Bob: Arts & Lit

Best Theater Performance: Local

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Best Mural: Astro-Zombies (Eric Williams
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The Albuquerque Little Theatre’s amateur production of that most-beloved musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber floated a lot of boats this year. Directed by T.J. Bowlin, musical direction by Cheryl Sharps, with choreography by Stephanie Burch and Edye Allen. (HVW)

2) The Dolls’
Faster, Santa Claus! Kill! Kill!

Nutcracker on the Rocks

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Theater Performance: Touring

You loved Wicked so much it just keeps coming back to Albuquerque. For those who haven’t seen it yet and those who never can see it enough, the story of the witches of Oz will roll into Albuquerque again in the fall. Good witches and wicked witches are people, too. (HVW)

Jersey Boys

Lion King/Temptations

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Art Exhibition

The Albuquerque Museum put on a good show—if you’ll pardon the pun—with their Deco Japan exhibit moving up from third to second place since last year, but top honors once again go to a Guerrilla Photo Group happening. If this were corporate art, Albuquerque Museum would buy up Guerrilla Photo, and we’d never hear from them again. (HVW)

Deco Japan: Shaping Art & Culture, 1920-1945 (Albuquerque Museum)

African-American Art from the Permanent Collection (Albuquerque Museum)

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Art Gallery: Fine Art

This year marks 33 years of Weems in Albuquerque, and they are doing a great job of bringing us the selections of great art we want to see. With two locations and selections that span a vast range of contemporary visual arts, Weems has the fine art that our readers want to ogle and own. (HVW)

2) 516 Arts

3) Mariposa

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Art Gallery: Affordable Art

Weems really swept the Art Gallery category this year. Not only have they satisfied Burqueños with their range of styles and types of art, but their galleries also leave the doors open to both high-end collectors and casual art shoppers. (HVW)

2) Stranger Factory

3) Masks Y Mas

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Non-Gallery Space To See Art

In a photo finish for first place, we have O’Niell’s Pub and Downtown espresso bar Zendo. Both have rotating selections of fresh local art, live music and an agreeable ambiance. Art always goes better with a tasty beverage and maybe a little snack. Apple Reuben or Zia Latte, anyone? (HVW)

2) Octopus and the Fox

3) P.R.A.M. (Punk Rock Art Mafia)

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Graffiti

If you haven’t seen Doty’s handiwork around town, you really need to get out more. With his rich color palette, grand compositions and socially alert commentary, Ernest Doty’s large-scale work has definitely become a feather in the local graffiti hat. Look for the distinctive third eye motif. (HVW)

2) Acme Iron and Metal (6142 Second Street NW)

3) Wells Park Rail Corridor Mural Project

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Mural

In a town with so much mural work, the west wall of Astro-Zombies in Nob Hill stands out. This chaotic free-for-all of comic figures is an adoring homage to 70+ years of heroes and villains, a perennial pleaser. (HVW)

2) Nani Chacon, “Protect Mt. Taylor”

3) Ernest Doty, back wall of Sister

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Museum

Best Museum: The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History Eric Williams
With brand new 1,500-square-foot active learning exhibition Roll, Drop, Bounce: The Science of Motion, and ensuing hands-on kinetic fun, an incredible array of historical and scientific artifacts and instruction and a line on the largest array of scientific neckties anywhere, the museum formerly known as the Atomic Museum stole the show this year. It’s no surprise they also won highest honors from the American Alliance of Museums. Coming in second is Casa San Ysidro—the historic 19th century rancho up in the Village of Corrales—which is actually an outrigger of third-place winner Albuquerque Museum. (HVW)

2) Casa San Ysidro

3) Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Theater Space

Unbelievably fancy, possibly haunted and definitely a great venue for almost any activity that belongs on a stage, the historic KiMo Theatre at the corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue takes the cake for Best Theater Space. You can catch anything from rockin’ ukulele to panel discussions about water resources here; if the event gets dull, just stare at the bison skulls until you feel better. (HVW)

