By Sandy McLeod
The River Arts District is a popular destination for visitors to Asheville and it’s only a 15-minute drive from Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds. Many visitors have not had the opportunity to see a working artists district this large. The River Arts District has been expanding in the last several years, adding new restaurants and bars and more studio space.
Twice each year, many of the artists in the District open up their studios to the public for an all day studio stroll. The biannual studio stroll occurs in June and November. This year’s studio stroll is scheduled for November 10th and 11the from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day.
The central part of the River Arts District, near Clingman Avenue, is easy to navigate on foot and it’s pleasant walking around. Stroll at a leisurely pace and stop into the studios you choose. Hop on board the trolley to see parts of the District that are spread further afield. The trolley runs all day both days of the stroll and is a great form of free transportation. Explore the studios on the far end of Craven Street, such as The Hatchery Studios and Riverside Studios,; then take the trolley to Depot Street to see Pink Dog Creative and other studios; get back on the trolley and take it to Riverside Drive to see Curve Studios and Riverview Station.
Live Art Performance
Catch a live painting performance by Jonas Gerard at 2 p.m., and visit his studio on Clingman Avenue to see more of his work. Stop into any number of studios to see artists at work, and gain firsthand insight into the process of creating art.
The Wedge Brewery hosts local music performances on the side patio in mid to late afternoon. The Artery (the gallery of the Asheville Area Arts Council) on Depot Street and the Jonas Gerard Fine Art Gallery sponsor musical entertainment, too. Listen for other impromptu live music performances throughout the district.
Holiday Specials on Art
Many artists create affordable art pieces ($100-300 or less) for the stroll so attendees can do some holiday shopping. Support an artist and purchase a unique gift for a family member, friend or business associate.
Food & Local Craft Beer
Take a break from the stroll and grab a bite to eat at any of the area establishments – many which are new to the District. The White Duck Taco Shop, Clingman Café and The Magnetic Field will all be open and serving food and drinks during the stroll. The Wedge Brewery will also serve local craft brews and peanuts all day. Food trucks serving a variety of cuisines will also be in the neighborhood.
The River Arts District Strolls are a wonderful opportunity to visit artist studios in a casual, fun environment. This unique section of Asheville offers lots of choices for food and entertainment. Learn more about creative communities in Asheville and participate in the celebration of art as a lifestyle.
Book a cabin in Asheville, close to the River Art District.