agreed this project was an excellent fit for the school.”
Following the contact with Inman, Dougherty visited CCES in December 2019 and toured the school’s grounds with arts faculty and volunteers to select the spaces for each sculpture.
“Dougherty only does about 10 projects each year and he books 18-24 months out, so this has been in the works for quite some time,” said Bryant. “The main sculpture will be located in a wooded area between the Performing Arts Center and Chapel, an area central to the entire campus, strategically selected so that every student would see it on a daily basis. Smaller pieces will be located in close proximity to each division of the school and will be reflective of the larger, main sculpture.”
During his time on campus, Dougherty will lead the main sculpture creation, but only frame the three smaller sculptures, which will be entirely constructed by art faculty and students.
All of the CCES sculptures will be made out of willow saplings, and the project is expected to take approximately three weeks with Dougherty and volunteers working all day, six days a week in about 30 shifts with four to five volunteers per shift.