Visiting The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

I dare you to have a fun, indulgent, stimulating and happy-go-lucky weekend, THIS weekend. Because last week, I went to The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore and had such a blast: Funny artwork, beautiful artwork, inspiring artwork–galore! This Saturday’s the perfect event to go to if you want to enjoy a fun and creative side of Baltimore!

The museum has three separate buildings, a beautiful art garden, a cafe, an events hall, a gift shop called Sideshow, oh it goes on! My favorite things about the museum are its mirror-mosaic all along the main building’s exterior, the mere joy all of the employees have EVERY time I visit, and the news of their very-publicized programming. Every time I’ve come to visit their exhibit What Makes Us Smile? I’ve been filled with more and more glee and appreciation–of both the work as well as the friends who came with me.

So what is visionary art and why should you care? In my own terms, it’s all about daring yourself and creating work that goes beyond training—to creating and crafting imagination into its tangible form. ‘I make it because it gives me joyful purpose’–is what comes to my mind. Visionary art is something I’d like to re-discover inside of myself.

The museum describes it as: “Like love, you know it when you see it. But here’s the longer definition, straight out of our Mission Statement: “Visionary art as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” In short, visionary art begins by listening to the inner voices of the soul, and often may not even be thought of as ‘art’ by its creator.” You’ve GOT to read more at The AVAM about page.

Following some of my tweets I took as notes of things I liked, please google James Callahan’s comics, Guster’s Do You Love Me, of course Post Secret (as a whole! Hilarious postcards sent of personal admissions). There are so many idiosyncratic finds at the museum that each time I go I discover something charming, perplexing, and telling of each individual’s story.

This Saturday – AVAM’s participating in the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race, and they’re going crazy in anticipation for the event! AVAM’s 13th Annual KINETIC SCULPTURE RACE – It’s online and on many peoples’ minds! It starts around 8am and wraps up around 3pm, and I can’t wait to see that huge pink dog of theirs flying down the streets of Baltimore! Check out KineticBaltimore.com, and AVAM’s page as well.

"This town aint accessible enough for both of us", John Callahan, 1992, Collection of the artist, Photocopy

–Well, that’s all I’ll say for now. I’ve included probably too many links to AVAM.orgto express my happy-happy fascination with this museum I’ve brought my closest peeps too (and still need to bring more to!)–so I’ll end my post here.

There are some BEAUTIFUL photos of the museum and its work I found on digidigidigi.com.

Note! This Saturday EVENING after the Kinetic Sculpture Race is the Brentwood Art Exchange’s “Big Ideas” opening reception starting at 5pm. I’ll blog about that later on this week, hehe. Lots of eager anticipation for the arts!

Justin Fair

I create bold graphics + offer creative clarity. community dev, urban planning, public art crdntr, artist. Morgan grad student, Terp. Jew, black, fitness, cake!

%d bloggers like this: