Best Pop-Art Standard Bearer

William Rupnik

It was a tough blow for the Cleveland art scene when 1300 Gallery shut its doors. And while new galleries have taken up residence in that lovely space — and fine galleries they are — it's Bill Rupnik, a lanky, unassuming skater kid with an easy smile, who took up 1300's flag in grand style, funneling his wages from his product development job at Jakprints into the William Rupnik Gallery (originally known as Artchitecture, eponymously renamed this year). WRG has been a superb home for artists working in smart, winking, pop-culture savvy styles, artists like Paul Sydorenko, Arabella Proffer, John Greiner, Matthew Ryan Sharp and 1300 mainstay BASK. It's as much to Rupnik's credit as the artist's that a recent WRG show of Mallorie Freeman's work very nearly sold out on opening night, and we eagerly look forward to what he has coming up. His tastes and curatorial instincts haven't let us down yet. (1667 E. 40th St., 216.533.5575, artchitecturegallery.com) — Kretsch

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