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KNOXVILLE — Self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar will visit the University of Tennessee this month to speak and to demonstrate his work.

Fryar, an African-American in his mid-60s who began creating a 3-acre topiary garden in 1984 in an effort to win “Yard of the Month” honors for his home, has become an international phenomenon and is the subject of an award-winning film.

The film, “A Man Named Pearl,” will be screened at the Cox Auditorium in Alumni Memorial Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27. A discussion with Fryar will follow the film. Both the film and discussion are free and open to the public.

The film offers an upbeat message that speaks to respect for both self and others and shows what one person can achieve when he allows himself to share the full expression of his humanity.

Fryar also will visit the Pendergrass Library on the agricultural campus on Thursday, Feb. 28. A reception will be held in his honor at 5:30 p.m. in the library, followed by a demonstration of his work at 6 p.m.

Support for these events is provided by Ready for the World, the Commission for Women, the Black Cultural Center and the UT Libraries Diversity Committee.


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,