So when two Saturdays ago my 11-year old son said, "Wow Mom, I'm really glad you forced me to come here!" I knew I'd done the right thing. My work as a mom is complete -- I'll never be able to replicate that moment, I'm not sure there's any point in trying. And my blog was made!
But I digress.
Through writing this blog, I've discovered several places in/near to Baltimore I'd never, ever heard of before (check out http://www.midatlanticdaytrips.blogspot.com/2014/01/hampton-national-historic-site.html for another hidden jewel), despite having lived most of my adult life within 20 minutes of Charm City.
For the record, the AVAM really is a neat place. Think giant brassiere spheres and 4-foot high stegasauruses made out of found objects. Think bottle cap art (it's truly amazing what you can do with those things -- and how cool the resulting sculpture is -- I wished I'd thought of that when I was 10 and kicking a bunch of bottlecaps around on the pavement).
So what is visionary art?
Don't confuse it with folk art. Although like folk art, visionary art is art created by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself. So that last sentence is lifted directly from the AVAM web site (see below for the link). I couldn't make this stuff up -- which is why I'm visiting the art museum and not having my creations displayed within it.
I wish I had photos of all these objet d'art, but once again I've encountered (and honored) the "no photos allowed" policy that frustrates the blogger in me. You will just have to go to the museum and see these for yourself. Photos of the art displays outside the museum will have to suffice to entice.
I was struck most by several pieces in the museum's permanent exhibit. The piece that grabbed us as we entered the permanent exhibit hall was the matchstick model of the Lusitania, created painstakingly over two and a half years by an artist whose name I did not write down, nor text to anyone in lieu of more adequate notes. My 11-year-old was fascinated by it as well, and by the intricate details and the careful inner construction of the ship. The model is about 11 feet long -- but I'm relaying on memory. It was very long, and several feet wide. Of all the pieces in the museum, this was probably his favorite.
|Photo from AVAM|
AVAM's 19th original exhibition is a "timely and playful examination of the serious impact of technology on our lives," as rendered by the vivid imaginations of some 40 plus visionary artists, cutting edge futurists, and inventors. "Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!" is a sometimes bizarre and always eye-opening look at who we are and who we can become, or, as AVAM notes, this exhibit is a "hot-wired blend of art, science, humor, caution and hope."
Tip: Mixing children and art can be tricky. I've leaned that there's a need for speed to ensure that art museums don't become houses of torture and horror to my offspring. I don't bask in awed reverie at each object. Instead, we zip around from one to another, commenting on the color or whatever random thoughts occur to us. Then I usually ask what he thinks about this or that, or which piece was his favorite. Then we quickly move on to the next room. Note: I am sometimes moved, but usually resist, covering their eyes to shield them from a certain display, such as the life-size and amazingly well-endowed and anatomically correct yarn statue of a man.
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Have you daytripped somewhere interesting? I'd love to hear what you're doing! Email [email protected] if you're interested in being a guest-blogger!