Monday, March 30, 2009

Visionary Art Museum: DC/Baltimore Scenes Part 1

After a lengthy blog hiatus in the wake of the February Photo project, it's time to rev-up the postings as spring blooms. We just came back from a long weekend in the DC/Baltimore area, and spent a lovely Sunday afternoon at the American Visionary Art Museum on Baltimore's Inner Harbor. As they say on their website:

What is visionary art?

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 fun starts before you enter the building, as you're greeted by a giant whirligig by artist Vollis Simpson:

Also outside is this nice egg/nest combo:

Barrie ponders the giant egg:

There's a big barn with large open doors and this chess set on the floor:

After our AVAM visit we strolled around the Inner Harbor waterfront on a warm, sunny March Sunday, resisting the temptation to scoot along the water in the colorful dragons:

They don't allow photos inside AVAM, which really limits what I show here. It's three floors of marvelous art, including a giant scale model of the Lusitania made entirely out of matchsticks, lots of interactive artistic gizmos and sculptures, a wonderful photo gallery of various crop-circle influenced "field art" that adorns the curved staircase, a life-size statue of Icarus that slowly spins and lowers on a cable down the center of the staircase....and lots more.