This website uses cookies. Learn more via our web privacy policy. For questions, please email
Exhibitions - Columbus State University Skip to Main Content
Pasaquan wall painted in bright colors



Jayne County Fantastic Penis Planet: The Feminization of the Male Organ

In 2021 I first curated this exhibition of works by Jayne County at Pasaquan, the otherworldly home, and artist-environment created by Eddie Owens Martin, or St. EOM. The pair were a match made in the Milky Way, two artists dreaming of distant worlds, persistently building places they could identify with. Creating meaning out of a society that could never wholly have sense. St. EOM took inspiration from “the ancients, the Assyrians, the Mayans, the Olmecs, the Egyptians, the people of Atlantis and Mu.” Jayne looks to ancient times, her sights set on the History Channel and hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt.

I think of these inspiring places, these moments in time, as giant projective masks that present our dreams of tomorrow. They are more often than not just ideas and ideals. They are like Rorschach tests, built on the fly with ambiguous materials to elicit interpretive responses from all onlookers. These artists, architects, world builders draw from life, from profound truths and reflections of the human condition, looking back at many yesterdays while dreaming of a more reassuring tomorrow. It’s a feeling so deep in the body that we often feel its only connection is somewhere out in the vastness of the cosmos, even if that celestial space is actually rural Georgia. Or maybe Egypt. Or perhaps even Kentucky.

But before tomorrow, we are here, brought together by Jayne County. In her world, all are welcome. County’s penis paintings are like nothing else comparable in contemporary art, but their inspiration works towards the same goals. At first blush, her paintings represent the unsayable, the unconscious, but we can all see ourselves on these canvases. The candor in these paintings is overdue and refreshing. Phallic hieroglyphs, repetitive symbols of who we once were, marks telling what we will be. Gone are any prudish impulses, replaced by conversations about the body in the world—ideas about fertility, gender ideals, identity, faith, morality—beliefs bigger than any of us. Their reflection back at us is pure and blazing. County has found this universal point of reference to use humor and skill to welcome us to her world. This is a safe space, an interstellar meeting house where all subjects, where all people are worthy of representation.

County’s stand-alone phalluses serve as carriers, transporters of meaning, representatives of a future phallocentric universe. The penises have invented a new language. They are dismembered members, equally free of sensuality or guilt. They are restless to the point of delirium. They glow with unearthly radiation; nebulae and star clusters guide their path. They are timeless. Seen together, her penises create a new pictographic language, a subversive radical nonverbal voice.

— Daniel Fuller, curator

Exhibitions: Jayne County — Institute 193

Multitudes - American Folk Art Museum

A comprehensive way to understand Eddie Owens Martin’s many multitudes is through the artist’s concept of Pasaquoyan. This title refers both to a life philosophy and to a physical space for people to experience—a rhythmically colored seven-acre site in Georgia. Martin drew on a myriad of historical inspirations, including his limited knowledge from ancient Mesoamerican, Asian, and early Native North American civilizations. Like all religious prophets, Martin had a divine call that spurred him to do god’s will. An inner voice told him: “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.” Developing his own belief system, he professed that pasa means “pass” in Spanish, and that quoyan is a term derived from an unidentified language that, according to St. EOM, meant “bringing the past and the future together.”

Martin’s spiritual belief system was both a personal manifesto and a performative practice, the full breadth of which is reflected in AFAM’s unique collection of his work. The drawings were created pre-Pasaquan in New York, where he supported himself as a sex worker, a fortune teller, and a waiter, absorbed in the art world, and relishing the company of drag queens, drug dealers, and other cultural outsiders who later found their ways into his works. His transitioning identity to St. EOM triggered the creation of a self-styled wardrobe, like often seen among creators of art environments, as a strategy to “dress the message or the messenger” and provide a sense of unity between art and life.

Eddie Owens Martin | MULTITUDES


Viberations of Pasaquan

Artists inspired by the art and legacy of Eddie Owens Martin exhibited with Eddie Owens Martin. Curated by Jonathan Fredrick Walz, and Michael Mcfalls.

Participating artists: Eddie Dominquez, Martha Clippingger, Gê Orthof, Saya Woolfalk, Charles Fowler, and Eddie Owens Martin

Saya Woolfalk: Augmented Visionary Reality Outpost

October 18, 2019 - February 2, 2020, Nordhausen/Callaway Galleries

Since 2006, Saya Woolfalk has been imagining and creating an alternative universe that combines science fiction, ceremonial ritual, technology, identity, and art. This other universe exists in the future and past simultaneously. Overall, Woolfalk’s ongoing project considers identities and influences across cultures, especially in relation to our contemporary world. Each museum that hosts one of the artist’s fantastical, immersive, multi-sensory installations helps continue and expand the story of this fictional world.

