American Visionary Art Museum


October 14, 2001|By Sloane Brown

While the works of art at the American Visionary Art Museum are always thought-provoking, it was the timing of the museum's new show that was the main topic of conversation at the exhibition preview party. Though "The Art of War and Peace" was scheduled almost a year ago, many of the 1,100 guests noted how current events had only deepened its significance. Now many of the 250 works, by 85 self-taught artists, took on a whole new meaning.

"I'm requiring my students to come to this exhibit because it's extremely timely and powerful," said Nan Collins, an art teacher at Howard County's Centennial High School, "and perhaps it will help them think about the world situation."

The poignancy of the art was balanced by some light touches at the party. Guests were each given a pendant with a colorful plastic peace sign to wear, and local musicians provided lively dance music in the museum's sculpture barn.

Among the evening's art lovers: Rebecca Hoffberger, museum founder and director; Patrick Hughes and Sandra Magnuson, museum board members; Michael Bonesteel, exhibition curator; Bonnie Raindrop, DoubleClick'd Publications web maven; Tom Hall, Baltimore Choral Arts Society music director; Alan McLaine, New Century Education software consultant; Tom Holmes, Holmes Safety Associates president; Liza Barish, Bryn Mawr School student; Paul Miller, Western Maryland College history professor; Jeannine Mjoseth, National Institute on Aging media expert; Mark Barry and Diana Marta, Baltimore artists; Jim Ikena, North America Van Lines agent; Richard Ellsberry, curator; Dr. Jeremy Rice, IBM biomedical engineer; Stephen Mainello, St. Paul Fire & Marine senior engineer; Becky Proctor, Osiris Therapeutics cell processing associate; and Victoria Hinkle, GKV Communications production manager.

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