Last week I had the opportunity to shoot in Paradise Garden. Located in Summerville, GA, Paradise Garden is the largest outdoor folk art installation in the United States, all created by the late artist and Baptist minister, Howard Finster, who died in 2001. I really can’t find the words to describe Paradise Garden. Fortunately, others can, and you can view a trailer for a forthcoming documentary HERE. I was there to shoot some pictures of Henry Paul and Dave Robbins of the band, BlackHawk. Henry and Dave actually knew Howard. In fact, he painted them.
As a first time visitor, I found Paradise Garden to be visually overwhelming. When I wasn’t shooting Henry and Dave, I found myself attracted to the small details, like the train in a mailbox shown above. Ordinarily, I don’t care to make photos of others’ artwork. Still, I really liked the little mail train, and I don’t know if its appearance today is exactly as Howard Finster constructed it, sometime at least 13 years ago. How many visitors have handled the mailbox and the little train in those years? Did Howard put the train there or did another visitor? All I know for sure is that I like it.