Woolfalk’s alternative universe is inhabited by beings from the future called the No Placeans. In the artist’s narrative, a group of modern-day women in Upstate New York stumbled on a set of No Placean bones covered in fungi. Over time, as the women were exposed to the bones, they experienced psychedelic visions, which in turn caused a genetic alteration that fused the women’s human DNA with that of plants. With this change in their DNA, the women renamed themselves the Empathics and set out to make this hybrid metamorphosis possible for anyone. They founded the Institute of Empathy to excavate the original archaeological site and then formed a corporation called ChimaTEK to sell this transformational process to consumers.

The environment in the Nordhausen Gallery tells the story of the ChimaCloud, the Empathics’ newest groundbreaking technology. This self-replicating digital universe is populated by fragments, ideas, and forms uploaded to the ChimaCloud by people from around the world. Woolfalk has reimagined the Callaway Gallery as a ChimaTEK day spa. It features three stations that foster mindfulness, guided meditation, and self-actualization for visitors.

By envisioning and then creating fully realized aspects of a fictional universe, Woolfalk intends to evoke not only wonder but also a feeling of disorientation. She hopes this combination of responses will lead to a sense of curiosity, openness, and possibility that visitors will then take with them into their everyday lives.

The original iteration of this project, Visionary Reality Outpost: Saya Woolfalk was organized by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Elements of Saya Woolfalk: Expedition to the ChimaCloud, recently on view at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, are also featured here. The exhibition at The Columbus Museum has been made possible in part by the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Columbus Cultural Arts Alliance.

Saya Woolfalk: Augmented Visionary Reality Outpost : Past Exhibitions : Exhibitions : The Columbus Museum

Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads

March 2 – May 19, 2019

In the early 1980s, poet Jonathan Williams invited photographers Guy Mendes and Roger Manley to hit the road “to document what tickled us, what moved us, and what (sometimes) appalled us in the Southeastern United States.” This exhibition brings to life their resulting encounters with self-taught artists who “make up beauty out of the air and out of nowhere,” such as Howard Finster, Mose Tolliver, Thornton Dial, and Mary T. Smith, along with dozens of others.

Williams had intended for Mendes’s and Manley’s photographs to illustrate the poetic, often humorous reflections he compiled into a guidebook—“a true Wonder Book, a guide for a certain kind of imagination.” He titled it Walks to the Paradise Garden to honor Finster and his Edenic art environment as well as the many other artists who were “directly involved with making paradise for themselves.”

For the first time, Way Out There brings together Mendes’s and Manley’s enthralling photographs, works in the High’s permanent collection by some of the artists they profiled, and excerpts from Williams’s book, which recently was published. This exhibition takes its name from a title Mendes preferred for the book, Way Out People Way Out There, which alludes to both the highly original mindsets of the featured artists as well as their geographical distance from conventional art-world capitals.

Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads - High Museum of Art


Deep In The Woods - The Atlanta Contemporary

Deep in the woods of rural Marion County, Georgia, Eddie Owens Martin created one of the most important works of art in American history. Pasaquan is a seven-acre art environment that features an original farmhouse built in 1885, a ‘sitting room’, a sand-dance pit and a Kiva, a partially buried circular chamber designed for Pueblo Indian ceremonies. Utilizing a mélange of African, Polynesian, Easter Island, and Pre-Columbian symbolism Eddie painted a kaleidoscope of unholy visceral colors that blast off beneath the pines. The site effortlessly pushes and pulsates, if you embrace the psychic powers of the place, it feels like being transported inside of a Gauguin painting.

After Eddie passed on in 1986 the Pasaquan Preservation Society did their best to honor what he had left behind. After nearly 30 years The Kohler Foundation, a philanthropic organization, began bringing the site back to life. Today it is run by director Mike McFalls and caretaker Charles Fowler through the management of Columbus State University. Since the grand reopening Pasaquan was named one of the 16 intriguing things to see and do in the U.S. in 2016 by CNN.

After making the pilgrimage to Buena Vista it is easy to be seduced by the wild exterior of this mystical visionary environment. However, you would be doing yourself a disservice as inside Eddie’s former home there is a tremendous collection of paintings on canvas and paper bring jitters when I think about them. Long before Eddie began transforming the compound, he was a painter. For nearly 30 years he would faithfully spend mornings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Natural History, looking, learning about an array of exotic cultures. He would tell fortunes in a Times Square tea room from 3pm until 10pm and then return to the St. James Hotel to paint thru the night. Much like Pasaquan the paintings are deep and lush, his cultural explorations are full of intense mystery. He illustrates magic lands with infinite possibilities. Mayans, Egyptians, and Polynesians are luxuriously dressed playing music in a field or making pottery on a stage. Young tarty male faces smile back at the viewer as they radiate love and joy via hypnotic hues that beam from all around them.

