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KNOXVILLE — An artist who combines sculpture with environmental research will share her skills and talents with students at the University of Tennessee Nov. 1-3.

Mara Adamitz Scrupe, a noted artist and environmental activist will give a public lecture during her visit to UT, and hold a two-day workshop for students interested in combining research and art. Her visit is co-sponsored by Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK), student environmental group and the UT Sculpture Club.

Scrupe’s work focuses on calling attention to the need to preserve native plants and plant systems in the face of expanding human development. She often collaborates in her work with environmental and community groups in the areas where she is working.

“As an environmentalist, I aspire to rouse affection and respect for our remarkable, fast-disappearing worldwide plant heritage,” said Scrupe.

Scrupe is currently the Alan F. Rothschild Endowed Professor of Art and chair of the art department at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and her master of fine arts degree from Bard College.

She has created public art installations in cities across the U.S. and Europe, including Ireland and Lithuania.

In her art installations, she incorporates live native plant species and utilizes environmental technology that helps them grow. This often includes custom-designed solar power systems used in heat lamps and misters.

“Mara’s visit is a tremendous opportunity for students and the entire campus community,” said SPEAK president Leslie Chinery. “She’s got a unique perspective to bring to both art and environmentalism.”

The events during Scrupe’s visit include:

-A public lecture Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in the University Center Auditorium. She will discuss and show slides of her work as well as the origins and current state of environmental art.

-A workshop for UT students Thursday, Nov. 2 and Friday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room 129 of the Art and Architecture Building. Workshop participants will prepare temporary public art projects designed to draw attention to environmental issues.

Students who wish to participate in the workshop should come prepared with a few paragraphs of information on a contemporary eco-artist or on an environmental issue to them. This step is designed to prepare students for the process of taking part in collaborative art projects.

More information on Scrupe’s visit and links to more information about her work can be found on the Make Orange Green Web site at Make Orange Green is a UT environmental initiative designed to increase awareness of environmental issues on campus and help communicate about UT’s efforts.


Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409,
Reagan Richmond, SPEAK (423-619-0498,