The American Visionary Art Museum devotes its space to original work by self-taught artists who honed their craft—often unintentionally—while operating on the outskirts of the formal art world. As temporary exhibitions explore a particular artist or theme in depth, the permanent collection displays thousands of powerful and often whimsical items, such as Wayne Kusy’s Lusitania, a detailed toothpick replica of the doomed vessel, or the haunting Applewood Figure, an emaciated sculpture said to wince whenever someone eats a piece of fruit. The museum spreads its arresting pieces throughout three historical buildings, including the expansive main building, which boasts a reflective mirrored-mosaic exterior and neighbors the Tall Sculpture Barn, an ex-whiskey warehouse fully equipped with 45-foot ceilings for large-scale projects. A wildflower garden—complete with meditation chapel—and a sculpture plaza featuring a 55-foot whirligig beckon visitors to the museum's outdoor space, where envious clouds shape themselves into crude versions of Pietà. Completing any trip, the museum's Sideshow gift shop stuffs shopping bags with an ever-rotating collection of eclectic artwork, jewelry, toys, and more.
Since 1956, Valley Mill Kayak School has trained countless kayakers, including the first kayaking recipients of Olympic medals, on the deep waters of the Potomac River. A former Olympian and four-time freestyle-kayaking world champion, Eric Jackson personally designs the school's lesson plans around modern whitewater-paddling techniques. Eric trains each of the school's American Canoe Association–certified instructors, who, in turn, dispense their knowledge to beginners and proficient paddlers alike.
Through a wealth of small classes, private lessons, and occasional clinics taught by Eric himself, pupils discover such skills as paddling and basic strokes, or attempting to work your kayak into rhythmic-gymnastics routines.
Mat About You's framing experts, whose work bedecks the walls of the Ritz Carlton, prepare everything from artwork to sports jerseys for eye-pleasing display. They pop pictures into ready-made frames or craft custom frames from their stock of molding to match patrons’ aesthetic sensibilities. Staffers also nestle keepsakes into 3D shadow boxes, help restore damaged photographs, and tap into museum-quality conservation techniques to preserve historic documents and sports memorabilia, such as the first tennis ball ever repurposed for a game of fetch.
Mat About You also boasts an on-site gallery stocked with potential frame fodder, such as original art, limited edition giclée reproductions, and open-edition prints. Customers can add extra pizzazz to their home decor thanks to the store's boutique collection, which brims with jewelry, furniture, pottery and ceramics, and garden adornments such as model solar systems to erect around sunflowers.
The night sky lay heavy over the rolling hills of Gettysburg. In a tent among his fellows in the Union Army, Private Ron Angleberger woke from a restless sleep to the blaring of a cavalry horn and the earth-shaking rumble of hundreds of horses on the charge. He raced outside his tent with the other Civil War reenactors to discover that there were no horses present, and, in the eerie silence that followed the apparition, the regiments of actors realized they might have been privy to one of General Custer's July 3rd charges. This incident, along with a love for history and similar paranormal experiences on the many battlefields around Frederick, led Ron to form Ghost Tours of Historic Frederick and Mount Olivet Cemetery History Tours.
Today, Ron's tours explore the bone-chilling histories of Frederick's most haunted abodes as he tells stories of their inhabitants both living and dead.
Upper Chesapeake Bay Charters' USCG-licensed captains and career fishermen know the Chesapeake Bay waters like the back of their hands. They use this knowledge to ferry small groups on charters aboard one of the company’s two vessels, helping clients to snag catfish and use trotlines to mine blue crabs. During all trips, the expert fishermen supply equipment, clean catches, and snap pictures of people holding fish while looking quietly triumphant, like a cat who just learned how to flush a toilet.
Additionally, Upper Chesapeake Bay Charters' crew uses their watercraft to embark on sightseeing tours. They point out wildlife as well as Baltimore landmarks such as the USS Constellation.
Like a United Nations of varietals, some of the world’s tastiest wines from countries such as Argentina, Chile, Italy, and France are well-represented within Jackie’s Wine Bar. Connoisseurs savor the unique notes of each pour while investigating the black-framed pictures on Jackie’s coffee-colored walls and the shelves of wine bottles that vie for attention behind the bar by wearing chic designer labels. On Thursday evenings, free salsa lessons invite patrons to set down their glasses and grab their dance partner’s hand; Saturday nights feature live bands that serve dulcet melodies as aromatic bouquets serenade olfactory receptors. Fresh air courses through Jackie’s outdoor patio, where visitors can alternate between sips of wine or beer and bites of sandwiches, desserts, and appetizers.
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