Site-Specific Artist Patrick Dougherty Returns

Visit Marks the Farewell to “So Inclined”

Patrick Dougherty, whose enchanting community-created sculptural project So Inclined has embellished the Route 30 entrance to the Mahaney Center for the Arts for the past four years, will return to campus on Friday, October 28. Dougherty will discuss his world-wide projects and commissions since that time in a 4:30 p.m. talk in Room 221 of the MCFA. The lecture is free and open to the public.

patrickdougherty-soinclined-mahaney_centerDougherty’s site-specific sculpture at Middlebury was constructed in three weeks of September 2007. It represents the collaboration of more than two-hundred and thirty volunteers, from elementary school children to college studio artists and adult community members from Addison County and beyond. To create the sculpture, silver maple and grey dogwood saplings were harvested from  Weybridge, Vermont. Like all of Dougherty’s projects, So Inclined was understood to be a temporary structure from its inception. Once dismantled, the sculpture materials will be recycled into compost, and returned to the earth as a supplement for campus plantings. The survival of the installation through four Vermont winters and summers—through ice and snow storms, tropical rains, and dry spells—has heightened its landmark status on the campus. So Inclined has embraced many visitors, as an attraction for the community that produced it, as well as for families and tourists casually passing by the building.

All are invited to post their memories of the construction process or subsequent visits to a blog set up on the College’s website: The blog will be live through the month of December.

Dougherty is the subject of a recent monograph, Stickwork, which lists all of his projects including Middlebury’s So Inclined. The book will be available for purchase and signing by the artist following his talk. A video by Daniel Houghton, a Middlebury alumnus from the class of 2006, documents the creation of the sculpture and will be shown in the lower lobby of the Mahaney Center for the Arts during the week preceding and following Dougherty’s presentation.

so_inclined___patrick_doughertySo Inclined was commissioned by the College’s Committee on Art in Public Places, under the direction of Richard Saunders, director of the Middlebury College Museum of Art. While not permanent, its presence has enhanced the College’s distinguished collection of public sculpture, inaugurated in 1996 by action of the Board of Trustees.