Press release form Blue Spiral 1 Gallery:
Asheville’s own John Cram is the 2020 recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award:
Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved their highest honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. Persons named to The Order become North Carolina “Ambassadors” with their names and award dates recorded on a Roster maintained by The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society.
As you are aware, Asheville is championed as a travel destination and a magnet for the creative sector, but this was not always the case. John Cram, the recipient of the award for 2020, had the courage and vision to take a chance and open New Morning Gallery, a contemporary craft gallery, in a small mountain town in 1972. Since then, he has opened a second gallery, Blue Spiral 1, rehabilitated Downtown Asheville’s Fine Arts Theatre for independent films, founded the Village Art and Craft Fair and opened two wearable art clothing boutiques. In addition to supporting the artistic and creative well-being of the community, John has also spent a lifetime dedicated to the conservation of public land in Western North Carolina. Through the sales of the Will Henry Stevens estate that Blue Spiral 1 has represented for over 30 years, John began a revolving trust to provide assistance to Conservation Trust NC and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, enabling land acquisition and protection.
John has committed his life to realizing a vision for Asheville and greater Western North Carolina, and he has furthered the careers of countless artists and designers in doing so. Through generosity and courageous risk taking, John Cram has been an instrumental proponent of change – his landmark businesses contribute to the character and reputation of Asheville, and his partnerships with nonprofits have resulted in numerous conservation success stories. But, John is more than a philanthropist – he is a vocal advocate, not afraid to get involved, speak his mind and rally support for any number of causes he is passionate about.
John’s civic pride is exemplary – he is a successful entrepreneur and progressive visionary who has consistently reinvested in our community. His commitment to economic and cultural development in Asheville will have a positive impact for generations, and in areas further then our beloved mountain town. With all John has generously given, initiated, inspired, and fought for, he remains humble. It is inevitably other people who celebrate his accomplishments.