BUENA VISTA, Ga — Marion County’s economy is feeling a little extra love these days. It is all thanks to an old gem that is undergoing restoration. The Kohler Foundation and Columbus State University took on the Pasaquan project about 2 years ago. Right now they are adding the finishing touches to the exotic structures and plan to open it to the public in the fall.
The original artist, Eddie Owens Martin, started creating the giant masterpiece in the 1950’s and kept working on it until the 1980’s. Martin was born in Buena Vista in the early 1900’s. He ran away to the Northeast at just 14-years-old. He returned to Buena Vista for good on the heels of a vision telling him to turn his family’s land into a new tribe and religion he called Pasaquan.
The far out colors and temple-like buildings make it feel like it’s another world. Today Martin’s efforts are categorized as visionary art work. Buena Vista sure is thankful for the economic vision that is coming to fruition.
“We can’t promise that we will have thousands of tourists every single month….of course we can’t, but we certainly will because of the international fame that Pasaquan has,” says Debbie Ford, who is the President of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.
Charles Kendrick Fowler is the Pasaquan caretaker and an artist in his own right. He has been on the project since the start and says it is a privilege to work on the home of such a wonderful visionary artist, “This person woke up every single day and devoted their entire life to this. the art, the paintings and the sculptures…everything is all his art.”
Also, Fowler tells me they are intentional about financially investing in the community. They put their money where their mouth is and try to buy all of their art materials and lawn equipment exclusively in Buena Vista.
Mark your calendars because the grand opening for the newly restored Pasaquan is October 22nd from 10a.m. until 6p.m.