Saturday, March 25, 2017

An Eight-Day Odyssey: Part One

Hello! My husband and I just returned from an eight-day odyssey: a road trip that took us to Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Lexington, Cincinnati, Lexington and Indianapolis, plus the smaller cities of Williamsport and Ephrata (both in PA) and Berea, KY. All told, we traveled a little over 2,000 miles and visited six states. Quite a busy time! The longest travel day was six hours, and most of the driving hours were considerably shorter, so we had time to tour spots of local interest along the way.

For us, one must-see spot in Baltimore is the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). We've gone to this fun, funky museum several times before, and thus I'd blogged about it. However, during those prior visits I could only show off exterior shots of AVAM, since no interior photography was allowed.

But at some point that policy was changed, because we learned we could now shoot indoor pics as long as no flash was used. Hooray! Now I can show off the wackiness of this unique institution.

I'll begin with examples from the current special exhibit "Yummm! The History, Fantasy And Future Of Food":

In both photos, the mosaic-like artworks were created by using pieces of bread and other stale carb-centric foodstuffs. I liked how the smaller works (created by students of the man who had thought up the project) were mounted on large baking sheets, the type used by cafeterias and bakeries. 

Circles within a circle: bagels and bun halves were used to create the above.
A close-up:
Honeycomb cereal, goldfish crackers and pretzels were included as well. 

Non-bread artworks from the Yummm exhibit:

A painting that suggests the usage of a rolling pin as a tool for "husband adjustment". "Cures alcoholism, smoking, excessive sports watching, apathy, lethargy, ADD & OCD. Apply directly to forehead once daily or as needed". LOL. 

Let them eat cake: a mannequin adorned with look-alike sweet stuff. 

Fake cakes, but they sure looked like the real thing!

Many of us can agree with the above quote when faced with real cakes!

One of several folk art paintings created by a woman to advertise the goodies she was selling at her farm market. Over time, her paintings became more popular than her food!

Please avoid the next three photos if you're squeamish; they're taken from a brief video that showed raw meat being knitted. I found the process gross myself, but took the pics as a novelty for a talented knitter friend:

Upon hearing of this meat knitting, our daughter asked me if the finished item was cooked. The video didn't say. 

On that note, I'll now show off some of the permanent displays:

Haunted by the deaths of relatives who couldn't escape a house fire due to stuck doors, a woman began painting on old doors. 

To pass the time while in prison, a man embroidered pictures - using the yarn from unraveled socks. 

Goofy carved and painted wooden piece. 

A goddess. 

A large assemblage that spins - made from colored paper plates.

Fifi, the mascot of AVAM's annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. You may have noticed the wheels on Fifi's base - yes, she was part of the race several years ago. There used to be a photo of Fifi nearby, showing her partially submerged in the Inner Harbor, which is just a short distance away from the museum. Obviously she overcame that mishap during her participation in the race that year. 

A car covered with shimmering pieces of glass. 

An art quilt that highlights various common faults: I've shown off one of mine, procrastination (near the bottom, slightly left of center).

A pious hot air balloon: as it spins around, one can read the artist's words of faith - "God Is Love". 

Switching gears again, to another special exhibit - Matt Sesow's "Shock and Awe":

A close-up:

In English, "el rincon" means "the corner". 

Yes, Sesow's work looks raw, intense and even a bit on the macabre side - probably not unexpected for a self-taught artist who was the victim of a traumatic freak accident when he was but eight years old. 

I'll leave you with one final photo:

These two robot-like sculptures are part of a "family". If memory serves me correctly, this duo was "married" in a ceremony hosted by AVAM several years ago.

And I think that such an "event" sums up the overall zaniness of this museum. If you're ever near Baltimore and were planning to visit the Inner Harbor area while there (or even if you weren't), AVAM is worth a look! 

If you'd like to learn more about this museum, go here.





  1. I liked the "lemon pie" painted sign the best. Cool folk art!

  2. I think I liked the "bread art" in the food exhibit the best, because I'd not seen that done before. But you're right, the lemon pie sign is a great example of folk art. Several such signs from that artist were on display.