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Works Of Art Travel On Land, Through Mud & Over Water In Annual AVAM Race

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American Visionary Art Museum's Kinetic Sculpture Race
Ron Matz 370x278 Ron Matz
Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It’s wild and wacky and it happens Saturday on the streets of Baltimore. Human powered vehicles are the stars of the American Visionary Art Museum’s Kinetic Sculpture Race.

Ron Matz says buckle your seat belts for a good time, Charm City style.

The curtain is going up. It’s time for the American Visionary Art Museum’s Kinetic Sculpture Race, a 15-mile course on land and water.

“Daddy’s Beemer” is one of six entries from students at the Jemicy School.

“It’s just amazing for the students to see what they build and see how it works. They see the mathematics. They see if [it] works in floating, their steering and gearing. It’s a great day and a fun day,” said August Dimucci, Jemicy School teacher.

Dimucci has been a race spectator for years.

“I came to Jemicy four years ago, and I’ve been involved in this since then. It’s the school’s 10th year in the race, which is exciting for the school,” Dimucci said. “We have 24 students and then we have a lot of alumni that come back and race. We have tons of teachers who get involved because it is such an amazing day.”

Tony Walker’s team built “The Swan Song of Betsy Patterson.”

“The great thing about this is it’s a team. It’s not just me. I want to inspire people,” Walker said.

This year marks Walker’s ninth year in the race.

“These are temporary pieces of art,” he said. “This year we are celebrating ‘The Swan Song of Betsy Patterson.’ She married Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, so throughout the day we will be telling her life story.”

“Fifi the Pink Poodle” will be one of more than 30 entries. And just like NASCAR, each team has a pit crew.

“The pit crew looks out for the vehicles. It changes the tires. We change some gears if the chain pops, and we help put the back tires on for the mud and water,” said Justus Grier, Jemicy School student. “I just feel really good about being in the vehicle this year and being part of the race.”

It’s a tough course. These vehicles go through the waters in Canton and the sand and mud in Patterson Park.

“Everyone’s exhausted after the race,” Walker said. “Anybody can build something like this, but will it make it up the hills? Can you bust a chain? Will the pontoon fall off? There’s lots of unknowns. It’s a long day. It’s 15 miles.”

The Kinetic Sculpture Race begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at the American Visionary Art Museum on Key Highway. For more information, click here.

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