|Although it was returned to the earth in 2013, a one-of-a-kind outdoor sculpture by acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty was the centerpiece of Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark for the previous three years. With more than 1000 hours of help from local volunteers--as well as the expert assistance of Five Rivers MetroParks personnel--Dougherty created a nearly 200-foot-long tunnel that coiled sinuously around Wegerzyn's North Plaza. Woven entirely of willow branches from trees that had been encroaching upon Englewood MetroPark, the sculpture had openings that invited visitors to explore its rustic interior and to enjoy beautiful views of Wegerzyn's formal gardens.
Photo by Bill Franz
Dubbed "A Wiggle in Its Walk," our serpentine sculpture was quite distinctive from Dougherty's past creations, which are reminiscent of nests, lairs, vessels, and mythic shelters. He took full advantage of the North Plaza's central location, clear visibility from four directions, strong geometric presence, and proximity to the Children's Discovery Garden.
Photo by Ed Lehman
The sculpture served to narrow the widening gap between the “plugged-in generation” and the natural environments by encouraging children to explore and appreciate the natural world and to recognize the need to preserve it.
The Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation raised over $68,000 for this exhibit and the Branching Out programs. Freund, Freeze and Arnold, the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District, and The Marjorie M. Ivey Charitable Fund of the Greater Saint Louis Community were lead sponsors. WYSO is our media sponsor.
PATRICK DOUGHERTY Photo by Kaye Carlile