One of Austin’s oldest and beloved parks now has an awesome new public art piece that you must go experience in person! Internationally-acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty has been working for weeks to create one of his majestic Stickwork sculptures in Pease Park, which is now open to go view, walk through and enjoy. Using locally-harvested materials (willow, ash, and ligustrum), this art installation is comprised entirely out of saplings.

You’ll find the whimsical structures in the Custer’s Meadow area of the park (at 2201 Parkway). The installation, free to view and open to the public, was commissioned by the Pease Park Conservancy with the desire that all can enjoy this natural art piece. Noted that “public art is a powerful tool in raising community consciousness and reinforcing an authentic sense of place”, the members of the Pease Park Conservancy view nature as a way of connecting us all, regardless of background and abilities, and hope this work sparks the imagination of visitors of all ages.

The installation really is an amazing work of art. Comprised of four hut-like structures, Dougherty, his son, and a group of volunteers worked to build this over the course of three weeks, receiving truckloads of material from a ranch in Stonewall, TX. The sculpture is scheduled to remain in the park for the next two years, noting that the quality of the structure may decline after the first year with volunteers doing their best to keep up with its maintenance.

Patrick Dougherty explaining the process of building the artwork

You’ll definitely want to take the kids to wander through and explore the sculpture! Pease Park Conservancy encourages the community to experience the art by weaving through it, but of course, it’s important to remind the kiddos not to disturb the sticks and saplings.

While the sculpture is already open to view, take note that the official unveiling celebration event will take place on February 10 from 1-3 p.m. at 2201 Parkway with guest speakers.

Read more about Patrick Dougherty and his work at stickwork.net, and learn more about Pease Park Conservancy at peasepark.org

All photos taken by Roger Ho.