Like/Dislike with Melissa and Phillip Smith, Kinetic Sculpture Race vets

Melissa and Phillip Smith.

It's the one weekend in Baltimore when people riding large objects through land, water, sand and mud is a common sight.

It's time again for American Visionary Art Museum's Kinetic Sculpture Race.


Kinetic veterans Melissa and Phillip Smith will be competing in the race, entering with their sculpture, Chessie, a front-wheel drive, rear steering, reverse trike that resembles a sea monster.

"We build it with as little new material as possible and use lots of items we find on the roadside and construction Dumpsters, calling it 'sculpture treasure,'" said Melissa Smith, 35, of Catonsville.


Despite the hard work that goes into the sculpture, Melissa and Phil's favorite part of the race (kicking off 10 a.m. Saturday at AVAM) is the spectators.

"It's a great way to see Baltimore. You're surrounded by happy, enthusiastic people who are enjoying life," said Melissa Smith.

The married couple (who answered our questionnaire together) took a break from prepping Chessie to talk to us about huevos rancheros, the best sculpture they've seen and more.

Worst pet peeve? Negative people. Life's too short. Just be happy and appreciate the gift of life.

What songs are you loving and hating right now? Phil: Stuck in my head this week is "Old Devils" by William Elliott Whitmore. Melissa: I'm on an Old Crow Medicine Show kick right now, especially the song "Carry Me Back to Virginia." Neither of us are big fans of anything on pop hit stations.

Last concert/gig you went to? Murder By Death at Ottobar.

Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Organized religion and the two-party political system.

TV shows you can't get enough of? "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Trailer Park Boys," "Dexter."


Favorite and least favorite fashion statement? It's cool when people look like they have been traveling by foot or bicycle (i.e. backpacks). Least favorite is camouflage.

Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? Peter's Inn and Johnny Rad's

Best advice you ever got? Enjoy yourself because it's later than you think.

Last great meal you had? Huevos rancheros at B Bistro in Bolton Hill

Best sculpture you've seen or done? There is an old bearded guy on the West Coast who built a non-centric drive scooter that propels forward with no moving parts.

Favorite part of the race? It's all pretty cool, but crossing the finish line is a really great feeling.