Hometown Tours North Georgia: Paradise Garden Foundation


SUMMERVILLE, Georgia (WDEF) – An hour away from Chattanooga in Summerville, GA sits Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens.

Finster was a Summerville minister turned folk artist.

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He started painting when he was 59 years old and created 46,991 works of art.

Paradise Gardens was once Finster’s home and showcases many of his works.

Tina Cox who is the Executive Director of Paradise Gardens says that, “Different structures mean different things. He loved Coca-Cola. Oh my goodness he loved Coca-Cola. He loved Cadillac’s. He loved Elvis Presley and so you’ll see these images over and over again in his artwork and also in his garden.”

Paradise Gardens has seen visitors from over 30 different countries.

They have had over 35,000 guests in the last 7 years just to see Howard’s famous works.

Cox also says, “His artwork is in every major museum in the United States including the Smithsonian. The High Museum has dedicated a permanent uh space, a uh rather large permanent space uh exhibition space for his work. And you can see it there also. There’s one four letter word that he really portrayed and that was love.

Paradise Gardens has 2 acres of Howard’s work and 20 different structures to walk through on a self guided tour.

Paradise Gardens has a rolling walkway that Howard designed for those guest that may be in a wheelchair. This way they can see every single piece of Paradise Gardens and inside there are Cathedral style windows and little pieces of artwork from Howard and other artists from all around the world.”

Howard Finster was loved by many and left his mark on Northwest Georgia.