Best Art Gallery - 2011
The Luminary Center for the Arts - CLOSED
With their dual program of curated group exhibits and solo, artist-centered projects, husband and wife James and Brea McAnally have made the Luminary Center for the Arts a leading alternative venue for challenging, conceptually driven work by emerging local, national and international artists. Aiming direct questions at our technologically saturated culture, the McAnallys have positioned their gallery-in-a-former-convent as the Marshall McLuhan of independent art spaces, endeavoring to diagnose via art precisely what the hell is going on in our purportedly postmodern culture. A few examples of past group shows: Answer Factory did not aim to provide answers but to explore the compulsion to provide or find them; How to Disappear dealt with the urge to dissolve one's identity and — literally — how to go about it; Forecast navigated the realm of future-telling, displaying works that mine technology's promise to predict what's ahead, from the weather to the stock market. In the Luminary's upstairs gallery, a former chapel has served as a mutable space for expansive solo projects by local artists Lauren Adams, Jill Downen, John Early and Charles Gick, among others. A direct foil to the cerebral curatorial agenda in the lower gallery, this space revels in visceral impact, subjecting itself entirely to the artist's whims. It's no wonder Riverfront Times tapped the McAnallys for a 2011 MasterMind Award this past summer.