Alabama Contemporary Art Center Named Best Gallery Or Museum In Alabama By American Art Awards

Thom Bierdz
5 min readMay 13, 2018

Each year the American Art Awards board selects the 25 Best Galleries And Museums In America. reported in 2016: “The impressive AAA board chooses only one museum or gallery per state per year. Their selections are based on years established, industry reputation, online buzz, location, size, socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references.”

American Art Awards: “We consider thousands of the most established art venues from Alaska to Florida. This year we chose several museums and art centers with historical significance of 100+ years, some with over 100,000 annual visitors, some specializing in global acquisitions, some American treasures, others offering objects preserving their state’s legacy, and some celebrating one specific artist’s life work. We’ve also selected some of the most reputable art galleries; some which offer every style of international art, others exhibiting works from one region or one genre. A Native-American and an African-American facility are included in our Top 25, as well as a long-standing women’s design institution, a popular Boston sculptor’s co-op, and a Hollywood Warhol hot spot.”

Alabama Contemporary Art Center won the distinction of Best Gallery Or Museum In Alabama, 2018, and one of American Art Awards 25 Best American Galleries / Museums, 2018.

American Art Awards: “Alabama’s premiere showcase for significant art is this stunning non-profit contemporary arts center offering a 16,000 square foot gallery, a multi-purpose auditorium, classrooms, and a 180-seat, 2,300 square foot terrace used for film screenings, community events, and stage performances. Their exhibitions and programs investigate themes and topics of particular relevance to the Gulf Coast while creating a national model for constructive community-building through the arts.”


Founded in 1999, Alabama Contemporary Art Center is a non-profit contemporary arts center located on Cathedral Square in the heart of Mobile’s historic downtown district. Over the past 5 years they have served 83,500 people through admissions, classes and workshops for adults, summer camps, children and teen programs, and public conversations, films, and talks. Their audience hails primarily from Alabama (72%) — with 23% residing in Baldwin County, 66% in Mobile County, and 11% in other counties — and exhibitions and programs annually generate 56 FTE jobs and $1.67 million in local economic activity.

The first Centre for the Living Arts (CLA) exhibitions were installed in the window boxes of the Saenger Theatre as part of the “Art Off Centre” series, which ran from 2001 through 2004. In 2003, the Press-Register, Mobile’s daily newspaper, donated its downtown office space to the CLA. Concurrent with a $6 million campaign to renovate the Saenger, the CLA raised an additional $6.2 million to convert the former Press-Register building into Space 301, an art center. Space 301 opened to the public in 2003, receiving further renovations by Mathes Brierre Architects in 2008 when offices, a classroom, and a multi-purpose auditorium were added.

In 2015 the CLA rebranded with a new visual identity and new name — Alabama Contemporary Art Center — to reflect the organization’s position as the state’s premiere showcase for significant art of our time.


Alabama Contemporary Art Center reinvents what a contemporary arts organization can be for our time by applying creativity and innovation to the pressing needs of the day. As a pivotal force in contemporary art for the Southeast, we marshal global talent to engage all sectors of the Mobile community in ideas, issues, and interests that matter. We function as a public forum, convener, and cultural broker by forming strategic alliances with like-minded cultural, social, educational, and civic institutions.

301 Conti Street, Mobile, AL

251 208 5671 annually awards 25 museums and galleries in Spring, and with their critique in Autumn, awards 300 artists (painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists).




Thom Bierdz

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORS, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 12 books: 6 on art. President of WAA & AAA & ACCA.