Arts Galleries

Blue Spiral 1 Hosts 30th Anniversary Exhibition

Roadside Crucifix. Ward Nichols, artist

In celebration of Blue Spiral 1’s (BS1’s) 30th Anniversary, the gallery will honor the many artists who have made it a top-notch venue for contemporary fine art and studio craft. In lieu of the usual exhibition schedule and artist invitationals, work by the gallery’s represented artists will be displayed exclusively on all three levels of the 15,000-square-foot space from January through June.

“Two years ago, when we were planning 2021 exhibitions and our 30th celebration gala, we were living in a time when we thought hosting a series of events was possible,” says BS1 assistant director and curator Candace Reilly. “Of course, things changed, so instead of planning big parties, thematic exhibitions, individual artist showcases and filling our space with bodies, we will focus on honoring our BS1 family and expressing our gratitude to them.”

Gold Stone Reach. Alex Bernstein, artist

These artists, which include painters, sculptors, glass blowers, ceramicists, weavers and photographers, define the heart of BS1 and its mission to celebrate the arts. Works will be rotated regularly, creating new vignettes and pairings allowing viewers the opportunity to discover something different with each visit. Exhibition highlights include landscape paintings, silk weavings, colorful abstracts and an array of sculpture covering a multitude of mediums on the Main Level; renowned glass artists paired with Black Mountain College alumnus and painter Frank Hursh and patron favorites Mitchell Lonas and Scott Upton in the Lower Level; a contemporary photography exhibit in the Upper Level Gallery; and a solo show featuring painter Bethanne Hill in the Small Format Gallery.

“Some of the artists have been with us since the beginning, while others have just joined the family,” says Reilly. “But each has helped sustain the original intention of BS1 through the creativity they have shared with us.”

In honor of John Cram (1948-2020), founder of BS1, New Morning Gallery, The Village Arts and Craft Fair, Bellagio Art-to-Wear and Fine Arts Theatre, BS1 will place extra focus on Cram’s legacy and its impact on the arts community’s past, present and future. As part of the celebration programming, visitors to the exhibition space and website may learn more about Cram’s contributions to the local arts community and beyond.

“The type of work and meaningful relationships John established were ingrained in the gallery from the beginning and remain constant to this day,” says BS1 director Michael Manes. “What has changed is the way we curate, the type of works we show and the new artists we have welcomed into our family—all essential to ensuring growth and success for many years to come.”

Blue Spiral 1 is located at 38 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit or call 828.251.0202.

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