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Artist Constructs Sapling Sculpture at UVA

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Patrick Dougherty constructs sculpture out of tree saplings and branches at UVA Patrick Dougherty constructs sculpture out of tree saplings and branches at UVA

If you drive around the University of Virginia's drama building, you might be surprised by what you see. A sculpture more than 10 feet high is being built out of tree saplings and branches in front of the Ruth Caplin Theatre on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds. 

UVA has hired artist Patrick Dougherty to construct the sculpture in the spirit of the autumn season. He hopes that his piece will inspire empathy in viewers for the natural world around them.

"I think in this time where environmental issues are a big concern for everyone, sticks, things that are made out of sticks and natural materials tend to call upon how much we care about the natural world," said Dougherty.  

Wednesday, he was assisted by students from Charlottesville's Renaissance School.

Dougherty plans to complete the sculpture by October 18.  It's called "Stickwork," and will be on display for more than a year.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. 

Reported by Rob Manch