Our Visionaries

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Experience Encantada

Encantada is the new restaurant located on AVAM's 3rd floor that features local Chesapeake cooking. Drawing on the importance of "roots," both creative and culinary, Encantada supports regional farms, ranches, and aqua-culture, thus nurturing the concept of sustainability. Experience this enchanted escape where boundaries are blurred and tastes are celebrated.

Visit EncantadaBaltimore.com or call 410-752-1000 for reservations or more info.

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The following is a brief listing of some of AVAM's visionary artists from our permanent collection. We are working to eventually add bios and photos for all our permanent collection artists in the future. There are many more artists and works on display at the museum, and we encourage you to visit us and explore these visionaries' creations & discover their inspiring stories.

Ody Saban

Ody Saban was born in Istanbul of Sephardic Jewish parents who had been relatively wealthy before World War II. But their property, like that of all Jews, was confiscated in 1941. She moved to Paris in 1977, organized two groups of self-taught female artists, and began exhibiting her own art.

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O.L. Samuels

Samuels works mainly with found wood such as tree trunks, roots, and old wood furniture, which he will carve for months at a time. Although color blind, Samuels paints several layers of wild, expressive colors, "using every color so he doesn't leave any out."

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Romaine Samworth

It was Romaine's Avon lady who introduced her to ceramics. "The first thing I sculpted was a hand, but everything was one color," remembers Romaine. Out of her one remaining eye, Romaine can perceive some bright colors and soon bought her own kiln.

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Judith Scott

Judith Scott, and her twin sister Joyce, were born into a middle-class family in Cincinnati, Ohio. Unlike her sister, Judith carried the extra chromosome of Down syndrome. Following an attack of Scarlet Fever in infancy, she also lost her hearing, although this would not be recognized until many years later.

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Christine Sefolosha

Christine Sefolosha began drawing early as a child, frequently during episodes of insomnia. Born into a German-Swiss family, she moved in 1975 from her home in Montreaux to Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband and child.

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Vollis Simpson

Simpson's first whirligig was built to power a washing machine while he was stationed on Saipan in the Marianas Islands in the Second World War. After the war, he designed and built heavy equipment for moving houses and opened a repair shop in a rural crossroads community in eastern North Carolina.

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DeVon Smith

Creator of the "World's First Family of Robots," DeVon's advice to everyone was, "Don't sit in a chair. Get out and do it."

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James Franklin Snodgrass

James Franklin Snodgrass was born in Harford County, MD. After college worked as an itinerant mannequin painter, traveling throughout the U.S. He is the creator of the large Untitled seven panel painting, which is part of AVAM's Permanent Collection Gallery.

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Paul Spooner

"My work as an artist/mechanic amounts to a constant pursuit of elegance and simplicity. I haven't caught up with either yet because I don't know how to finish things. Except sometimes. And even then I'm not sure." –Paul Spooner

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Ingo Swann

Ingo Swann is best known as a pioneer in the field of remote viewing. His high rate of success in this field led him to co-create, along with Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ, the Stanford Research Institute of Remote Viewing and the CIA Stargate Project.

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Judy Tallwing

"I love trying to bring the stories I've heard to life and to add the spiritual aspects of the stories through the medicine of different elements of nature. Each thing that lives on the earth has its own energy and I try to put those energies together to create a healing."

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Ionel Talpazan

Talpazan believed his works possess a scientific, as well as, artistic value. His ultimate goal was to reveal to the world the mysterious technology and hidden meaning of UFOs.

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William Thomas Thompson

Thompson's "Seven Days of Creation" are featured hanging from the ceiling of the Tall Sculpture Barn–a gift by the artist to AVAM's Permanent Collection–depicting the biblical Seven Days of Creation. Each canvas is 12x16 feet (more than 1300 square feet, total), acrylic on canvas.

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Mars Tokyo

"My stories presented in my 'theaters' are ones of personal rejection, alienation, and pain. They often reflect a life dealing with major depression. But throughout them, there is also a great beauty and hope, because there is that in life." –Mars Tokyo

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Terry Turrell

"I always liked the human figure — the fact that the subtlest change of the eyes or mouth brings out a whole new emotion." –Terry Turrell

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Eugene Von Bruenchenhein

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein lived in a small house in Milwaukee with his wife, Marie, and he worked in a bakery. He was a self-taught artist, and believed he was capable of great things. Despite the fact that he was never successful selling his work or gaining any recognition during his lifetime, his passion drove him to produce thousands of paintings, sculptures and photographs.

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Rev. Albert Wagner

"All my life I wanted to paint. I just didn't know how. God gives directions and you have to follow them." –Rev. Albert Wagner

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Frank Warren

In 2004, Frank Warren started the PostSecret project and invited people to share their secrets on a postcard, posted to him anonymously. He set just two criteria for these submissions: 1. The secret must be true, 2. It must also be something never revealed to anyone else before.

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Mona Boulware Webb

Born Nevelle Ruth Boyce in Houston, Texas, Mona grew up in a cultured, middle class, family of African, Apache, Portuguese, and Scottish ancestry.

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Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson was born in Cambridge, England, in 1963, and was raised in a creative and supportive family in the North London area of Barnet. His first sculptures were created as a teenager on the grounds of his school.

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Adolf Wölfli

Adolf Wölfli was born February 29, 1864 in Bowil, Switzerland, the youngest of seven children whose father was a stonecutter and mother, a laundress. Physically and sexually abused, he was orphaned before his tenth birthday. He was soon officially made a ward of the community, living in a variety of state-run foster homes.

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Clarence & Grace Woolsey

Farmhands in Lincoln, Iowa, Grace and Clarence Woolsey were keeping their saved bottle caps in a gallon jar. One snowy night in 1961, when the jar was full, they started to make their first small sculpture with the caps.

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Stanley Wright

Stanley Wright is a native of rural West Virginia. During his boyhood and youth, he fought to overcome Dyslexia. Without formal training in art, he devised his own brand of free-form wooden sculpture to satisfy an intense urge to create. Wright considers art as a way of expressing deep emotions. "It's hard to communicate with words, that's why I do art with my hands..."

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