2) Popejoy Hall

3) The Box Performance Space

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Artist

Cutty Bage’s sharp-cut retro graphics and Adam Padilla’s more painterly and popular-culture rooted portraiture tied the two artists for first place this year. Comparing the two side by side, it seems the deciding factor is whether the viewer wanted a mellow, cute girl or a heroic type with some serious crazy-eye going on. Stepping up from last year’s three-way second place tie, Nikki “the Buckler” Zabicki is on the short list again this year. (No one calls her that, by the way.) (HVW)

2) Nikki Zabicki

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Author

Back in the running means back in the winner’s circle for perennial favorite Rudolfo Anaya. Sharing the limelight this year are last year’s champ Zane Doe in the number two spot and Anne Key, who knows a lot about priestesses, coming in third. (HVW)

2) Zane Doe

3) Anne Key

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Poet

Duke City’s first Poet Laureate, undisputed master of slam poetry, organizer, activist, actor, producer, musician, I can go on like this all day long … the point is, Hakim Bellamy is on top of Albuquerque’s broad and deep poetry scene. If you don’t know his work, it is time to find out. (HVW)

2) Andrea Serrano

3) Katrina Guarascio

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Photographer

Portrait photography mostly tries to capture the subject’s essence. Wes Naman takes it a few steps further and captures that essence under some duress, for example, when wrapped in rubber bands. Given how difficult it is to get rubber bands to remain in place on a person’s essence, it is understandable that Naman traded places with Barelas fave Rip Williams this year. Third place goes to Travis Ruiz of Fisheye Photography, whose work captures lowrider and street culture in all its luscious chromatic glory. (HVW)

2) Rip Williams

3) Travis Ruiz

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Fashion Designer

With a knack for classic and classy, lace and confidence, Teresa Romero’s designs bring out the best-dressed “fairer sex” sensibility. Romero is definitely a go-to designer for special event garments (including lingerie) with a vintage flair. (HVW)

2) Jude Gallegos/Michael Tomlinson

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Dance Troupe

Incredibly active both onstage and out in the community, Keshet has been bringing dance to individuals and groups in Albuquerque for almost two decades. Performances, classes at all levels, camps and public outreach put Keshet at the top of the rankings for Best Dance Troupe in the Duke City. (HVW)

2) Burlesque Noir

3) Yjastros Flamenco

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Comedy Troupe

Neck and neck again this time, The Show and Blackout Theatre traded top spots. Those of you who haven’t yet checked out The Show need to get down to The Box Performance Space (100 Gold SW #112) on Fridays at 9pm to find out what all the laughter is about. Being improv, it’s different every time, so make yukking it up a regular thing. (HVW)

2) Blackout Theatre Company

3) The Dolls

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Comedian

Local comedy wunderkind Sarah Kennedy has earned your love and respect by making you laugh and laugh and laugh. Now she is headed out to the Big Apple to make those people laugh. Good luck, Sarah, and remember that we knew you “way back when.” (HVW)

2) Lauren Poole

3) Mike Long

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Theater Troupe

Top dog again, Blackout Theatre continues generating new work, increasing local literacy rates with playwriting, teaching theater-craft and performing short and long works. Last year’s season included a cabaret, a zombie house interactive experience and a Greek tragedy of trailer park magnitude. Bet you can’t wait to see what they come up with this season! (HVW)

2) Tricklock Theatre Company

3) The Dolls

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Actor

Tied for first place are: the man best known for his role as a DEA agent in “Breaking Bad,” and the woman with three movies and a TV series role coming this year, in addition to continuous local theater involvement. It’s safe to say you’re very likely to see more of both actors in the future. (HVW)

2) Alex Knight

3) Paul Blott

Bob: Arts & Lit Best Arts Event

Guerrilla Photo Group, founded in 2006 by Rip Williams, once again tops the Best Arts Event category. Still happening on Wednesdays at 5:30pm, GPG hits that sweet-spot intersection of potluck and cult. Participants encourage, feed and get to know one another and (of course) make plenty of gorgeous photo art. (HVW)

2) Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Fair

3) Weems Art Fest

Best Museum: The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Eric Williams

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