By Elizabeth Berkowitz, Coordinator of Volunteer Services
November 10, 2011 – American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland
We had perfect weather for our first trip to Collegeville, Pa. last month, with a warm sunny day that was perfect for the walking tour of Ursinus’ outdoor sculptures and the lovely town of Skippack, Pa. for lunch. While our trip to Baltimore, Maryland did not have “perfect” weather, we did have a perfect day.
Fog greeted us at the parking lot of the AMC 24 movie theaters in Hamilton and followed us most of the way to Maryland. There, the sun peeked out for a bit and the wind kicked up but that was short lived. By the time we reached the American Visionary Art Museum it was again overcast and threatening to rain…perfect timing!
We were greeted by a toothbrush welcome mat, and were soon on our tour of “AVAM.” It is indeed one of visionary art. One piece was a huge ball of bras, 18,000 of them, wound like a ball of rubber bands and each had a tale behind it. Some of them were displayed above the ball; they told of nursing bras, of women fighting breast cancer and even included a photo of a pig using a bra for a hat!
Onward now, through the museum to visit a model of the Lusitania made from 193,000 (or more) toothpicks and another toothpick sculpture that depicted many attractions in San Francisco. All of those toothpicks came from special occasions and were used by the artist!
We saw sculptural capes knitted by developmentally challenged artists, as well as a quilt depicting many aspects of the Hebrew Calendar handcrafted by a Rabbi whose family had wanted her to go into medicine. Each piece had a unique narrative, not unlike the stories about the works that we here at GFS share with our patrons.
Our guides at AVAM were eager to share ‘their’ art with us. They had a lot to share but, unfortunately, we had a schedule to keep!
Lunch was on our own; some braved the elements and wandered off towards the Inner Harbor a few blocks away while others stayed to enjoy the museum restaurant fare. After lunch we poked through the Sideshow gift shop….another unique area of the museum. The gift shop was filled to the brim with books, small trinkets, old time candy as well as unique jewelry and art painted by some of the artists whose works grace the museum walls.
All too soon it was time to board the bus and head back north. One more surprise awaited on the way home: we were treated to having the bus weighed at the weigh station in Perrysville, Md! That added yet another fun and unique experience to a day filled with visionary art, laughter and great company.
Spring will be here before we know it. Keep your eyes open for the next trips that will be coming this spring. Grounds For Sculpture will be happy to have you join us for our next unique experiences.