We love partnering with local institutions to create Maryland merch that everyone will want to wear! The American Visionary Art Museum (or AVAM) is no exception. This gem of a museum is one of Baltimore's coolest spots, and we've got a bunch of new products that celebrate it. While you're here, why not find out why we like it so much?
1. The Location
You couldn't ask for a better place to have a museum experience! The AVAM sits right on the harbor in Federal Hill -- literally at the foot of the hill. It's easy for out-of-towners to reach from the highway, and it has plenty of inexpensive parking spots. You'll love exploring the main building, the warehouse, and the outdoor sculpture area featuring the Cosmic Egg.
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2. The Exhibits
Of course, the magic really begins when you enter the museum itself. Unlike other art museums, which feature pieces made by famous and educated creators, this museum features outsider art made by self-taught creators. These creators could be blue-collar workers, housewives, patients in mental health facilities, or hobbyists. They're outside the mainstream art world, and this place gives them a place to shine. There's something cool around every corner in this beautiful and strange place!
3. The Gift Shop
The Sideshow gift shop is almost like having a second museum experience! It's huge, and full of strange and fun items -- everything from art books to framed photos of local celebs to plastic arcade prizes to costume jewelry. Believe us, you can find something for anyone in this shop, and there's a ton of Maryland pride stuff too. Bonus: the shop doesn't require a museum ticket, so you can enter for free!
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4. The Events
The event that most people know about that's hosted by the AVAM is the Kinetic Sculpture race. Participants must run, ride, and float their sculptures all over downtown Baltimore in order to be crowned the winner! But this museum also hosts tours, talks, movie nights, galas, and much more. Check out the schedule here.
5. The Energy
Because the museum features such eclectic pieces made by artists who might never be displayed or appreciated otherwise, there's an incredible energy in this place! You're sure to think about things from a new perspective after seeing art that deals with every topic from aliens to WWII. It's a perfect reminder to see the world from a new perspective and appreciate the world in a different way.
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