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American Visionary Art Museum is part of Free Fall Baltimore Event

October 1, 2009 by  
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American Visionary Art Museum

The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is an art museum located in the Federal Hill neighborhood at 800 Key Highway in Baltimore, Maryland. The city agreed to give the museum a piece of land on the south shore of the Inner Harbor under the condition that its organizers would clean up residual pollution from a copper paint factory and a whiskey warehouse that formerly occupied the site. It has been designated by Congress as America’s national museum for self-taught art.

The founder and director of the AVAM is Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, a former psychiatric nurse who left her job to “trumpet the wonders of raw human creativity”. The museum was opened to the public on November 24, 1995.

AVAM has 55,000 square feet of exhibit space but has a permanent collection of only 4,000 pieces. The collection includes works by visionary artists Ho Baron, Clyde Jones, Vollis Simpson and Ben Wilson as well as over 40 pieces from the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre of London. Some of this work is displayed in a gallery on the first floor of the Main Building, throughout the James Rouse Visionary Center, and outdoors when new temporary themed exhibitions are being installed.

The museum has no staff curators, preferring to use guest curators for its shows. Rather than focusing shows on specific artists or styles, it sponsors themed exhibitions with titles such as Wind in Your Hair and High on Life. Hoffberger takes pride in the fact that AVAM is “pretty un-museumy”.

Source: Wikipedia

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has created the Free Fall Baltimore Event. Throughout the month of October the following Museums and Arts venues are offering specific performances, events, workshops, and exhibits for free:

  • American Visionary Art Museum
  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Baltimore Museum of Industry
  • Contemporary Museum
  • Homewood Museum
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
  • School 33 Art Center
  • The Walters Art Museum

Space is limited for some of these events. Advanced registration may be needed.

Today I’ll highlight a little more about what is happening at the American Visionary Art Museum.

On Friday October 2nd at 7pm, there will be a preview party for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. There is limited access and reduced admission pricing until the opening which is Saturday October 3rd.

On Sunday October 25th, as part of the Free Fall Baltimore event, the American Visionary Art Museum is having an open house with free admission. They will be featuring their new exhibit “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” with music, performances, and a panel discussion:

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
A celebration through a variety of performing arts media of the museum’s current exhibition: “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” featuring performances from the Maryland Correctional Training Center by Baltimore-based playwright Bashi Rose. Theatrical pieces/film from the Hagerstown prison showcase meditations on civil rights from the perspective of these incarcerated men. Mr. Rose will also serve as a member of a panel discussion for the Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness exhibit. Free admission to the museum.

Sun Oct 25 10am – 6 pm
No advance reservations required.

Since 1999 the American Visionary Art Museum has been sponsoring the east coast Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race. The 2010 event will be on Saturday May 1st. This is an amazing event, and it deserves a blog post of it’s own. I have some time before that post is timely, but if you want to enter, you may want to start building over the cold winter. Maybe a house with a heated garage would warm your heart a little.

Photo Credit: Vox Efx.

The Walters Art Museum is part of Free Fall Baltimore Event

September 30, 2009 by  
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The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum, located in Baltimore, Maryland’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, is a public art museum founded in 1934. The museum’s collection was amassed substantially by two men, William Thompson Walters (1819-1894), who began serious collecting when he moved to Paris at the outbreak of the American Civil War, and Henry Walters (1848–1931), who refined the collection and rehoused it in a palazzo building on Charles Street which opened in 1909. Upon his death, Henry Walters bequeathed the collection of over 22,000 works and the original Charles Street palazzo building to the city of Baltimore, “for the benefit of the public.” The collection touches masterworks of ancient Egypt, Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, and Art Deco jewelry.

Source: Wikipedia

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has created the Free Fall Baltimore Event. Throughout the month of October the following Museums and Arts venues are offering specific performances, events, workshops, and exhibits for free:


Space is limited for some of these events. Advanced registration may be needed.

Today I’ll highlight a little more about what is happening at The Walters Art Museum.

