"Pasaquan is a nationally significant 20th-century visionary-art environment, created by "outsider artist" Eddie Owens Martin, a.k.a. St. EOM, (1908-1986), located approximately 3.5 miles west-northwest of the town of Buena Vista, Georgia. The son of poor sharecroppers, Martin ran away from his abusive father at the age of 14 bound for New York City. Martin lived there for 35 years where he was variously a fortuneteller, prostitute, panderer, drug dealer, gambler, transvestite, drug addict, petty criminal, and a casual art student. In 1957, Martin returned to Georgia and settled on a tract of land that contained a 1880s saddlebag-type house near Buena Vista. In 1959, Martin, aided by several local African-American men, began transforming the family farm into Pasaquan. Guided by spirits and a wide array of artistic and marijuana induced influences Martin created a work of visionary art that today is recognized internationally by critics as a unique masterpiece. The art consists of a series of vividly painted concrete walls and buildings. A self-taught artist, Martin's art reflects his religious beliefs that stressed humanity's ability to communicate directly with God and his humble "cracker" social origins. St. EOM funded his art telling fortunes, selling marijuana, and offering counseling. Martin committed suicide in 1986 after suffering from poor health for several years.
"Pasaquan is an excellent example of 20th-century visionary art in America. Visionary art purports to transcend the physical world and portray a wider vision of awareness including spiritual or mystical themes, or is based in such experiences. Eddie Owens Martin's art expresses the connection he saw between his physical environment and spiritual creator...
"The complex houses a collection of over 2,000 individual pieces of art, craft, and other work including oil paintings on canvas, Masonite, and wood; watercolor paintings, ink drawings, and pencil drawings on paper; wood, concrete, and mixed media sculptures; items of costume and decorative attire; musical instruments; film and photography; sound tape recordings; and a variety of other materials, all created by or under the supervision of the artist, St. EOM."
Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form prepared by Keith S. Hébert of the Historic Preservation Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, March 10, 2008. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."