Folk artist Howard Finster was born in Alabama on December 2, 1916. One of thirteen children, he had unique visions from the age of three. He became a preacher and traveled the South, establishing several churches. Ultimately his visions led him to art, and he became world famous for his sacred and folk images. He established Paradise Gardens, a haven for artists and a major tourist attraction, in Summerville, Georgia. He would frequently house and encourage budding artists, and was there to greet visitors to home - especially the young children of which he was so fond. He was living at Paradise Gardens when he was struck with congestive heart failure and died in a hospital in nearby Rome on October 22, 2001.