Pearl Fryer, from Bishopville, South Carolina, is one of the rare ones. He creates magical shapes as topiary and continues a tradition of African American yard art in his spiritual and symbolic garden. His story is told in the delightful movie, A Man Named Pearl.
And this is your chance to meet this gentle and magical man. He will be teaching a workshop on August 15th through the Philip Simmons Foundation. Register HERE for a $25. discount of the $75. workshop fee.
TOPIARY WORKSHOP WITH PEARL FRYAR
August 18th, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
The Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc., will sponsor a Workshop with Mr. Pearl Fryar, the self-taught topiary artist from Bishopville, SC. The workshop will be held in the Topiary Heart Garden of the Simmons Garden at St. John’s Reformed Episcopal Church, 91 Anson Street in Charleston. Entrance to the garden from Menotti Street is through a double heart wrought iron gate designed by Philip Simmons and crafted at his shop by Carlton Simmons and Joseph Pringle: his nephew and cousin.
The workshop will consist of a demonstration by Fryar cutting a design in a plant in the Simmons Garden; Question and Answer Session, and one-on-one consultations with participants who bring a plant.
ABOUT PEARL FRYAR
Pearl Fryar wanted to win the “yard of the month” in his neighborhood. He visited a local nursery and was shown various topiary designs in animals and other objects. He was inspired, taught himself the art, won the contest and the rest, as they say, is history.
Born in Clinton, NC, Fryar moved to Bishopville, SC forty years ago. While employed full time, he mastered his craft by working after hours and weekends to create the landscape he envisioned. Through his work, he has achieved wide recognition as a master topiary artist in this country and abroad. His three-acre garden, on the grounds of his home, is the major attraction of Bishopville. He has been featured on television: Making it Grow. Victory Garden, Martha Stewart, B. Smith and SCETV. Photographs of his unique topiary garden have appeared in most garden magazines in the country, including Southern Living, Veranda, and Garden Sign. Most recent, Pearl is featured in a John Deere commercial and in “A Man Named Pearl,” a full length film about him that is playing in movie theaters around the world and ocassionally on Oprah’s OWN’s Super Soul Sundays.
Pearl Fryar was commissioned by Spoleto Festival USA to design the plantings and walkways for a permanent installation at the Philip Simmons Garden in Charleston. This site was included in the Human/Nature Exhibition during the 1997 Festival. The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia also commissioned him in 1998 to design and maintain the topiary pieces at the entrance to the museum.
Pearl Fryar lectures around the country about his art to prestigious groups and continues to find the time to mentor to the youth in his community. He is married and lives with his wife and son in Bishopville, SC.