Do you remember the first time you saw a piece of art in person that you’d seen in a book? I’m from southern West Virginia and while I’d seen local art, sketches and collages of peers, I hadn’t seen a famous piece of art, something I’d recognize, until I was 19 and in art school. I took a bus to DC and the first building I went into was the National Portrait Gallery. The walk up the steps, I felt dizzy with excitement. I couldn’t believe it – I was about to see a real art museum and not one that had make-your-own-puzzle stations or sand-touching-exhibits. Walking through the atrium and into the galleries I gawked, mouth agape, at how large some photos were printing… or… or… how small some paintings were created, and, god, how bright the colors were! I was seeing actual works I’d only before seen copied and printed a few inches wide in text books. It was such a powerful moment.
And so the American Vision Arts Museum is special to me because it’s an art museum that invites you to get married there. There are rooms with disco balls, miniature cities, giant sculptures of elephants, gators, and Divine (the star of Pink Flamingos). These two chose to be surrounded by art when they joined together… and I got to be a part of it. And this is how it went.