A Vision of Art, Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness: American Visionary Art Museum

From the moment we checked out their website we were hooked. Flying saucers blazed across the screen and hearts flew aimlessly out of a cloud. The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is one of a kind to say the least. Located close to The Fitzgerald at 800 Key Highway, the museum is easily accessible and ready for art enthusiasts to “play” in their many exhibition rooms.

You might be wondering what “visionary art” means and what makes it different from folk art. The German origin of the word “folk,” or volk, suggests “of the people.” The term “folk art” can be applied in the broadest sense: it’s art of or by the people. At AVAM, they don’t define visionary art as “folk art,” or even “contemporary folk art,” principally because organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts rightfully define folk art as art coming out of a specifically identifiable tradition. Folk art is “learned at the knee” and passed from generation to generation, or through established cultural community traditions, like Hopi Native Americans making Kachina dolls, sailors making macramé, and the Amish making hex signs. The exhibition themes they choose to explore are, thus, innately timeless -with the power to inspire human beings in highly personal acts of creation. Unlike folk art, visionary art is entirely spontaneous and individualized.

From September 5, 2010 to October 3rd, the AVAM is hosting the “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” exhibition.

“The quest for human rights and the search for personal fulfillment, as proposed in the 1776 American Declaration of Independence, provide the starting point for this international exhibition. Works by the last surviving descendant of the Tsars of Russia, Iroquois Indians, French Revolutionaries, illegal immigrants, Algerian War veterans, Guantanamo Bay detainees, Holocaust survivors, incarcerated prisoners, African-American civil rights activists and Iraqi doctors are among the 86 visionary artists to be featured,” says curator Roger Manly, “we think of big ideas like ‘life’ and ‘liberty’ as if they have to do with sweeping numbers of people,but in fact they begin with the individual.”

For more information about this exhibition or the museum itself, check out their website or contact them by phone at 410-244-1900. We hope to see you at the exhibition and tell them The Fitzgerald sent you!film 47 Meters Down trailer

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