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25 Jun 2012
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Things to Do & Events

Asheville is renowned for its outdoor adventures as well as its incredible mountain vistas. Asheville's natural beauty also inspires a culture of flourishing artists and an exciting art scene that is worth dedicating at least a day or two of your vacation if you are an art lover or just looking to for a nice rainy day activity. 

Asheville's Art Scene

Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the River Arts District of Asheville. This historically significant neighborhood along the banks of the French Broad River, an industrial center in the late 1800s, hosts a bi-annual River Arts District Studio Stroll, typically in May and November.  During this time, artists open up their studios (over 200 studios in fact!) and you can easily spot live demonstrations of live painting and glass-blowing. It's also a good opportunity to support local artists and pick up a new piece for your collection. If you hit the lunch or dinner hour while in the River Arts District,  the area has some great offerings from breweries to restaurants. The original Wedge Brewery is a great spot to grab a beer and is actually built into the bottom section of historic buildings that are home to artists' studios. White Duck Taco's original location is easily accessible from this area too. 

We can't neglect to mention downtown Asheville's art scene. The downtown district is home to 25+ art galleries. There are so many galleries that are worth a visit. Even if you're wanting some walkable options in downtown Asheville, the Broadway/Biltmore Avenue is brimming with easy access art, including Blue Spiral 1, Momentum Gallery, The Haen Gallery,  American Folk Art, and Framing. See a large variety during one of Downtown Asheville's First Friday Art Walks from April through December, or pick your own time to explore. 

 Asheville's Museum of  Art is located on the edge of Pack Square, on the same road as well. Even beyond these galleries, there are other forms of art such as the Asheville Fine Arts Theatre where you can watch current films and independent films and documentaries in a classic setting or enjoy theatre performances at Diana Wortham Theatre. 

Within a quick drive of downtown, you can also visit galleries such as the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grovewood Gallery near the Grove Park Inn and the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Biltmore Village. 

Black Mountain Art

Black Mountain has a very rich history as a community that appreciates the arts. It was the location of the experimental Black Mountain College which was founded in 1933 by John Andrew Rice, Theodore Dreier, and several other people. The College was established based on John Dewey's principles of progressive education. The founders believed that the study and practice of art were important elements of student's education. All members of the college community assisted with the day-to-day operations, construction, learning and kitchen duty. The college attracted a variety of individuals that became influential in the art world.  The Black Mountain College Museum was founded in 1993 and its location is in downtown Asheville. 

The hub of art in Black Mountain is the Black Mountain Center for the Arts. The Center is community-focused and offers theatre performances, concerts, dance, voice, and music classes and camps, in addition to the rotating art on display and its own state-of-the-art (no pun intended) clay studio. The center offers a solid glimpse Black Mountain art scene with concerts, storytelling performances, riveting theatre and popular events like Art in Bloom and their annual Art Auction. 

Black Mountain is the home to a large number of local artists and crafts-people. The area's shops are an excellent place to start for art, crafts, and unique hand-crafted goods to purchase as gifts or to simply add to your art collection. Some great shops in downtown including Seven Sisters Gallery, Mountain Nest, Old Depot Arts & Crafts Center, Design Driven Studio, Chifferobe Home and Garden and many more. 


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