Paul Lancaster, Still Life with Fruit, 1997
BALTIMORE, MD - The American Visionary Art Museum - a Congressionally-designated national museum and education center dedicated to showcasing intuitive, self-taught artistry and thought - will open its 27th original thematic mega-exhibition on Saturday, October 8, 2022 and extend until September 3, 2023. The exhibition, titled “ABUNDANCE: Too Much, Too Little, Just Right” and curated by the American Visionary Art Museum’s own Gage Branda, features over 200 artworks from a diverse array of visionary artists. The primary aim of the exhibition is "to inspire joyful, community-building contemplation of what constitutes real wealth by exploring what lies at the heart of deep satisfaction, productive happiness, and a sense of gratefulness, both individually and collectively."
New AVAM Executive Director Jenenne Whitfield stated: “I’m excited to be present to witness our first exhibition as AVAM’s new executive director. In today’s society, we are confronted by our own abundance with many of us finding that our ‘things’ are not fulfilling, while others who seemingly lack seek to acquire, by any means necessary! The beauty of art is that we can thoughtfully and joyfully consider and ponder just how much is ENOUGH!”
The ABUNDANCE exhibition promotes the shift from a focus on a constant hunger for more things, to connect the viewer to a self-reliant power generated by imagination, craft, ingenuity, and a dedication to -- and appreciation for -- the gift of now. Philosopher Eckhart Tollé put it best, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance... In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just being.”
The exhibition is further designed to convey a riotous visual feast, compelling to toddler, college student, business professional and artist alike. Nowhere is the quest for personal freedom in the expression of work, nor the pursuit of joy, more exuberantly evident than in the creations made by visionary artists who have wrought new worlds from modest, often discarded, materials – equipped only with their hands, hearts, and fertile imaginations. “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind,” according to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Transcultural, grassroots, humorous, and ancient wisdoms will be shared throughout. ABUNDANCE Exhibition & Artist Highlights are as follows:
• Never before exhibited out-of-this-world embroideries and clothing of Robert “Sparky” Brown, and those by Agnes Merrick, Chris Roberts-Antieau and Deborah Berger;
• Choice excerpts from “Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village” film;
• Dean Millien’s Life-sized beasts sculpted from Aluminum foil;
• Surreal furniture and figures from found wood, scrap metal, refuse, and paper;
• A fervent celebration of life and its endless possibilities for happiness and empowered transformation;
• A full mining of AVAM’s 6,000+ piece permanent collection, including never before exhibited works, old fan favorites, and new additions from Mary Proctor, Charlie Lucas, Candy Cummings, Purvis Young, Sulton Rogers, Patrick Davis, Sue Kreitzman, and more;
• The shift from scarcity consciousness to abundance consciousness;
• Rituals for Abundance (e.g., Lunar New Year, Sukkot, Thanksgiving, land/harvest fertility);
• A championing of the efforts of our local and global champions, cultivating abundance from rubble, building community, and challenging the urban food desert.
GAGE BRANDA - Curator
Gage Branda is a Filipino-American artist and educator. He received his BFA in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has exhibited collaborative projects and artworks in venues across the country, including: the Eleventh Hackers of Planet Earth Conference in New York, the Emerge Conference at Arizona State University, the San Jose Innovative Tech Museum, and the Diana Lowenstein Gallery in Miami. Prior to his work at AVAM, Branda taught K-12 students across Baltimore City in programs on nutrition, science, and art. Currently, he offers insight from his diverse interests – from bronze sculpture to bio-design – in the curation of the American Visionary Art Museum's thematic exhibitions.
Artists whose artworks are featured in the ABUNDANCE exhibition include: Robert E. Smith, Candy Cummings, Paul 'The Baltimore Glassman' Darmafall, Gregory 'Mr. Imagination' Warmack, Patrick Davis, Mary Proctor, Sulton Rogers, Vanessa German, Paul Lancaster, James Harold Jennings, Rosa Leff, Charlie Lucas, Christine McCormick, Tilden Stone, Craig Norton, Brian Ortega, Dean Millien, Monica Valentine, Terry Turell, Scottie Wilson, Brooks Yeoman, Kelsey Williams, Nek Chand, Sue Kreitzman, Troy Webb, O.L. Samuels, Linville Barker, and Margaret Munz-Losch.
The ABUNDANCE: Too Much, Too Little, Just Right exhibition opens on Saturday, October 8, 2022 and continues through September 3, 2023. For additional information, as well as ticket information, please refer to: ABUNDANCE - https://www.avam.org/exhibitions/abundance%3A-too-much%2C-too-little%2C-just-right