Visionary Museum opens doors and minds for free

Local,Entertainment,Jessica Novak
If you’ve always wanted to join 150 strangers creeping down Federal Hill simultaneously, today is your day. 

“We’ll be magnifying everyday movements — strolling, laying down and then having more playful interaction with people passing on the hill,” said Joshua Bisset, cofounder of the New Jersey-based Shua Group, which organized today’s 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. “Mass Community Performances.”

“I’ve been watching the movement of children a lot on the hill — the different ways to get down it,” Bisset said. “We’re asking older people to try those ways out again.”

Today’s striking show of bodies moving together to recorded sounds such as cicadas and children on swing-sets is a part of the American Visionary Art Museum’s free open house and day of music, theatrics and poetry, based on the museum’s 14th thematic mega exhibit, “The Marriage of Art, Science & Philosophy.”

The 50-artist show includes Frank Calloway, 112, who delves into the notion of sound, color, number and scale on hundreds of feet of butcher paper and Dalton Ghetti’s micro-carvings on pencil tips.

Bisset, who has lead a group performance across from Ground Zero, thought of Federal Hill for a performance after visiting his father’s family in Baltimore two years ago. “I saw this magic green canvas, hanging in the middle of the Harbor. And I realized it was one of the most unique spaces in an American city. It’s visible to tens of thousands at any time,” he said

The human display on Federal Hill and other Open House events celebrate art forms other than the visual arts, which is what the museum typically features, said Pete Hilsee of the American Visionary. “That provides another side of the [museum] experience for the people who wouldn’t necessarily be a part of it on a regular basis.”

Open House/Open Heart
Where: American Visionary Art Museum
800 Key Highway, Baltimore
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today
Admission: Free
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