Life-size stickwork sculpture unveiled at The Wild Center in Franklin County


TUPPER LAKE, N.Y. (WWTI) — A unique sculpture that allows guests to immerse themselves in the art is now available at The Wild Center in Franklin County.

Artist Patrick Dougherty and a group of volunteers worked over three weeks to create a life-size stickwork sculpture they call “Hopscotch”. The team used thousands of local saplings and wove them together to create the piece drawing inspiration from The Wild Center itself.

Deputy Director of The Wild Center Hillarie Logan-Dechene said she is excited to have the public experience what the team worked hard to create.

“It has been a pleasure having Patrick Dougherty on-site the past few weeks, and being able to watch this masterpiece unfold before our eyes,” Logan-Dechene said. “Guests were already excited to see a sculpture of this magnitude made from raw materials, and now they’re able to walk through it!”

The sticks that the group gathered for the project were part of a thinning meant to maintain the roads and allow selected trees to thrive by reducing competition. The process provided a natural and renewable reason for the saplings rather than being cut for road maintenance and laid to decompose on the roadside. Once the local red and sugar maple sticks and branches were harvested, they were stripped and used within the structure.

The twisted creation is located near The Wild Center’s Wild Walk, where it will remain for several years until it naturally deteriorates on its own. Inspired visitors are welcome to contribute to the stickwork sculpture by adding to the frame that has been built in the Pines Play Area. Natural materials will be available for visitors of all ages and abilities to help weave an almost six foot tall tunnel.

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