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Smile! Matt Groening and Gary Panter to Curate Next AVAM Show

Gary Panter is a well-known illustrator in the underground comic scene, notably in the Arcade and Raw publications. He may be best known for receiving three Emmy Awards for set designs for Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Matt Groening is also an Emmy winner, ten and counting for a show called The Simpsons and one for Futurama. Gary writes:
In our days and nights, we experience advancing and retreating thoughts expressed in words and pictures in our private sensorium. On occasion, what upwells there, in the daydream stream, can be captured and shared. For most of us, our ideations and visualizations are faint and helpful; for other folks, the visions will not be ignored and exert a greater force and source of energy and attachment to their hosts. The American Visionary Art Museum provides a stage, a space, for the sculptural and drawn evidence of self-trained artists and gives us a glimpse into their interior view; the genius of autodidacts in all their myriad wisdom, innocence, or admirable folly. The museum is delightful and uncanny by turns. The Visionary Art Museum has the genius to widely explore the manifestations of intensive ideation and labor and somehow have us all come out on top, even arrive at a higher, more joyful, state of mind than when we enter.

Matt Groening and I have been invited to curate a show on the topic of SMILE and we are working to that end with Rebecca Hoffberger. It will be a pleasure to share our ideas and humor and laughter with the community of Baltimore and pilgrims to this looking glass into the visual psyche. It promises to be uplifting.
Indeed, I'm looking forward to this exhibit: I'll keep you posted as it comes together.

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