It might not come as a surprise that Blue Spiral 1 takes home a win in this category. The gallery has come in first place for more than a decade, but that's nothing compared to how long the three-story exhibit space, owned by John Cram, has been introducing new talent and representing regional artists.
The gallery opened on New Year's Day in 1991, going on to present more than 15 shows a year, featuring fine art and craft and pairing exhibits of two-dimensional work with sculptural pieces. "We are fortunate to represent a fantastic group of Southern artists who work in a variety of media," says gallery director Jordan Ahlers. "The diversity presented at Blue Spiral and relationships that occur between objects and paintings convey a rich and layered story of the creativity in our region. Our spacious setting affords us the opportunity to regularly run multiple exhibitions simultaneously, which are programmed so that, from season to season, we always have new and different offerings for our visitors."
When it comes to his personal favorite exhibit from 2010, Ahlers has a hard time naming just one. "I have really enjoyed our New x 3 show the last couple of years. Blue Spiral 1's annual January exhibition is one of the primary ways we bring new artists into the gallery. It's always an eclectic mix. We had some great glass this year and several local painters. We were also thrilled this summer for Hoss Haley's Radius, his first solo exhibition with the gallery in five years."
— Alli Marshall