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Future Exhibitions

Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads

March 2–May 19, 2019


Painted figure by Eddie Owens Martin of a Pasaquoyan man covered in painted patterns and wearing a headdress.

Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM) (American, 1908–1986), Pasaquoyan Man with Ritual Headdress and Levitation Suit, ca. 1965–1975, enamel and beads on concrete over wire mesh. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, gift of the Marion County Historical Society, 1992.9.


Photograph of Pasaquan's large, sculptural front gate featuring painted figures with coiled hair.

Guy Mendes (American, b. 1948), Front Gate, Land of Pasaquan, near Buena Vista, GA, 1982, dye destruction print. Courtesy of the artist.

Collaboratively organized by the museum’s renowned photography and folk and self-taught art departments, this exhibition celebrates the convergence of contemporary American photography, literature and self-taught artists. The exhibition explores the rich exchange between self-taught and avant-garde artists, bringing it to life through photographs that reveal the brilliant vitality of self-taught artists through images of their homes and yards, presented with unique artworks that have been preserved from those places.

Way Out There is inspired by a shelved and forgotten manuscript for an off-beat guidebook of Southern self-taught artists written by the late poet and publisher Jonathan Williams titled “Walks to the Paradise Garden.” The book spotlights more than 100 of the South’s many backroads artists, whom Williams visited during extensive road trips in the 1980s and 1990s with the photographers Guy Mendes and Roger Manley.

Way Out There will consist of sculptures, paintings and drawings by self-taught artists in the High’s collection, alongside many rarely seen photographs by Mendes and Manley. Artists including Eddie Owens Martin, Sam Doyle, J.B. Murray, Edgar Tolson, Georgia Blizzard, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Howard Finster, Thornton Dial, and many others will be represented.

This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Organization and Support

Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta

This exhibition is made possible by

Exhibition Series Sponsors

Premier Exhibition Series Supporter
The Antinori Foundation
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot

Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation

Ambassador Exhibition Supporters
Tom and Susan Wardell
Rod Westmoreland

Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
Lucinda W. Bunnen
Corporate Environments
Marcia and John Donnell
W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole
Peggy Foreman
Robin and Hilton Howell
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Margot and Danny McCaul

Generous support is also provided by
Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Marjorie and Carter Crittenden, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, Massey Charitable Trust, RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund, and Dr. Diane L. Wisebram