Howard Finster

 

        Howard Finster was born on a farm in Alabama, but moved to Summerville, Georgia where he created a Paradise Garden; and where he lived until his death October 22, 2001.

        He had his first vision at age three and became a preacher at sixteen. He started making art and building a Paradise Garden in 1976 in response to God's demand that he make sacred art. He believed his was the "last red light" of warning before the apocalypse. Finster has been written about, exhibited, visited, and discussed more than any other contemporary American folk artist.

        The works of Reverend Finster made their way into The Smithsonian, Atlanta's High Museum of Art, the truly great galleries in New York, Chicago and even London. He was prolific. Because he numbered and signed every work, his last production numbers were approaching 50,000.

        The death of Howard Finster deprives us of a link to the South that is deeply rooted in things mysterious and spiritual. No matter how much he was exposed to this modern world, he remained the same. He was proud to be a preacher, a husband and a parent, and his creations told stories from his great and noble soul that cannot be put into words.