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Kohler Foundation to Begin Preservation of Pasaquan
Internationally renowned art site in Georgia will be restored by prestigious foundation
KOHLER, Wis. – May 28, 2014 – Kohler Foundation, Inc. of Kohler, Wisconsin, known nationally for their preservation of art, art environments and supporting education initiatives, has announced plans to preserve Pasaquan, the colorful art environment created by Eddie Owens Martin, known as St. EOM, located near Buena Vista, Georgia.
“At seven acres of land and six vibrant buildings, this is one of the largest art environment preservation projects we have ever undertaken,” said Natalie Black Kohler, president of the Kohler Foundation. “Preservation of this site will ensure that future generations of artists and the public will be able to experience the varied facets of the property.”
Preservation work at Pasaquan is expected to begin in mid-May, take nearly two years to complete and will include structural work as well as object and painting conservation. Professional conservators from Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles, along with local craftsmen, will work to bring the site back to its former glory.
Upon completion, Pasaquan will be gifted to the Columbus State University Foundation for use by the university under the direction of Professor Mike McFalls in the university’s Department of Art. The university will breathe life into the site with events, programming, and educational activities, as well as tours. CSU President Tim Mescon views this as, “An effort that will have an indelible and positive impact on the region.”
The Pasaquan Preservation Society, a private, not-for-profit organization, has been caring for the site since 1986 and for years, they worked diligently to maintain the site. After completing a comprehensive restoration and preservation assessment, the society approached Kohler Foundation about taking on the safeguarding efforts and the two organizations have agreed to transfer ownership of Pasaquan to the Wisconsin-based foundation so conservation work can begin.
Pasaquan is a world renowned art environment created by the late Eddie Owens Martin beginning in the mid-1950s with work continuing until his death in 1986. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the art environment consists of six major structures, including the original farmhouse, now painted and embellished with art, an expanse of brightly painted masonry walls,
totems, walkways, temples and a pagoda. Author Tom Patterson, who has chronicled St. EOM’s art site, describes Pasaquan as “one of the most remarkable folk art environments in America— a sort of mock pre-Columbian psychedelic wonderland.” To learn more about Pasaquan, visit www.pasaquan.blogspot.com.
About Kohler Foundation Inc.
Nationally known for their work with art environments, Kohler Foundation has preserved seven art environments in Wisconsin, plus the Kenny Hill Sculpture Garden in Chauvin, LA; Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield, OH; and the monumental Garden of Eden in Lucas, KS. Most recently, Kohler Foundation has been involved with the Bernard Langlais estate in Cushing, ME. Gifts of art by Bernard Langlais have been made to 50 institutions in Maine, plus a selection of iconic wood sculptures will remain in situ to be gifted to the Georges River Land Trust, creating a unique collaboration between art preservation and land conservation. To learn more about Kohler Foundation, visit www.kohlerfoundation.org/.