If you are an artist or simply a lover of the arts, Asheville, North Carolina is the perfect place for you. Here, you’ll find a thriving art scene with exciting art events taking place all year-round. Asheville has become an artist’s haven as it offers hundreds of art galleries, studios, festivals, and art-centered culture.
If you’re looking to explore the Asheville art scene, you may be overwhelmed by the many options and places to see. That’s why we’ve compiled the best locations and events to experience as you take an art tour of the eclectic city this summer and beyond. Take a look!
Experience The River Arts District
The River Arts District (nicknamed RAD) is one of the largest art establishments in North Carolina. The district consists of 22 historic buildings, previously industrial warehouses and old factories, that now act as studios for over 200 artists. Stroll along the French Broad River as you stop in the open door studios. Here, you can catch a glimpse of glass being fired at the Asheville Glass Center; or you may be lured towards the sound of a spinning pottery wheel coming from Curve Studios.
If you’re looking to dabble in some art yourself, the River Arts District is an ideal spot. There are many expert-led classes and workshops available. Grab a paint brush at River’s Edge Painting Studio or get your hands dirty as you sculpt pottery at The Village Potters.
Here in Asheville, food has become an art in itself! Once you’ve worked up an appetite, check out All Souls Pizza for a delicious wood-fired pie, or sink your teeth into some traditional Latin-American Cuisine at Grey Eagle Taqueria. You will definitely want to add RAD to your Asheville art tour itinerary!
Discover the “Paris of the South”
Asheville has been nicknamed the “Paris of the South” for many different reasons, including the presence of the French style Biltmore mansion and the unique style of downtown. Here, you’ll find a series of art showrooms and studios surrounded by open-air cafés and trendy boutiques.
You’ll also get a taste of art history when you visit the two downtown art museums. The Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center showcases the works of a local progressive art school established in the 1930’s that produced many of the well-known artists of the 20th century. Here, you can experience the legacy of the now closed college through both contemporary and modern art exhibits, performances, lectures, film and more. The Asheville Art Museum is a must-visit as it features an outstanding collection of American art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The Museum also includes a variety of programs for all ages so you can have a chance to be a part of the booming Asheville art scene yourself.
If you happen to be in town on the first Friday of the month, be sure to check out the downtown Art Walk from 5-8 p.m. April through December. Afterwards, you’ll certainly work up an appetite for enjoying a delicious meal at one of Asheville’s award-winning downtown restaurants.
Explore the Music of the Mountains
As your full day of art exploration winds down, opt to explore the unique music scene of Asheville through a series of live performances. The music you’ll find here is deeply rooted in old time mountain music, but offers a unique and innovative spin that produces a lively music scene. Named one of America’s 12 greatest music cities, Asheville offers many music venues and musical events for you to enjoy. In fact, “Downtown After 5” kicks off on the third Friday of every month from May through September. Welcome in the weekend with free, toe tapping performances that feature local jazz, classic soul, country, blues, and funk musicians. The perfect way to end your exciting art-filled day!
The Asheville art scene is so vast that you may find yourself thinking, how do I fit it all in? Well, if you have fallen in love with our Western North Carolina town, we don’t blame you and we’re here to help. Let us assist you in making your dream of calling Asheville home a reality. We are a team of Asheville REALTORS® that will work tirelessly to provide you with the absolute best service available. Contact us today for all of your Asheville real estate needs!