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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Brainiac

The stick-fort artist

“I always say, when I grab a stick, I get a bunch of good ideas.” That is how Patrick Dougherty of Chapel Hill, N.C., explains the hundreds of dwelling-size stick sculptures he’s created over the last 20 years. Dougherty is the subject of a new documentary, “Bending Sticks,” currently screening in cities around the country (the nearest screening to Boston is in New York on Oct. 19). As he explained in an interview last year, it takes him about three weeks to choose a site, collect nearby saplings, and build each of his folkloric constructions, often with the help of local volunteers. Dougherty’s sculptures are enchanting and striking as art, but still, it’s impossible not to think about them the way you would have as a child: How cool would it be to build that!

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