Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Howard Finster Folk Art Fun with Self-Portraits

For this lesson, third graders learned about Georgia Folk Artist, Howard Finster (1916-2001).  We have posted about Howard Finster in the past.  Click HERE for these posts.  Howard Finster was an American artist and Baptist minister from Pennville, Georgia.  He claimed to be inspired by God to spread the Gospel through the design of his swampy land into Paradise Gardens, a folk art sculpture garden, with over 50,000 pieces of art.  His creations included outsider art, visionary art, and folk art.  
Finster's folk art became popular in the 1980s.  
 He did album cover designs for The Talking Heads.
Also, the band, R.E.M., made a video to the song "Radio Free Europe" at Howard Finster's Paradise Garden.

In 1994, a portion of Finster's Paradise Garden was installed as a permanent collection at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Keith Haring, supposedly visited Paradise Gardens, often.  At Paradise Garden, there is one of Haring's sculptures.  It appears to be a "little" Keith and a "little" Howard.
  Have a look at what appears to be a collaborative project.
Here is a sampling of some of Howard Finster's artwork.
After a brief history lesson on the Reverend Finster, I had the kids draw their self portrait.
I talked about self portraits and face and proportion.
The kids used mirrors to look at their faces to draw.
When we were done drawing, we outlined and painted our folk art.
To get a true "Finster" feel, I had the kids write things about themselves with sharpies on their portraits.
Have a look!
Here is the Reverend Howard Finster talking about R.E.M.



  1. Nice I love this :-)
    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. This is so cool. Great post and thanks for sharing my post too!

  3. Thanks for sharing this on the #ArtistByState project