synopsis: Pasaquan

The path to Pasaquan was, like most worthwhile journeys, elusive and tenuous. As we left the metro Atlanta area heading south, there was a severe backup of our primary route. There were signs warning of construction happening, but the backup of the freeway suggested that there was also a major accident going on. We were moving along at a glacier-like clip for quite a while, and when we got to the next possible exit, made the detour, and abandoned the carefully picked directions scribbled down the back of an envelope. Turning to the “Georgia” page of the road atlas, we quickly located a full detour route that went though several small towns, all of whom were having a Fall festival of one sort or another, like Barnesville, Thomaston, Talbotton, and Geneva. We also stumbled onto…. The Rock.

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That’s got to be one of the cooler names for a town ever…. The Rock, GA. There was immediate rush of “the rock” quotes, including “Can you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” and “Can’t stop The Rock!”, followed by a stream of references to rock music, Alcatraz island, and various action movies.

It took quite a bit longer to get to Pasaquan than anticipated. Once we arrived, we found that the journey was well worth it. Not only did we get to explore all of pasaquan, but there was also live music, and other folk and local artists displaying pieces as well. I got some really good pictures, shared above.

Walking around Pasaquan, Eddie Martin’s philosophy (a blending of Eastern and western thought combined with a healthy dose of both Shamanism) pervaded. Any place on the whole complex that you would look was enhanced by design: paint, hammered tin, beads, felt, carvings, statuettes… The images of people, gods, suns and moons, planetary systems, cities, flowers, and more. The magnitude of all the thought and effort instantly draws you in. The connection between human mind and nature, between ancient thought and modern thought, and between the beliefs of civilizatons all around the world seem to be fragmented in our daily lives, but at Pasaquan, one can see them all come together in jigsaw fashion, in balance, in Zen.

Yesterday was the last day of the year for Pasaquan to be open to the public until the spring. We’re already planning a return road trip. With three possible routes scribbled on sticky notes, fluttering in the wind.

Artists for Pasaquan

Time for a road trip! The cool weather has returned, and those crisp mornings are calling… Dust off your rucksack and grab a travel coffee mug and a worn-out college sweatshirt!

On Saturday, November 3, 2007, Pasaquan will host artists from all around the South for an exciting day of creative celebration at an event called “Artists for Pasaquan”.

Fifty or more artists – students, amateurs, professionals, eccentrics, visionaries – will participate in the celebration. The varied conglomeration of sympathetic artists will join together at Pasaquan to demonstrate their support for the restoration and preservation of the noted visionary art site. Participating artists will bring their own recent artwork to show and to sell and a lineup of musician friends of Pasaquan will entertain those who attend the gathering.

“Passa-what?” you say? Well, according to Jonathan Railey at Flagpole Magazine:

If you haven’t heard that name before, well, suffice it to say that he’s just about the weirdest cat you never met – so weird he refused to be airbrushed, alloyed, snow-jobbed or beaten into conformity by the forces of authority that get to most of us early on. So bizarre that he took to the open road rather than subject himself to the tyranny of a cruel and oppressive father. So eccentric that when he finally settled down, he tried to make a homestead for himself that suited him and embodied his highest ideals…

Looking at the art at Pasaquan, you immediately get the feeling that you are in a tribal place, sacred, communal. The sense of interconnectedness with nature, philosophy, the human experience pervades.

There is quite a bit of information available online about Pasaquan and Saint EOM (née Eddie Martin), including writeups by Mike Segers and
Interesting Ideas, and there was even a PBS Special!

I should be getting some good pictures, so more on this after the weekend!

Where is it? (Click for Gmap love) Near Buena Vista, GA (between Columbus, GA and Americus, GA), which is also home of Georgia Rural Telephone Museum.