project overview

Douglass High School Mural: Philosophers Garden: Sympathetic Imagination  

Tobacco Brown’s expansive tile mural adds beauty and vibrancy to the entrance of Douglass High School. Tobacco’s work is often focused on nature and gardening. Like cultivating a beautiful garden, high schools are spaces of learning and growth. This mural reminds teachers and students of the way learning nourishes our minds, expanding our thoughts and imaginations.

The mural showcases an innovative canvas executed with porcelain tiles impregnated with digitized photo images.  The color is continuous, creating an amazing level of realism.  The composition features a natural photographic mural of a garden, with flowering plants, grass and various foliage.  Stones, shells and mulch add variation, texture and color to the overall design. 


about the artist

Tobacco Brown  

Tobacco Brown is a creative design professional with diverse talents and international experience.  Her work encompasses all areas of corporate image, brand and identity as well as design work for the stage and MTV and numerous fine art projects in the United States and Germany.  She has also taught design, serving as a guest professor in Cologne, Germany. 

A graduate of the University of Memphis and the School of Visual Arts in New York, Ms. Brown began her career working in New York for companies such as Wamsutta, Estee Lauder, Atelier International, Avon and Corning International.  She lived in Germany for many years, working in design at Radio Television Luxemburg in Munich, Kampnagel Dance Theater in Hamburg and as a featured designer at the IGA Rostock 2003 International Garden Show and for stilwerk [sic] Design Center in Berlin. 

Brown's work for the Memphis City Schools and Urban Arts Commission includes the Douglass High School Archival Art Series, illuminated historic photographs in the auditorium and gymnasium lobby, and the Garden Mural, nontraditional porcelain tiles digital photographic images of the historic neighborhood within the garden for the main entrance.