Kitchen Living Room

Friday, January 13, 2012

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens

As I mentioned in this post, 2011 was the year of the unexpected. One of the contributing events was a trip to Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens.

(This is my first post under the tag adventures, and hopefully this post will begin a new series on interesting places that I have the privilege to visit.)

I drove to a remote town in Georgia last year with friends. I had no idea what to expect or quite frankly, where we were going. The Paradise Gardens are an incredible place chock-full of one man's art in the form of actual structures (that he built himself), sculptures, found objects, and paintings. You enter through a small house and gift shop into the gardens themselves, which wander and wind around the grounds. There are all sorts of strange and remarkable things to find.

Some parts of the gardens are just downright creepy. But I am a self-admitted wimp. 

I loved these tiny prehistoric animals!

Georgia really is beautiful in the summertime.

It appeared that Mr. Finster used a lot of found objects (read: garbage) in his art. I found his use of these objects to be creative and charming (when they weren't being decidedly creepy). 

This installation or sculpture of sorts was used in an R.E.M. video. The band actually spent the night in a church that Howard built on the property. It's still standing, but you can no longer go inside. The attendant at the gardens mentioned that they were working on it, and that you might be able to go inside soon. (I thought to myself, at your own risk, right?!)

Despite some of the creepiness (I'm generally not a huge fan of creepy things), it's definitely worth a visit. And it's free to enter so you don't have much to lose. If you do end up visiting, let me know what you think! And if you want company, let me know because I wouldn't mind going back myself.


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  2. This is on my list for '12. We've been wanting to go ever since you told us about it! (I removed my comment, fixed the typos, and reposted it!)