Asheboro, NC - Internationally acclaimed Chapel Hill-based artist Patrick Dougherty will add a new dimension to the North Carolina Zoo's kidZone exhibit--scheduled to reopen this summer--with a unique entrance sculpture.

Dougherty will build the structure, expected to be approximately 14 feet high and 25 feet in diameter, during a three-week residency in February. Volunteers are needed to harvest local, Randolph County saplings for the project and to assist Dougherty with the construction. Those wanting to volunteer can call (336) 879-7712 or e-mail for more information.

The public can watch Dougherty as he works on the sculpture throughout the month.

Additionally, the Randolph Arts Guild will host a talk by the artist at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Sara Smith Self Gallery in the Moring Art Center, 123 Sunset Avenue, downtown Asheboro.

Dougherty has produced more than 200 installations around the world and uses only locally harvested tree saplings to weave playful, nest-like architectural forms.

Dougherty, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, began experimenting with traditional building techniques in 1980. He has created installations at the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Botanical Garden, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and sites in Italy, France and Japan. Several of the works appear in his book Stickwork, published in 2010 by Princeton Architectural Press.

Dougherty's sculpture is the perfect entry point for the KidZone exhibit, an area that provides rich and diverse outdoor play opportunities for children of all ages. The project is supported through the N.C. Zoological Society by Bob and Bonnie Meeker.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.