By Megan Reneau & Courtney Foster
Illo by Rob M
Best Performing Arts Group
Blackout Theatre Company
Daaaaamn Blackout! Back at it again with the quality productions! Blackout Theatre Company has been around has since 2007 and since written many original plays and created an education program to help teach literacy through the art of playwriting. Not to mention, they’re the geniuses behind some other winners.
2) Tricklock Company
3) Mother Road Theatre Company
Best Musical Performance
Nowhere Girls and the Big Night Inn
No, we aren’t corrupt: This winner is another child of the Blackout Theatre Company, who are very loved by our readers and all in Burque. This original musical follows former Detective Constance Powers who must prove her innocence after the judge has been murdered. The show ran almost a year ago now, but no one could forget this moving drama.
2) Red Light Cameras
3) Book of Mormon
Best Music and Performing Arts Venue
A combination of a few different halls, it’s unlikely that someone in town hasn’t heard of this educational music venue that’s located on University of New Mexico property. Musicals, plays and music groups perform in there.
3) National Hispanic Cultural Center
Best Theater Space
This incredible theater is one of Albuquerque’s most well known landmarks because of the architectural Art Deco-Pueblo Revival style and the many, many events that it hosts: everything from town halls to films, musicals and plays, you can see everything here … Maybe even a ghost or two.
2) Popejoy Hall
3) Box Performance Space
Best Art Exhibition
Miniatures & More
Hosted by the Albuquerque Museum, this tiny exhibition has over 100 contributing artists. 2015 was the 25th year for this annual show that provides necessary funding for the museum and is beloved by all in Albuquerque.
2) 516 ARTS: HABITAT
Best (Fine) Art Gallery
Not only showing phenomenal fine art, this gallery also hosts workshops and events. During the summer they have installations on the sidewalk outside of the Downtown gallery, which pedestrians can interact with as they walk by. This space isn’t intimidating for casual viewers, it’s inviting and the directors are excited to have people from all walks of life come and appreciate art as we know it in Albuquerque.
2) Matrix Fine Art/Stranger Factory
Best (Affordable) Art Gallery
Weems Gallery/Stranger Factory
Weems is one of the best known galleries in town that isn’t always necessarily known as a gallery: They have a frame shop, a free layaway service, snacks (which are obviously the most important thing, right?), quality sales and so much more.
As a member of the Circus Posterus family, you can always expect the unexpected at Stranger Factory. The art is weird, creepy and absolutely lovely (if you’re into that kinda thing like most or our readers seem to be, you weirdos). Aside from their gallery they have a gift shop full of goodies like toys, books, masks and more.
2) Mariposa Gallery
Albuquerque has some of the raddest street art and murals around but the superhero mural on the side of the Astro-Zombies building is by far the coolest. This massive mix of iconic characters is vibrant, creative and fun to look at. Every time we see it we find something new to appreciate. It's no surprise the Alibi’s readers have chosen this mural as their favorite—it's easily ours.
2) Humble Coffee/Artisan Santa Fe
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
You have spoken! And the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History has been named the best place to get your culture on. With its “Only in Albuquerque” history gallery and the ever changing exhibits, this is the perfect place to spend a thoughtful afternoon.
2) N.M. Museum of Natural History and Science
Best Visual Artist
While our little slice of dirt is full of artists and creative types, Gallup born tattoo artist, Rudy Lopez, easily takes the cake for Best Visual Artist this year. Rudy is a master at realistic black and gray tattoos and is currently slingin' ink out of Tinta Cantina (3902 Central SE) while oil painting and sketching in his free time.
Best Jewelry Artist
Jewelry in the 505 has evolved from stereotypical bolo ties and turquoise to a more interesting, individual type of look. Thanks to Lilly Barrack, we've embraced the weird asymmetrical beauty that's helped put our town on the fashion map. Lilly's love for gemstones and unique, thoughtful jewelry is apparent in each piece she produces and it's obvious that our love for her artful technique is as strong as ever.
2) Kristin Diener
3) Susan Skinner
Best Local Poet
Poetry is one of those things where most people only like it if they're the ones who wrote it. It's normally so up for interpretation that it can be a difficult art to take seriously—or it's taken way too seriously (you decide which is worse). But (now) six time winner for Best Local Poet, Hakim Bellamy (ABQ's first poet laureate) gives us something to be inspired about, bringing our slam poetry scene to the forefront alongside runner up, Carlos Contreras.
2) Carlos Contreras
Best Local Author
With the recent release of his new book, The Tiniest Vampire (and other silly things), local author, professor and all around cool dude Jason Witter wins the hearts of our readers and takes the title of Best Local Author. He illustrated this new collection of children's poetry himself (so Shel Silverstein) and his “hotness rating” on Rate My Professor is through the roof! Honorable mention to beloved author, Rudolfo Anaya, who holds a solid second place.
2) Rudolfo Anaya
Best Folk Artist
No Clear Winner
Honorable Mention: “Uh. Definitely Not Any Of Those Goddamn Folk Punkers”
The Hartsocks’ Photography
“We don't take your picture, we tell your story.” That's the motto of husband and wife team, Lindsay and Kyle Hartsock, who have taken this year's title of Best Photographer with their startup company, Hartsocks' Photography. Specializing in family portraits and boudoir shoots (not at the same time, of course), the Hartsocks bring an interesting narrative and perspective to each photo.
2) Jeremy Salazar
3) Kim Jew
Best Comedy Venue
Box Performance Space and Improv Theatre
Knock knock—Who's there? Comedy—Comedy who? We can find the answer to that question and many more we never knew we had at The Box Performance Space and Improv Theater where this Downtown staple puts on weekly hilarious improv shows like “Comedy Question Mark” or “The Show”. If stand-up is more your thing then head over to Back Alley Draft House, our second place winner, every Monday night to get your laugh on!
2) Back Alley Draft House
Best Local Comedian
Not all comedians are assholes, and Rusty Rutherford is a prime example of that. Well-known for his work with Youth Development Inc., Rusty has been bringing smiles to ABQ locals since he was just a wee annoying teenager and has solidified himself as a comedic favorite here and across the US with his work through the Blackout Theatre Company and appearances on NBC's “Last Comic Standing.”
2) Dan Rascon
Best Arts Event
Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Fair
The only thing Burqueños love more than chile is our weird Southwestern art. For the past 28 years, the coolest place to see (or showcase) neat artsy stuff has been at the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival, where you can support artists, jewelers, weavers and pottery makers.
2) Revolutions International Theatre Festival
Best Local Theater Performance
Y’all like to be scared, huh? This interactive haunted house has been so popular that last season they sold out almost every show, and they likely will again this year. Be sure to bring some extra undies the next time you plan on seeing them.
2) Nutcracker on the Rocks
3) All is Calm/The Show
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