The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 North Charles Street in Baltimore City. Since 2006, the permanent collection has been free admission. The featured exhibitions require admission, or a museum membership. During this event the following is free as well:

Lectures, Concerts, Exhibits, Family Festivals and Mysterious Evenings
Lunch and Learn–Tiny Treasures with Great Power
Bring your lunch to the Graham Auditorium & hear Ben. C. Tilghman, Zanvyl Krieger Curatorial Fellow, Manuscripts & Rare Books, discuss “miniature art” in conjunction with The Walters exhibition: Shrunken Treasures: Miniaturization in Books and Art.
Thur Oct 1 12:15pm-1:15pm
Pre-registration recommended

The Red Cedar Trio
Award-winning Iowa-based chamber ensemble performs a program of new music inspired by Roman artworks
Sun Oct 4 2pm
Pre-registration recommended

Ignite Baltimore
Only 16 People can speak for five minutes on any topic using 20 slides. Come join the fun! To be selected, visit
Thur Oct 22 7pm-11pm

Opening Day Talk – Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece
Introduction by Sabine Albersmeier, Associate Curator of Ancient Art, The Walters Art Museum
Sun Oct 11 2pm
Pre-registration recommended

First Fridays at The Walters
Every First Friday from 5:30pm-8:30pm
Visit for specific details

Master of the Macabre: A Night at the Museum with Edgar Allan Poe
A mysterious evening of gothic music, Poe readings, and explorations of the Walters’ Chamber of Wonders.
Fri Oct 2 5:30pm-8:30pm

October Drop-In Art Activities: Bump in the Night
Bring the family in for a month of celebrating Edgar Allen Poe through art. Create illustrated Poe stories, nighttime creature sculptures, moonlit silhouette shadow boxes and some of the critters you might find in the Walters’ collection.
Every Sat & Sun in Oct 10am – 3pm

Free Family Festival of Champions
Discover your inner superheroes and explore famous characters from ancient Greece to modern times. Celebrate local Baltimore heroes and create artwork honoring champions. Enjoy imaginary journeys with storytellers, musicians and theater groups.
Sat, Oct 24 10am-4pm

Heroes Weekend Walk-in Tours
Sun Oct 25 2pm

Photo Credit: Vox Efx.

Baltimore Humane Society has a dog walk hike event every Wednesday

September 23, 2009 by  
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I'm Emily. Adopt me at the Baltimore Humane Society.

I'm Emily. Adopt me at the Baltimore Humane Society.

Every Wednesday, the Baltimore Humane Society hosts a hike. The animal shelter is fortunate to have a beautiful property with many acres in Baltimore County off of Nicodemus Road. The hike is longer during the summer months, but you do get a nice tour of the grounds. The clever part, is on the hike you are provided with a dog for a walk. If you have your own dog, you can bring him instead. Maggie and I went today. We were given dogs that know each other, so we could walk together. Otherwise, you are asked to keep five feet or so away from other dogs. I ended up practicing my calm assertive energy that I learned about on the Dog Whisperer TV show, and walked Suzanne. Suzanne is a cute adult Jack Russell Terrier. I think she enjoyed the walk.

Before you start, there is a registration form for first timers. While waiting for everyone to sign up, and the event to begin, Maggie and I visited the cat shelter. The cats aren’t taken on walks, and miss out on this great advertising. Many dogs end up getting adopted from these walks. The event itself is not that large. I make it sound huge, but there was about 20 people. Our former vet is now the Humane Society vet, and she was telling us that the dogs are quickly adopted. The cats however are at capacity. Maggie and I can tell you that we saw many cute kitties we would like to take home. We do however already have six of our own. Giles is our alpha cat, and we would have to get his permission first.

Whether you prefer dogs, cats, or both, there is something great about sharing a home with pets. Unfortunately renters are faced with the extra difficulty of finding a home that accepts pets. Many pets end up in the shelters because someone wasn’t allowed to keep them in their home. As Realtors, a common request is to help someone find a suitable rental that will accept a dog. Certain breeds make it extra difficult to get approved. We will gladly try and find you a place. However, when you own your own home, you get to decide who is family. It is one of the great empowering parts of the American Dream. Your own home with your loving family that includes pets. We will gladly help you with that too.

Find out about the hike at

Find out the story of the stray cats and dogs, with pictures, at and

Baltimore County Crime Map

September 3, 2009 by  
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Baltimore County Crime Map

The Baltimore Sun has put together a mashup of crime data and Google maps. This picture is only an example. As a test I made a heat map of traffic stops in Baltimore County. I had some troubles getting the mashup page to work. If you also have trouble, you might try more than one browser. The successful test was with Google’s Chrome browser.

To try it yourself, go to Baltimore County Crime Map.

A local artist does vintage stained glass reproductions for Baltimore row houses

June 6, 2009 by  
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Canton Stained Glass Example

Based on their online gallery, Vintage Style Stained Glass, looks like they do nice work. Using their own designs, or one of your own, they will make you an address transom piece like the example above. You can contact them at 410-335-7635,, or see their gallery at The artist, Robin, says she does this part time, and has been doing stained glass for about 10 years. If you have her do some work for you, or get a quote on a design, report back to me, and I’ll update this post with more information.

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