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NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | September 11, 1998
A fire forced the evacuation of the American Visionary Art Museum yesterday afternoon and shut down a trendy restaurant known for its unusual style of Southwestern and Pacific Rim cuisine.The Federal Hill museum and its exhibit, "Love: Error and Eros," reopened about an hour after the 2: 30 p.m. fire, but the Joy America Cafe, on the third floor of the museum, would not be serving its chicken breast encrusted with Peruvian purple potatoes until lunchtime today.No injuries were reported, but about 25 customers were escorted out of the third-floor, smoke-filled dining room by security guards.
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BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | April 1, 2014
Your Bank of America credit card will get you free admission this weekend to the  American Visionary Art Museum. It's part of the bank's Museums on Us program, which offers free weekend access to a range of museums on the first full weekend of each month this year. Both Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit and debit cardholders can get in free at the downtown museum on Key Highway on Saturday and Sunday. The program now has a mobile site that gives a full list of all 150 museums in the program.
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NEWS
By Alec Klein and Alec Klein,SUN STAFF News researcher Andrea Wilson contributed to this article | May 16, 1998
It was quite an offer: $300,000 for a 1963 Chevrolet Corvair. But the used-car dealer refused. What he wanted, nobody could pay.He lived alone in an apartment in Amarillo, Texas, and about once a year he hauled his sleek automobile out of an alarm-secured truck and, in a fury, decorated it with jewels, mementos of what he wanted: his wife, Jean. She was killed when her car was crushed under an 18-wheeler on an icy day -- Feb. 17, 1980."The car is in her memory," he said. "Every item on it has a meaning."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | November 13, 2011
Mr. Rain's Fun House, the top-floor restaurant at the American Visionary Art Museum is the answer to the question, What is Baltimore's most shamefully overlooked restaurant. The review goes into a few of the reasons why this is so -- the name isn't doing anyone any favors, I think. And the location all but makes walk-in business non-existent. It's worth getting to know. Here's the review of Mr. Rain's Fun House .
NEWS
By Jenny Komatsu and Jenny Komatsu,CONTRIBUTING WRITER | November 26, 1995
Among the benefactors of the American Visionary Art Museum, which opened Friday, is Edward Adamson. Mr. Adamson, an English artist who worked as a psychiatric art therapist for 35 years, amassed a collection of some 40,000 artworks given to him by patients as a way of assuring theirpreservation.The collection has been housed in England at the estate ofMiriam Rothschild, in the village of Ashton near Cambridge, where it has been open to the public on weekends and by appointment. But it cannot remain there indefinitely, and Mr. Adamson, now 85, has been looking for a permanent home for it.Museum founder Rebecca Hoffberger has offered to take as much as the museum can accommodate for its collection, and the rest may go to an English psychiatric hospital.
FEATURES
By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF | November 25, 1995
In a cultured moment, the Lizard Man of Lee County met a Development Director of Baltimore County. It happened at Friday's opening of the American Visionary Art Museum at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It happened because it was meant to be:Courtney McKeldin: "Isn't he amazing?"Lizard Man: Says nothing, remains nailed to museum wall, flashing his wood-carved tongue and showing off his green toe-nails.Ms. McKeldin: "He's got a nice smile on his face -- for a lizard man."Lizard Man: Again says nothing, but what is he thinking?
FEATURES
By Sandra Crockett and Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF | March 22, 1997
Some are of the Mickey Mouse variety. Others have faces of ducks, rabbits or the Queen of Hearts. There are those that are everyday plain, and plenty more are worn out, beat up, and mighty ugly. Dig a little deeper, though and behold: Is that watch a Rolex?"We don't know if it's a Rolex or a 'Roex,' " says Theresa Segreti of the American Visionary Art Museum. "We haven't looked too closely at it!"Perhaps she'd better hurry up and do so. The could-be Rolex is one of 10,000 timepieces the Visionary is hoping to collect to complement its next major exhibition, ominously titled "The End is Near!
FEATURES
By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF | July 27, 1997
"The End Is Near!" may be the title of the current exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in downtown Baltimore, but the end is nowhere in sight for the museum itself.Founder Rebecca A. Hoffberger's vision of expanding the museum to include a $5 million "Center for Visionary Thought" appears close to receiving formal endorsement from city officials and community representatives, who are selecting developers for a long and narrow, city-owned parcel just south of the museum at 800 Key Highway.
NEWS
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | January 26, 1997
In the next 10 weeks, the American Visionary Art Museum must raise $250,000.Without the money, the gently curving museum at the foot of Federal Hill may not be able to install its next exhibition. Without the money, the fledgling institution will face a decision: go into debt or close.Fourteen months after opening in its gleaming $7 million building, AVAM -- the museum -- is an unwilling example of how hard it is for a new cultural institution to build a national audience, find allies in the intensely competitive world of nonprofit fund raising and create a clear voice for itself.
