Blue Spiral Gallery 1 has been a central force in the revitalization of craft in Asheville since 1990. Founder, John Cram (1948 – 2020), opened Blue Spiral 1 on New Year’s Eve of 1990 with a vision of creating a home for the many artists who had settled in the region in the mid-to-late 20th century. Additionally, he needed a suitable space to exhibit the recently acquired estate of Southern Modernist, Will Henry Stevens (1881 – 1949).
When Blue Spiral 1 opened, Asheville was yet to reach its current-day profile as a craft Mecca. Having suffered through the post-industry recession, downtown buildings were boarded up and artists were moving to the area for cheap rents and the inspiring landscape. Cram recognized a need, took a chance, and made an investment that altered the trajectory of visual culture in Asheville. What was once a defunct radio supply shop, flanked by an adult theatre and plumbing supply store, is now one of the largest and busiest galleries in the South.
Visitors to Blue Spiral 1 can enjoy work by artists and makers in a three-story, multi-gallery setting. Maintaining a diverse and extensive exhibition schedule, the gallery presents over 25 shows annually. Thematic group exhibitions and individual artist showcases rotate in the Main and Lower Level galleries every other month, while the gallery’s Upper Level features a wide array of works by over 100 represented artists working in a variety of media including painting, glass, ceramics, wood, printmaking, metal, and fiber by over 100 regularly represented artists.
Hours: Sunday-Tuesday 11 am-5 pm, Wednesday-Saturday 11 am-6 pm