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The Artful Garden
The International Garden Festival 2002 at Grand Métis, Québec, blurs the boundaries between art and landscape design.
By Dianne Bos

The idea of the "garden" as "art" raises questions of definitions.

This blurring of the boundaries between art and garden/landscape design has been a feature of many avant-garde garden festivals such as the International Garden Festival in Grand Métis, Québec, now in its third year. Other such festivals include the International Garden Festival in Chaumont, France, which debuted in 1992, and a smaller-scale program, Artists' Gardens at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, which I've curated since 1990.

These "art/garden laboratories" responded to a recognition, developed in the late 1980s, that something new was definitely growing in the garden. Inspired by the earthwork artists of the 1960s and 1970s and the environmental consciousness of the 1980s, a new generation of artists and designers was taking an enhanced interest in the garden as a locus for creation. Parallel to this evolution, landscape architecture had in the previous decade produced some innovative practitioners pushing the art end of landscape design.

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