NEWS
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | November 19, 1995
Boom!Rebecca Hoffberger has an idea. What if businesses everywhere took on one socially conscious project each? That would help people.Don't be negative. It could happen.After all, more than 10 years ago, Ms. Hoffberger had an idea that sounded just as unlikely. What if someone raised enough money and political support to build a new art museum in Baltimore and filled it with fantastical things created by people who are poor, uneducated, unknown, unstable or unwanted? That would help people.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2011
Five years ago, Shawn Theron was waiting tables and managing the bar of the Joy America Cafe inside the American Visionary Art Museum . Today, his work is hanging on the gallery walls. He says it's all because his beloved grandmother — who raised the boy and whom he nicknamed "Red" — urged him from her deathbed to "turn on the light. " "She said it many times," says the 38-year-old artist: "'Turn on the light. Turn on the light.' And it had nothing to do with switches.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2011
When Scott Weaver's alcoholic father walked away from his family to live on the streets, the then-9-year-old boy found solace in working on an assignment for his fourth-grade class to a create a sculpture from toothpicks. Forty-two years later, Weaver is still tinkering with the project assigned in 1969 by his teacher, Sue Rathbun. And the result - a 9-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide homage to Weaver's native city of San Francisco incorporating 104,588 of the short pointy sticks, is attracting gawkers at "All Things Round," the new long-term show opening this weekend at the American Visionary Art Museum . (As Weaver puts it: "I wanted to make a bigger sculpture than anyone else in class.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun | May 5, 2011
Saturday is the day Fifi looks forward to every year. Fifi is the American Visionary Art Museum 's giant pink poodle-with-wheels, who once a year ventures outside to take part in what is clearly Baltimore's funkiest annual event, the Kinetic Sculpture Race . This year, some 36 land- and seaworthy vehicles, all strictly people-powered, will be taking part in the 15-mile race over land, sea, mud and sand. Like Fifi, some are designed to resemble animals; one of last year's crowd favorites was a hookah-smoking caterpillar.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2011
Numbers and art typically don't mix, but both were on exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum Monday. The Baltimore museum hosted a one-day seminar with PNC Bank on what artists need to know to survive and thrive on the business side of their craft. About 35 painters, musicians, writers and other artists attended the free crash course on budgeting and cash flow. Aspiring writer Carita Ellis-Espola was among them, driving an hour and a half from Harrisburg, Pa., to pick up financial tips.
FEATURES
By Sloane Brown and Special to The Baltimore Sun | February 21, 2010
I t was a star-spangled night at the American Visionary Art Museum, as several hundred folks gathered for the museum's annual gala. Many guests followed the suggested dress code of "broad stripes and bright stars," in honor of the museum's current exhibition, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." "I need a photo with Captain America," said Diana Kim, a Washington-based makeup artist, as she spotted AVAM's communications and marketing manager, Pete Hilsee, in his costume, complete with foam rubber muscles.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Edward Gunts | March 19, 2009
Baltimore's Contemporary Museum at 100 W. Centre St. will be transformed into an environmental think tank and laboratory when the Futurefarmers art collective from San Francisco opens The Reverse Ark: In the Wake, an exhibit exploring the social, historical and environmental history of the city's mills and textile industry, running March 26 to Aug. 22. Using the concept of an "ark" as a place of preservation and exploration, Futurefarmers will work with...
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | January 29, 1996
The American Visionary Art Museum is still the baby of the art world, but judging by the numbers so far, and the reception the 2-month-old facility has gotten in the press, it should have a bright future.The 40,000-square-foot museum at the Inner Harbor, devoted to the artwork of self-taught people outside the mainstream, opened on Nov. 24. In the first 41 days (it was closed four days because of the blizzard) 12,175 people have visited -- about 300 a day. Income from admissions and the gift shop totaled about $113,000.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | May 16, 1998
With love as its subject, the American Visionary Art Museum's new show could so easily have gone off the deep end. It could have opted for steamy sex or cheap glitz or cuteness or sentimentality. But it successfully resisted all of those temptations. "Love: Error and Eros," opening today, has real class.It has its showier moments, like the 14-foot-tall fiberglass statue of the late Divine, transvestite star of John Waters movies, that greets visitors at the foot of the museum's grand staircase.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,ed.gunts@baltsun.com | October 5, 2008
When the American Visionary Art Museum opened in 1995, founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger sought to provide a new kind of institution for Baltimore and beyond. It was not meant to be a science center that focused solely on technological achievements or a gallery that promoted art with a capital A. The goal was to create a place that explored the connections between art and science and philosophy (and social responsibility) - and to see what happens from there. An exhibit that opens this weekend shows how far the museum has come in the past 13 years.
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