Eddie never received his due accolades for his paintings. Months after the Village Voice referred to him as “one of the most colorful registrants” at the annual Washington Square Outdoor Art Show, he returned to Buena Vista. Pasaquan itself is the centerpiece, but the paintings are the fine China orbing the table. They reinforce Eddie’s dreams and desires for refuge, an accepting place to escape to. Within these frames Eddie will forever be in motion.

Pasaquan | Atlanta Contemporary

  • A woman singing
  • A room with various painting hanging on the wall
  • A painting with a profile of a male head and others behind him
  • Michael Stipe looking at an abstract painting
  • Painting of a male from the chest up
  • Painting of a village scene of women making clay pots
  • Painting of a male with a cabinet and bowl of fruit behind him.
History of the Soul at Paris Internationale

October 17, 2018 – October 21, 2018

Atlanta Contemporary will be exhibiting History of the soul, a collection of artworks compiled by Daniel Fuller, our curator, at to be shown at Paris Internationale. Paris Internationale is an annual art fair located in Paris, France, created in 2015 to showcase emerging galleries and artists.

History of the soul is based around the book Bobby, by Keith A. Smith. Created in 1983 and published by Nexus Press, Atlanta in 1985, Bobby is about a young boy’s solitude while remaining in the closet. The boy falls in love with his shadow, a black version of himself. The two are one, and yet forever forbidden. Forever one half of a whole, never able to live out loud. Living in the conservative America, there are frequent reminders that same-sex love interracial desires are around the corner; you just have to know which doors to open.

Five artists and a selection of a television program’s archives, art, and ephemera will occupy the space at Atlanta Contemporary’s booth and declare themselves present. Voices emerging from deep seclusion, however politically obscured or disembodied, announce their very existence with the greatest consequences.

This exhibition is located at 16 Rue Alfred de Vigny, 75008 Paris. Learn more about the Paris Internationale on their website.

History of the soul | Atlanta Contemporary

Responding to Pasaquan was curated by Saya Woolfalk, Outsider Art Fair

Responding to Pasaquan was curated by Saya Woolfalk for the 2018 Outsider Art Fair, and was presented with support from the John Michael Kohler Art Center and Pasaquan at Columbus State University.

"Visionary Art is a grassroots form of self-expression and the ideas put forth by visionary artists can be powerful tools for imagining alternative realities.

In 1957, interracial marriage was illegal in twenty-four states in the United States, including Georgia. This was also the year Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM) began to build Pasaquan, an elaborate complex of visionary art and architecture in Columbus, Georgia. St. EOM created a future utopian world called Pasaquan, in which all cultures and ethnic groups come together and connect with the earth and the universe.

He built a temple to a culturally hybridized world in a place and time when many Americans were violently unreceptive to this perspective. What compelled St. EOM to build such a complex? How was he able to project his progressive views into the imaginations of his neighbors and what methods did he use so they might consider his utopia?

My curated booth at the Outsider Art Fair is the first in a series of projects in which I engage St EOM’s ideas and work. The resulting installations are an attempt to understand the strategies St EOM used to communicate his vision of Pasaquan with the people of Columbus, Georgia. St. EOM engaged visitors with the use of fortune telling and astrology. The booth at the Outsider Art Fair is furnished with objects from St. EOM’s original fortune telling parlor. This includes mandalas borrowed from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center as the starting point for site-specific wall drawings and an unpainted bust from St. EOM’s workshop, which I will activate with video projections.

At the center of this installation is a piece developed with astrologer Alice Sparkly Kat. Audience members will be invited to have their charts read and participate in workshops that decolonize through astrology."

-Saya Woolfalk

OAF Curated Space - Program - New York - Outsider Art Fair

St. EOM of Pasaquan - The Lyndon House Arts Center

The Lyndon House Arts Center is pleased to announce the new exhibition St. EOM of Pasaquan, and related events, a book signing with author Tom Patterson and the Pasaquan panel discussion.

Eddie Owens Martin, or St. EOM of Pasaquan, was a self-taught artist who, while living in his home town of Buena Vista, created a spectacular art site. Pasaquan, recently renovated and under the guidance of Columbus State University, is a unique and internationally recognized visionary art environment. Lyndon House Arts Center has the pleasure of filling the galleries with St. EOM’s numerous artworks from paintings, drawings, sculptures as well as garments and adornments.

