“You’re gonna be the start of somethin’ new, and you’ll call yourself ‘Saint EOM,’ and you’ll be a Pasaquoyan - the first one in the world.”
- St. EOM
Eddie Owens Martin, a self-taught Southern artist, drew inspiration from many colorful cultures to develop the 7-acre, internationally recognized visionary art environment known as Pasaquan.
Martin’s artistic journey started at age 14 when he left his hometown of Buena Vista, Georgia, to embark on a hitchhiking adventure to Atlanta and Washington, D.C., before settling in New York. In the Big Apple, he worked as a street hustler, bartender, gambler and drag queen. He even gave fortunetelling a try at age 37.
In 1957, after the death of his mother, Martin came home to Georgia and continued his fortunetelling flair for pay. Donning ravishing robes and feathered headdresses, Eddie moved into his mother's old farmhouse and used his oracle occupation to help fund his vision of Pasaquan.
Martin also changed his name to St. EOM (pronounced Ohm) and became the first Pasaquoyan. He continued to work on the art environment for 30 years, creating six major structures, mandala murals and more than 900 feet of elaborately painted masonry walls.
Pasaquan lavishly fuses African, pre-Columbian Mexico and Native American cultural and religious symbols and designs, along with motifs inspired by Edward Churchward’s books about “The Lost Continent of MU.”
After a few years of declining health, St. EOM committed suicide in 1986. Pasaquan began to fade — literally and figuratively. For 30 years, the Pasaquan Preservation Society (PPS) worked tirelessly to preserve the site. During 2014, philanthropic organization Kohler Foundation Inc., PPS and Columbus State University partnered to bring the visionary art site back to life.
“I built this place to have something to identify with. Here I can be in my own world, with my temples and designs and the spirit of God. I can have my own spirits and my own thoughts.”
- St. EOM
Today, Pasaquan is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered among the most important visionary art environments in the United States.
CNN dubbed Pasaquan one of "16 Intriguing Things to See and Do in the U.S. in 2016.”
To revitalize the site, philanthropic organization Kohler Foundation Inc., PPS and Columbus State University partnered to restore the artistic masterpiece. After two years of restoration, Kohler gifted Pasaquan to CSU’s foundation.
Columbus State University faculty, staff, students, and alumni have been directly involved in documentation of Pasaquan, the organization of archives and assisting with the conservation process. CSU alumni and students have worked with professional conservators from International Artifacts (Houston) and Parma Conservation (Chicago).
“Pasaquoyanism has to do with the Truth, and with Nature, and the Earth, and man’s lost rituals."
- St. EOM
For St. EOM, Pasaquan represents the future. It is his personal utopia, where all cultures and ethnic groups can come together in harmony and connect with the earth and the universe.
At Pasaquan, St EOM incorporated both spiritual concepts from ancient cultures and futuristic ideas of levitation transportation. In the end, St. EOM was able to communicate the traditions of Pasaquoyanism to the viewers of the future with colorful, pluralistic designs that cover the entire site.
Connecting to his genius to unite cultures and the universe around them, Columbus State University developed a mission, vision and education goals that celebrate and champion the humanitarian values Eddie Martin exhibited in his work.
CSU will also host performances, retreats, tours, artistic workshops and various education-focused programs and activities at Pasaquan to introduce visitors to St. EOM’s extensive body of creative work for years to come.
Columbus State University's priority is to preserve, maintain, provide access to and assist in the interpretation of Pasaquan.
We aspire to give visitors a unique insight into the intuitive artistic process by engaging them through diverse programming, interdisciplinary workshops, lectures, seminars, retreats and performances.
Pasaquan Education Goals:
Become a Pasaquoyan: While Pasaquan is open to everyone, you can join and enjoy St. EOM’s member events. All donations and membership fees will assist Columbus State University with the programming of this internationally recognized environmental art site.
Neophyte (student) members will receive newsletters and invitations to special members-only events.
Individualist members will receive the same benefits as the Neophyte membership.
Co-conspirators membership includes up to four family members. Members will receive newsletters and invitations to special members-only events as well as invitations to family activity days, and Pasaquan coloring pages included in the newsletters.
Technicolor Dreamer: $500
This is a patron-level membership and includes one-year unlimited admission, newsletters, invitations to special members-only events and one private tour a year for 20 of your family and friends.
This is a lifetime membership. It includes unlimited admission, newsletters, invitations to special members-only events and one private tour a year for 20 of your family and friends.
Donate: All donations will assist Columbus State University to maintain this national treasure. Your support provides essential funding that will help preserve St. EOM's utopian vision of the future into the future.
Help us maintain St. EOM’s Pasaquan by becoming part of the movement to preserve this otherworldly historical site.
Pasaquan has reopened to the public, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10-5 pm. All visitors to the site must properly wear a mask covering their nose and mouth and practice physical distancing (at least 6 -feet apart). No more than ten visitors will be allowed in the house at one time, and there will be no group tours.
Thank you for your interest in Pasaquan, and please come and visit.
Director of Pasaquan
On view through November 8, 2020
Where Paradise Lay is an exhibition that takes inspiration from the book "Walks to the Paradise Garden," written by the poet, founder of the Jargon Society, and Black Mountain College alum, Jonathan Williams. Nearly thirty years after its completion in 1992, Institute 193 in Lexington, Kentucky published the text and images that chronicled Williams’ periodic journeys in the 1980’s and early 90’s with photographers Guy Mendes and Roger Manley as they searched for artists who, in Williams’ words, “live on the heath, amid the rhododendron and laurel and heather and sand myrtle—just like me.” The chronicle focused on a region “between Virginia and Louisiana, from the Ohio River to the Everglades.”
KMAC’s exhibition will reveal how artists, like those featured in the book "Walks to the Paradise Garden" - Howard Finster, Mary T. Smith, Thornton Dial, Ralph Griffin, Martha Nelson Thomas, Eddie Owens Martin, Edgar Tolson, and others - have helped to construct America’s artistic and cultural roots, shaping our country’s collective visual identity.
JULY 2019 - JULY 2020
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Next time you‘re in the Atlanta Airport, please visit our exhibit, In the Land of Pasaquan: The Story of Eddie Owens Martin at the Airport Atrium Gallery, located in the heart of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.