Howard Finster was a born preacher and served as a Baptist lay minister in congregations and tent revivals in the rural South for around thirty years. In the 1960s Finster had a vision that led him to clear swampland behind his house and build Paradise Garden—a dense and complex environment with sculptures, assemblages, hand-painted signs, walkways, small outbuildings, and flowering plants and trees. In 1976 he was further prophetically directed to create “sacred art.” From that time forward he produced a vast body of paintings and constructions ringing with the word of the Lord in extensive texts—apocalyptic, didactic, and visionary—as well as reflections on popular culture, history, and current events.
Source: Stacy C. Hollander, Cathedral in Heaven, exhibition label for Ooh, Shiny!. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2012.