Best Local Visual Artist

Kelly Knopp

If this was the Best Local Hardworking Artist Who Is an All-Around Awesome Dude category, Kelly Knopp still would have landed the No. 1 spot. His art is smart and provocative, and a gallows humor often simmers beneath the surface—or boils over the top. Knopp's visuals helped send Crooked Fence straight to the forefront of local breweries, and his new venture as co-founder of Swell Artist Collective has helped spotlight a number of artists whose work deserves to be center stage. The graphic designer/illustrator/painter has a lot on his plate but still finds time to donate work—always a big draw—for benefits and auctions.

2nd Place: Sector 17—Like tattoos, graffiti is no longer the purview of rebellious or unsavory characters. Locally, some of the credit goes to art collective Sector 17 for the shift in public perception. Though its members still honor the traditions of the art form, they are respectful of property—and they are also extremely talented, which has garnered the group a number of high-profile commissions and a well-deserved place in the arts community.

3rd Place: Erin Cunningham—Once again, we're aligned with our readers. We have been longtime fans of Erin Cunningham, an artist whose work is always quintessentially, undeniably Cunninghammy; yet, she can also masterfully make a piece in a genre we've not seen her work in before. We're fortunate Cunningham chooses to call Boise home and, when public officials and city leaders talk about Boise's creative class, they're talking about people like her.

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