This museum dedicated to self-taught artists is not your typical stuffy art museum -- I guarantee you won't be bored.

I've yammerd to you about visionary artists before, when I told you about Isaiah Zagar's Magic Gardens in Philadelphia. Visionary artists are known for their prolific work with strange materials, their expressive style, and their lack of traditional training in their art or craft.

Like most impressive endeavors (and like the gigantic mirror mosaic on the outside of the museum itself) much of the art inside borders on obsession; on my most recent visit to AVAM, I got to see an exhibition by Dalton Ghetti, the incredible sculptor who uses razor blades and sewing needles to carve the tiny tips of pencil lead into elaborate sculpures:

In a separate warehouse building on the grounds with 45-foot ceilings sits the Tall Sculpture Barn, which houses artist Lyle Estill's life-size chess set made of sculpted metal angels and aliens made entirely out of found objects, as well as several sculptures from the museum's annual Moveable Sculpture Race.


Most art museums showcase the work of artists have already attained fame and success through education and promotion, and those artists deserve that recognition. It is refreshing, however, to see a museum focus on artists who are driven solely by their passion to create. If you find yourself in Baltimore, don't miss out on your chance to visit. Also, I wish this bus was mine: