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This profile was last updated on 8/12/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.


Phone: (828) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: j***@***.com
Blue Spiral 1
38 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville , North Carolina 28801
United States

Company Description: Blue Spiral 1 maintains an extensive exhibition schedule, presenting over 15 shows annually - often featuring 4-5 simultaneously within various venues inside the...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

152 Total References
Web References
Black Mountain College Museum, Asheville, NC, 12 Aug 2015 [cached]
John Cram - Owner of Blue Spiral 1, New Morning Gallery, Fine Arts Theatre, Bellagio
Asheville Artist Will Henry Stevens | Landscape Artists | Realism Painting, 26 Jan 2012 [cached]
John E. Cram Executive Director, Blue Spiral 1
John Cram feted for 40 years ... [cached]
John Cram feted for 40 years in business
John Cram hugs a friend at the surprise party at Blue Spiral 1 gallery celebrating Cram's 40 years in business in Asheville. / Colby Rabon/
John Cram established the Blue Spiral 1 gallery on Biltmore Avenue at a time when downtown was still largely deserted.
John Cram established the Blue Spiral 1 gallery on Biltmore Avenue at a time when downtown was still largely deserted. / Colby Rabon/
Then Cram saw the marquee of the Fine Arts Theatre, a business he owns. Instead of advertising the current movies, it read, "Celebrating 40 Years in the Arts / Thank You John Cram.
Cram opened his first business, New Morning Gallery, a high-end crafts shop, in Biltmore Village in 1972. It was almost hidden above a clothing store. Cram enjoys telling about a state inspector coming to ask why he hadn't paid sales tax for his first month.
"Because I only took in $16.70," Cram told him.
From that inauspicious beginning, Cram went on to buy his own building in Biltmore Village and open a women's clothing boutique, Bellagio, below New Morning.
By 1983, the New York Times reported that New Morning was "one of the best art-craft shops in the Southeast," with sophisticated jewelry, glass, textiles and crafts that were "of museum quality."
In the 1990s, Cram joined other pioneers of Asheville's downtown rebirth by buying and rehabing two run-down buildings on Biltmore Avenue and opening Blue Spiral 1, one of the city's first fine art galleries.
In 1996, he refurbished a closed porno movie house next to Blue Spiral and turned it into the Fine Arts Theatre, Asheville's only independent arts cinema. Later, he opened another women's fashion shop, Bellagio Everyday, adjacent to Blue Spiral.
Along the way, Cram created Biltmore Village's annual Village Arts and Crafts Fair, a two-day summer event now heading to its 41st year.
Jasmine Gentling, a founder of the Health Adventure, said her group was considering moving to the fledgling Pack Place from the MAHEC Building when Cram, a longtime friend, was planning Blue Spiral.
Cram confirms that none of his ventures has been a slam dunk. It took him 10 years to pay off the mortgage on the Biltmore Village building. "I was in business 18 years before I was debt free," he said. "My mother was from the Depression, so my whole concept was to be debt-free."
He added, "I would pay down my mortgage before I would pay myself. I wouldn't go to the Biltmore House or the movies. Now, I own a movie theater."
Artist Connie Bostic, a longtime friend who once owned a downtown gallery and knows the difficulties, agreed that Cram takes risks.
"The two words I would use to describe John are courage and generosity," she said.
Cram contributes to Asheville arts groups, including the Asheville Art Museum and the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, as well as to the Racine Art Museum in his hometown in Wisconsin.
Cram helped establish the Blue Ridge Society, "a giving circle" that supports SAHC and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. He also created the Will Henry Stevens Revolving Loan Fund to help the two organizations seize opportunities to acquire new land.
What does the 64-year-old Cram see coming next? When he was setting up for the 38th Village Arts and Crafts Fair, he announced he was thinking of "pulling the plug" after the 40th year. A friend said, "John, if you can go to 50, you're going to be really old.
John Cram feted for 40 years in business
Downtown Asheville - CITY NEWS, INFO & EVENTS - 2009 Village Art & Craft Fair, 28 Nov 2009 [cached]
There was something to satisfy all tastes at the 37th Annual Village Art and Craft Fair, which is organized by John Cram, founder of New Morning Gallery, Blue Spiral 1, and Bellagio.
NCBCE Congratulates Member Phil Kirk Recipient of North Carolina Award | NCBCE News, 18 Mar 2014 [cached]
John E. Cram, an art collector and entrepreneur who founded the Village Art and Craft Fair, attracting thousands to the Asheville area and helping to transform Asheville into the cultural destination it is today.
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