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The American Visionary Art Museum Debuts New Exhibition “The Art of Storytelling: Lies, Enchantment, Humor & Truth”

The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)’s 18 th annual, thematic exhibition, THE ART OF STORYTELLING: Lies, Enchantment, Humor & Truth opens to the public on Saturday, October 6, 2012, and runs through Sunday, September 1, 2013.

From scripture to fairy tale, cartoons to cyberbullying, the raw power of stories to inspire and enchant, spread lies or to inform, simply has no equal. THE ART OF STORYTELLING: Lies, Enchantment, Humor & Truth is the American Visionary Art Museum’s brand-new, supremely original exhibition featuring embroidery, diorama, sculpture, film, graffiti, and PostSecret confession—promoting all manner of acute ‘visual listening’ and delight for the whole family.

The museum’s 18 th , yearlong, thematic exhibition explores the impact of story via visual narratives created by 30+ visionary artists, each expressive of some personal aspect of tale-telling. Their intuitive creations include: the intricate cutout stories of TED speaker and artist sensation, Béatrice Coron; Mars Tokyo’s miniature 3-D Theaters of the 13th Dimension; and by popular demand, the return of Esther Krinitz’s love-filled, 36-piece, embroidered tale of her Holocaust survival. Other exhibition highlights include a collection of twenty painted self-portrait stories by rescued Cambodian children, and accompanied by Leslie Hope’s documentary film, What I See When I Close My Eyes; photographer Larry Yust’s Streets Tell Stories, images of graffiti and street art from across the globe; and Andi Olsen’s filmed stories behind human body scars. Another return from AVAM’s inaugural exhibition is Debbie and Mike Schramer’s FairyTree Houses, guaranteed to enchant as powerfully as AVAM’s permanent collection of South African “Truth and Reconciliation” story quilt testimonies. Chris Roberts-Antieau’s newest batch American Visionary Art Museum of humorous embroidered fabric appliqués join with artist P. Nosa’s stitched five-word-inspired scenes, created on his bike pedaled/solar powered, roving sewing machine! Apache elder Judy Tallwing’s tribal legends, painted with precious metals and adorned with prayer beads, speak to the oral traditions that pass sacred stories to new generations; and opera/hip-hop/performance artist Vanessa German wields found sculpture assemblages to shout her ‘soul stories,’ aimed at retelling a more truthful side to African American history.

THE ART OF STORYTELLING’s ‘table of contents’ overflows with quotes, jokes (even the classic “a guy walks into a bar…” has a who, what & where to it), and timeless sub-categories like Shakespeare’s “All The World’s A Stage, And All The Men And Women Merely Players.” Another section, “Lies, Loshon Hora & True Confessions of Bullies & The Bullied Innocents” examines the dark underbelly of storytelling, magnified via the Internet to spin negative, false and hurtful stories. This exhibition is an articulate plea for greater civility and kindness in our ways of telling stories about, and speaking to, one another.

This must-see exhibition is a sequel for co-curatorial team Rebecca Hoffberger, Founder & Director of AVAM, and Mary Ellen ‘Dolly’ Vehlow, award-winning graphic designer and Founder/Sponsor of Washington, D.C.’s H Street Festival. THE ART OF STORYTELLING: Lies, Enchantment, Humor & Truth underscores the role all museums and media play as public storytellers, as well as their inescapable influence on what we think, believe, and ultimately understand of stories.

THE ART OF STORYTELLING Preview Party: Friday, October 5, 2012 • 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. (AVAM Members free, $20 General Public)

Exhibition opens to the public: Saturday, October 6, 2012 and runs through Sunday, September 1, 2013. THE ART OF STORYTELLING PREVIEW PARTY Friday October 5, 2012 • 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Tickets: Free for AVAM Members, $20 General Public (tickets on sale through MissionTix beginning August 20)

For more info, visit www.avam.org or call 410.244.1900

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