courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden
From an email:
“To kick off celebration of the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Botanic Garden’s (USBG) original 1820 charter, the Garden is collaborating with renowned stickwork artist Patrick Dougherty to create a custom sculpture to stand throughout the 2020 celebratory year.
Dougherty, who hails from North Carolina, is known around the world for his installations woven from plant materials, which celebrate nature through both materials and visually flowing lines. Over 30 years, he has built more than 250 stickwork sculptures, from Scotland to Japan to all over the United States. D.C.-area residents might remember his gallery-filling installation in the popular “Wonder” exhibit at the reopening of Renwick Gallery.
“We are excited to work with Patrick and his team to create a unique piece of art here at the Garden,” said Saharah Moon Chapotin, U.S. Botanic Garden executive director. “We hope visitors will explore the installation, think about the many ways we interact with plants throughout each day, and be inspired by both the beauty and function plants give to us.”
For this creation the USBG began by harvesting saplings of invasive plants from area locations – Norway maple from the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm and Siberian elm and hybrids of non-native cherry from the U.S. National Arboretum. Willow sustainably harvested from a farm completes the plants used to create the sculpture.
Volunteers and USBG employees are working more than 200 shifts with Dougherty and his team over three weeks to create the unique installation, which began October 7 and will be complete October 25. Once complete, visitors will be able to touch and explore this nature-inspired plant artwork installation.
Through the 2020 bicentennial year, the USBG will present a special exhibit celebrating plant exploration and the Garden’s history dating back to founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, as well as unique programs, workshops, lectures, festivals, tours, and more.
The U.S. Botanic Garden is open to the public, free of charge, every day of the year. The Conservatory is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and the outdoor gardens are open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extended hours until 7 p.m. from April 1 to September 15. The Garden is located at 100 Maryland Ave. SW, on the southwest side of the U.S. Capitol. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation. More information is available at www.USBG.gov”