Sunday, May 20, 2012

greetings from the american visionary art museum, baltimore, maryland

Yesterday Kris and I visited the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.  The last time I was here was probably about five years ago, and one of my first blog posts (for the first incarnation of this particular blog), from 2005, was about this very place.  What is Visionary Art you ask? Here's what the AVAM has to say:  "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."

The current main exhibit "All Things Round: Galaxies, Eyeballs & Karma",  goes on until September 2, 2012. One of my favorite living artists and fellow Virginians, JJ Cromer has some work in the show, which is also part of the museum's permanent collection. On a side note, he has a great blog which he regularly updates called Old Old Old Virginia.  There are too many other amazing artists whose work is in both the current show and permanent collection to list here, and indoor photography is strictly prohibited. So, definitely make a trip out to see this place, which consists of three buildings and some fantastic surrounding outdoor sculptures. It's both fun and thought-provoking, with something for everyone, from the serious art aficionado to the casual observer, and is certainly a feast for the eyes with lots of visual (and a few audio) surprises. There is very affordable paid parking (which takes credit cards) right behind the museum, and I highly recommend eating at the Mr. Rain's Funhouse museum restaurant, located on the third floor of the main building. Kris and I both got the excellent roasted veggie sandwich , and I opted for a Hawaiian beer (both pictured below).  Looking forward to visiting again someday soon!