University Of South Carolina Topiary Artist Restores Pearl Fryar Garden

Mike Gibson is the topiary artist-in-residence for the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, and his job is to restore Pearl Fryar’s living sculptures to the shape that thousands of visitors from around the world enjoyed for years. During a pilgrimage to Bishopville, SC, to see the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, Gibson spent hours talking to Fryar, known as the nation’s preeminent African American topiary artist, and learning about his techniques. 

“I fell in love with not just Pearl, but also with topiary.” Gibson says. “Seeing his sculptures in person and meeting him, and seeing how he was doing it, inspired me even more.”