The American Visionary Arts museum defines visionary artists as self-taught individuals without formal art training who express their "innate personal vision" through their work, and presents one exhibit at a time, each based around a theme. In addition to its 6 galleries, the museum also boasts The Tall Sculpture Barn, The Giant Whirligig and Sculpture Plaza, and The Wildflower Garden. The Joy America Cafe adjoins the museum.
Participants race their human-powered, homemade kinetic sculptures over pavement, mud, sand, and water. Prizes include Second to Last, Best Engineering, and Golden Dinosaur, for the team with the most memorable breakdown.
It’s not every day that a giant, all-terrain pink poodle wanders down the streets of Federal Hill, but if you happen to glance out your window somewhere between Lombard Street and Key Highway on May 4, you may just spot Fifi and her entourage of decked-out kinetic sculptures. This year marks the 15th anniversary of AVAM’s Annual Kinetic Sculpture Race, otherwise known as the march of used bicycles, gears, and household appliances presented by the East Coast’s resident hoarders and tinkerers. Competitors will have the chance to vie for the “East Coast National Mediocre Champion” (awarded to that middle-of-the-pack vehicle) as well as the “Next to Last Award.” (Slightly) More serious prizes will also be awarded in categories of art and engineering. Those who get there early can catch the opening ceremony and the “Blessing of De Feet.” From there, Fifi and her friends will proceed to the first checkpoint at Federal Hill, the water entry at the Korean War Memorial Park in Canton, and the obstacle course at Patterson Park. (Katherine Quinn)
Baltimore City Paper, 501 N. Calvert Street, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278
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