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Enchanting new public art unveiled in Pease Park

‘Stickwork’ installation: unique local take by international artist

Five huts made of sticks in a park
Yippee Kai Yay!, Stickwork piece by Patrick Dougherty, public art installation in Pease Park
Thomas McConnell

Yippee Ki Yay!, a major new public art installation for Austin, was officially unveiled in Pease Park Saturday.

The Pease Park Conservancy commissioned Patrick Dougherty, whose internationally acclaimed Stickwork project has now placed more than 275 distinct pieces in public spaces around the world, from Australia to France. the artist to create the original piece for the series to reside in the 84-acre park, which winds along Shoal Creek just west of downtown.

Working over the past three weeks with a total of 200 local volunteers in rotating shifts, Dougherty shaped the site-specific structure using saplings of local depression willow, ash, and invasive species Ligustrum. The resulting installation consists of five woven, hut-like structures that are both whimsical and sophisticated in the way they speak to the surrounding natural environment and place. Visitors can enter the inviting structures—all of which have organic, off center slopes and lines—and view the park and its visitors via doorways and “windows” that are part of the sculptures.

Yippee Kai Yay! by Patrick Dougherty
Thomas McConnell

The piece is one of a series that included a partnership with the Contemporary Austin’s Museum Without Walls program, which brought David Deming’s Mystic Raven to the park last year. The new art is part of the run-up to a restoration, revitalization and enhancement of Kingsbury Commons, the southern part of the park, as part of the Pease Park Master Plan.

Yippee Kai Yay! by Patrick Dougherty
Thomas McConnell

The conservancy received a $9.7 million donation from the Moody Foundation in October to support the transformation, which includes the creation of play features and nature-based playscapes, adaptively repurposing the historic Tudor Cottage, and the creation of a new multiuse facility.