BEST NEW GALLERY, LOCAL ART (2006)

Lords of Art Town Studio and Gallery

Censorship? Totally against it. Controversy? Bring it on. Sex? Well . . . they'll just leave the hard-core stuff to Phoenix's other alternative galleries. "I wouldn't want to exhibit anything that I would be ashamed to show my kids," says Lords of Art Town co-owner Gaea Bailey. Luckily for us, that's not much. The space used to be a recording studio in the historic Garfield Galleria, and the new residents have elected to keep many of the studio's unusual features: a glass divider, a bamboo-lined sound booth, and an entire room lined in egg-crate and felt padding. The result is an eclectic space ideal for exhibiting edgy, controversial works. It's also perfect for the Lords' other passion performance art. They can run video clips, host bands, and blast sound bites in the soundproofed spaces, and the neighbors won't hear a thing.

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