published Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Chattooga County buys artist Finster’s Paradise Gardens

  • photo
    Folk artist Howard Finster's World's Folk Art Church is shown in his Paradise Gardens in Pennville, Ga., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. The church, where he held hundreds of weddings and other events is now nearly beyond repair. (AP Photo/Gene Blythe)

Chattooga County, Ga., has purchased Paradise Gardens, the outdoor site in Summerville that serves as a showcase for folk artist Howard Finster’s works, according to a news release.

“This purchase ensures an ultimate protection for our communities’ treasured art environment,” Chattooga County Sole Commissioner Jason Winters said in a statement. “Our goal is to save this local, national and internationally renowned art site while creating a sustainable heritage tourism destination to promote our local economy.”

Winters said in the news release, which came from the Paradise Gardens Foundation, that locally donated money and local interest were part of a required match to make the purchase.

The foundation was created to ensure preservation of the art site and enhance development of the local economy, according to the statement.

Summerville native Jordan H. Poole has been hired as executive director of the foundation, which will work to promote tourism at the site.

“I am excited to be a part of such a prestigious project in my hometown community,” Poole said in the statement.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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