A little while back we did a series of posts on publicly accessible outsider artwork in San Antonio. One of the artists we covered was the Rev. Seymour Perkins, a controversial figure who lives on the east side of town. While others argue over whether he harbors drugs and prostitutes, and his lawyer battles with the city over the fate of his home, we here at Emvergeoning decided to take another peak at the work that isn’t so publicly accessible — the work inside his home. As Rev. Perkins gave us the tour I tried to absorb all the details, while Justin Parr snapped shot after shot of the inner sanctuary. From what I was able to gather, Seymour Perkins’ daughter, Debbie Jo Christi, was killed in a drug-related conflict on February 22, 1994. Here is a drawing on one of the walls that depicts her murder:
On the same day, the tallest angel in Heaven appeared to Seymour Perkins, revealing to him a tunnel that runs under his home, which is in fact the famous Underground Railroad. This tunnel connects his home to the Alamo and the Menger Hotel, and runs on down into Mexico. After receiving this prophecy (which I am recounting in only a very fragmentary and woefully incomplete way), Perkins founded the Debbie Jo Christi Museum, and Hanging Tough Ministries. Here is a painting of the tunnel running under the Perkins estate:
Here are a few shots inside the Debbie Jo Christi Museum:
The Museum is located in a small building in the back of the house. But within the actual house, where Rev. Perkins delivers most of his sermons, there are a number of fascinating works. In his bedroom, the pieces below are painted on the wall. The first is a self-portrait of Rev. Perkins with his son:
Next to this painting, is a larger work depicting one of his assistants, whose ass is stuck to his ass (i.e. he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going):
Below are a few details of one work painted on a window shade, depicting a man named Timothy Ringer, “the funkiest man in San Antonio”:
In addition to these works, dealing with himself, his family, and other meaningful people in his life, Perkins showed us a few pieces dealing with his relationship with God and History:
Now, this post isn’t intended to rally support around Rev. Seymour Perkins, or to say anything about his proper place in our community. I’ll leave that to his neighbors, his lawyers, and the city’s elected officials. But I did think it would be good for people to see what is inside his home — if it is destroyed in the coming months, this may sadly be one of the most complete documents of what it contained. To see more of his work, please visit the San Angel Folk Art gallery in the Blue Star arts complex.