We are happy to host author Tom Patterson, whose publication, St. EOM in the Land of Pasaquan: the life and times and art of Eddie Owens Martin, has just been re-printed by UGA Press. Tom Patterson will be in the gallery to sign copies on Thursday, November 8 beginning at 5:30 pm. Books are available for purchase that evening courtesy of Avid Bookshop.

The Pasaquan panel discussion welcomes Professor Michael McFalls, Columbus State University and Director of Pasaquan, historian Fred Fussell, the Pasaquan Preservation Society president, Annie Moye, Author Tom Patterson and others on Friday, November 9 at 1:00 pm. This panel will include the story of Pasaquan, the importance of preserving visionary art and its legacy as well as the wonderful tales of the extraordinary St. EOM from those who knew him well.

This exhibit and events are supported by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and the Public Impact Program, University of Georgia Press, LaGrange Art Museum, Columbus State University, Pasaquan Preservation Society, Michael Pierse, Pasaquan and Avid Booksellers.

In the Land of of Pasaquan: The Story of Eddie Owens Martin originated from the LaGrange Art Museum, and is made available by the courtesy of Columbus State University, Columbus State University Foundation, Inc., Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia, and through a gift by the Kohler Foundation, Inc.

Lyndon House Arts Center, located at 211 Hoyt St in Athens GA, is a facility of the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department and is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) through the appropriation of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

-Saya Woolfalk

St. EOM of Pasaquan | Athens-Clarke County, GA - Official Website

Unstuck in Time: St. EOM, Pasaquan, Here, Now

"Unstuck in Time: St. EOM, Pasaquan, Here, Now" unites a diverse group of artists, carefully chosen not just for their visual resonance with St. EOM's work, but for their shared vision, dedication to their craft, and belief that art can transcend the present, opening portals to envision new possibilities and worlds.

This exhibition is curated by The Fuel and Lumber Company, founded by artists Amy Pleasant and Pete Schulte in Birmingham, Alabama, to facilitate exhibitions and related programming in the Southeast and beyond. Through their distinct artistic voices, these curators pay homage to the spirit of Pasaquan and St. EOM's profound artistic legacy. This exhibition celebrates the power of art to dissolve barriers, foster inclusivity, and spark conversations about the human condition, identity, and spirituality.

Participating Artists:
Ryan Akers, David Onri Anderson, Merrilee Challiss, Julia Elsas, Erik Frydenborg, Leia Genis, Sonya Yong James, St. EOM (aka Eddie Owens Martin), Robert Morgan, New Future City Radio (Damon Locks and Rob Mazurek), Sarah Peters, Sonic Mud (Julia Elsas, Kenny Wollesen, Kirk Knuffke, Madeleine Ventrice), Sergio Suarez


Pasaquoyanism: Eddie Owens Martin+ Jonathan Frederick Walz+ Gê Orthof – John Michael Kohler Arts Center

In 1957, a Georgia native returned to his family home near Buena Vista and began constructing one of the most significant art environments in the U.S. Eddie Owens Martin (1908–1986), the son of sharecroppers, created a world called “Pasaquan” and an elaborate new religion, of which he was the sole practitioner.

When Martin was in his twenties, voices in a fevered vision told him he was to become a “Pasaquoyan” named St. EOM and instructed him to depict a peaceful future for humanity. The home and seven acres he inherited became that depiction.

Martin built fences, pagodas, shrines, altars, walls, and walkways and embellished them with brightly painted totem faces, whirling mandalas, undulating snakes, and variously styled figures. All of it bears Martin’s perceptions of pre-Columbian Mexican temples and the fabled lost continents of Mu and Atlantis.

This was the first exhibition showing of Martin’s works that were recently gifted to the Arts Center by Kohler Foundation, Inc. Among them were paintings, sketches, and the artist’s ceremonial garb.

Jonathan Frederick Walz, director of curatorial affairs and curator of American art at The Columbus Museum, collaborated on the exhibition. Walz gave broader context to St. EOM’s art environment by positioning it with the work of Brazilian artist Gê Orthof, who also creates immersive, site-specific installations based on place and the sensorial reactions a place evokes.

In 2008, Pasaquan was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013, the Kohler Foundation, Inc. embarked on an extensive restoration of the site. The stewardship of Pasaquan is under the direction of nearby Columbus State University. A small number of St. EOM’s works of art are stored, conserved, and placed in museum collections by Kohler Foundation to ensure survival in the event that a natural disaster might cause extensive damage at the site.

Pasaquoyanism: Eddie Owens Martin +Jonathan Frederick Walz +Gê Orthof – John Michael Kohler Arts Center

We are deeply grateful for the generous support of these sponsors.

Georgia Council for the Arts

Historic Artists Homes and Studios

Kohler Foundation

Ruth Foundations

Our Location