New film Bending Sticks: the Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty features Winthrop and Rock Hill

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Photo:Zan Maddox

This past Sunday, December 2, Bending Sticks, The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty, a documentary Film by filmmakers Penelope Maunsell and Kenny Dalsheimer premiered at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, N.C.

Supported in part by the Southern Documentary Fund Organization, Bending Sticks: the Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty is a feature film celebrating the twenty-five year career of internationally known environmental artist Patrick Dougherty. Though the piece looks at the breadth of the artist’s production over that time period, all of the on-site filming of the artist at work took place during 2010 at:

• The North Carolina Museum of Art
• The Performing Arts Center in Rock Hill, S.C.
• Cassilhaus, the private home of Frank Konhaus and Ellen Cassilly in Chapel Hill
• The Bascom in Highlands, N.C.
• Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C.

Rock Hill and Winthrop were very well represented and well noted in the film. Footage from the Rock Hill sequence included downtown and searching for samplings near the river; on site at East Main and from the First Presbyterian bell tower; footage of the mayor; and footage of the Winthrop campus. Former student David Matheson, Professor Shaun Cassidy, visiting artist Pearl Fryar, and the fine arts chair Tom Stanley all contributed speaking roles as talking torsos. The Rock Hill sequence spoke highly of our program, the department, Winthrop University, Rock Hill and our overall collaborative effort. I was proud of what we had done and the fact that it is now documented for broader audiences. It will be making rounds at film festivals internationally and we look forward to its distribution.

Patrick Dougherty’s Rock Hill 2010 project entitled Ain’t Misbehavin’ was initiated and administered by ACE Projects at Winthrop. The sculpture was constructed by Patrick Dougherty and a special topics class under the supervision of Shaun Cassidy. Project collaborators included Winthrop’s Department of Fine Arts, the Arts Council of York County, the City of Rock Hill, and Gallery Up.

From the educational perspective, this project helped our students understand the logistics and negotiations required to produce a significant work in a public setting; it help them realize the value of careful planning and team work; it allowed them to interact with a public audience; and provided them the opportunity to work with an accomplished individual who makes wonderfully accessible public works.

As soon as we can work out details, we would like to schedule the film for Dina’s Place at the DiGiorgio Campus Center as a very special event. To see more work by Patrick Dougherty go to: http://www.stickwork.net/

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