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The Next Steps for Hugh Hayden’s “Brier Patch”

Apr 25, 2022 | Art

The Next Steps for Hugh Hayden’s “Brier Patch”

Rashmi BP PNG

Since it opened on January 18, parkgoers have been inspired and challenged by Hugh Hayden’s Brier Patch—a visually stunning public project that features 100 elementary school desks, 75 of which erupt with tree branches.

Visitors have gathered for classes and taken lunch in the 25 desks devoid of branch detailing in the south of the park. They have considered their own and others’ experiences in educational systems through public programs, such as weekly outdoor tours, a panel discussion on artists on their art education, and a Reflection Board. And through the Brier Patch exhibition catalog—now available online—they have learned about the project’s deliberation on the American Dream. 

Brier Patch is on view in Madison Square Park through May 1. Afterwards, it will travel to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, where it will move a new audience from May 14, 2022 to September 18, 2022. Embracing a different site, Brier Patch will be presented in a novel formation: four desks will be shown in an indoor gallery, while 69 will be placed in an outdoor installation on the museum’s 164-acre Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park.

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