Best New Art Gallery - 2009
Good Citizen Gallery
In just under a year since its inaugural exhibition, Good Citizen Gallery has followed through on the promise of its name, hosting a consistently reliable series of well-executed shows that balance neighborly beneficence with integrity in craft. Founder Andrew James, an artist and replanted St. Louisan, rehabbed a slender space on Gravois near Jefferson Avenue with an eye to maintaining its distinct local character — tin ceiling, exposed brick, hardwood — while infusing a little commercial polish. The result is a space that has the crispness of a for-profit venture without the white-box mold and consequent austerity of spirit. The exhibits have shared a similar character: from the meditations on domesticity by Alison Ouellette-Kirby to In the Tradition's survey of work by printmakers and their mentors, everything has been presented with equal parts clarity and warmhearted cleverness. To top things off, James has erected a billboard on the roof of his building, bringing art to passing commuters.