Intelligence and composure are the roots ...


Way Out There
Inside the Jargon Society, Late-20th-century 
America’s most curious cultural outfit
and its Raiders of the Lost Art

Tom Patterson

ISBN ​​​978-1-963908-10-7      266 pages         $25.00

pre-order, ships when published

Patterson opens himself up to strangeness ad outsideness, differentness, which most people don’t….  Most people are very guarded and sort of bored. That’s the last thing Patterson is. Nothing bores him, anything interests him.    
     Poet/photographer/publisher Jonathan Williams   

Patterson was always seeing things in interesting ways…. He has a sense of the unusual and a sense of discovery—a sense of the ridiculous, and wants to share that.”           
     Alfred W. Brown, founding editor of Brown’s Guide to Georgia

Re: St. EOM in the Land of Pasaquan 
(Jargon Society, 1987; University of Georgia Press, 2018)

“As the gutsiest mixture of folk art and autobiography imaginable, this opens epic vistas as wide and as old as grass-roots America.” 
— Robert Rosenblum, art historian 

“A many-faceted book…. The skeptic has not been born who could indefinitely withstand the alternately seductive and challenging, eloquent and profane, oddly black-inflected voice that speaks from [these] pages…. St. EOM’s fragrant and harrowing account of his cracker childhood is a small southern classic…. There is no cog on the ratchet of American rugged individualism beyond that of St. EOM, and his disaffected creative drive is archetypal for much that is strong in American art.” 
— Peter Schjeldahl, New York Times Book Review 

“It’s lush, it’s gorgeous, it’s the most detailed life of any of the artists who’ve built these most wonderful environments. Tom Patterson was true to the man and his feelings and nailed it…” 
— Seymour Rosen, founding director, SPACES (Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural EnvironmentS), Los Angeles 

“WHAT!A!BOOK! Jeez, the old boy was onto somethin’, wasn’t he! Wow! Every home should have two copies, one downstairs, one up.” 
— Ed McClanahan, novelist, essayist, Merry Prankster 

“One of the great pleasures of this new and important book about a Southern outsider artist is that it finally and with a sure hand subverts and devastates the public conception of the self-taught artist as naive, primitive, sweet, and isolated from the moral seriousness of the ‘real’ world…. [St. EOM] is a storyteller and a rhythmic genius conveying the pulse of the mean streets ad the role of the constantly crucified hustler in words sinewy and vivid.” 
— Randall Morris, critic, essayist, gallerist 

Re: Howard Finster, Stranger from Another World 
(Abbeville Press, 1989) 

“By telling the backwoods preacher’s story the way he has never done himself…. Stranger is like a great novel. It enchants and educates the reader with Finster’s own voice.” 
— Eileen Drennen, Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

“…. stunning…. an oral biography of the artist’s life in which Finster spins autobiographical tales in his own dialect. Tom Patterson…. spent nine years putting together this narrative of Finster’s life…. The next best thing to a personal visit is to track down this book, which conjures images of sitting in Finster’s studio drinking lemonade out of a Mason jar with a dog curled at your feet.” 
— John Lewis, City Paper (Baltimore)

“Now…. we get the full story of Finster’s humble origins, the visions that command his art and his unique relationship with God, all in the down-home, good-ol’-boy voice of Finster himself…. the delightful, no-excuses truth from a humble man of God doing as he’s told.” 
— Ted Fry, The Rocket (Seattle) 

“…. Patterson has pieced together the wandering fragments of Finster’s life and successfully presented a comprehensive and enlightening story that aids immensely in understanding the quirky iconography of Finster’s work.” 
— Rodger Brown, Creative Loafing (Atlanta) 

“In the tradition of James Boswell and the great biographers of the world, …. Tom Patterson….has the patience, the fortitude, and the human understanding to record, organize, and interpret all this for us. He gives us the inside story on this outsider enigma.”
— Marybeth Sutton Wallace, Evening Telegram (Rocky Mount, North Carolina) 

Re: The Tom Patterson Years: 
Cultural Adventures of a Fledgling Scribe 

(Hiding Press, 2021) 

“…. a fun read.” — Michael Stipe 

“Patterson seemingly had a hand in every outlet of creative expression all over the South…. In this book he hews closely to his seven years in Georgia’s capital city, when he embarked on projects that eventually made him a go-to authority on visionary art…. Patterson clearly has a kind of internal divining rod that dependably leads him toward worthwhile weirdos.” — Candice Dyer, ARTSATL website / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tom Patterson is writer, editor, and independent curator based in North Carolina. His books include St. EOM in the Land of Pasaquan (Jargon Society, 1987; University of Georgia Press, 2018), Howard Finster, Stranger from Another World (Abbeville Press, 1989), and The Tom Patterson Years: Cultural Adventures of a Fledgling Scribe (Hiding Press, 2021). His writings have appeared in afterimage, American Crafts, Aperture, ARTnews, Art Papers, BOMB, Folk Art, and New Art Examiner. A frequent, longtime contributor to Raw Vision, the London-based international outsider-art journal, he is also a former editor of North Carolina’s Arts Journal (1988-1990), and a former visual-art columnist for the Charlotte Observer (1992-1998) and the Winston-Salem Journal (1988-2022). He has curated exhibitions for the American Visionary Art Museum, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, and the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art, among other visual-art institutions.