Branch Office 

For a lot of people, art is a mysterious, half-smiling woman without eyebrows. For Catherine Blackwell, art also includes a tea party at a compost pile.

On Saturday, July 14th, Blackwell, a Memphis College of Art graduate student, will unveil her latest work at the Memphis Botanic Garden. But "Fallen From View" does not incorporate traditional pieces of art. Instead, Blackwell will lead a series of environmental tours on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings. As she explains, "The tour itself will be the artwork."

Consisting of several stops, each tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Blackwell will talk about the environment, touching on topics such as invasive plant species and tree diseases caused by global warming.

The tour ends with a tea party near a compost pile, something Blackwell calls "totally ironic."

Blackwell realizes that her idea of art might raise a few eyebrows.

"It's very nontraditional, and I welcome debate on whether it's art at all," she says. "I'm all for discourse. I'm trying to offer lots of vantage points to let people make up their own minds on environmental issues."

Blackwell will lead day and night tours, with the latter showing something people rarely see: the Botanic Garden after hours.

Blackwell says, "I hope my tour will allow people to understand the environment a little more. Information is half the battle."

"Fallen from View," Memphis Botanic Garden, Saturday tours at 10 a.m. Tuesday tours at 9 p.m. July 14th-August 28th (no tour on August 18th). $2. For more information, call 576-4100.

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