Asheville River Arts District
The River District, situated down by the banks of the French Broad River, is an area that has known great hardship as if it somehow angered the Gods. Its past is a violent and hard one. Fires, Floods, and the Great Depression destroyed a once bustling center of commerce and industry.
In recent times a revival has ensued and a thriving art scene has developed. The Underground Asheville Guidebook by Tom Kerr describes the resurgence as such, "Glass blowers, sculptures, metal workers, painters, photographers, woodworkers, actors, dancers, and musicians have converted the industrial and manufacturing zone from an aesthetic wasteland into one of the liveliest, creatively-charged art scenes in this part of the country." The Wedge Building, owned by Steel Sculpturist John Payne, was given a paint job early on in 2007 which is a small example of how the River District Artists have transformed the factory district of old into a creative breeding ground for the future. Many of the artists actually live in this once neglected part of town and twice yearly they open their doors wide for the River District Studio Stroll. These two strolls occur, one in the summer, and the other in the winter. Check www.riverdistrictartists.com to view the schedule of when this event is occurring. During the stroll, upwards of 12 galleries and more than 50 artists open their usually closed-to-the-public studios. This is a perfect opportunity to view some of the best art Asheville has to offer.
For more information on the River Arts District:
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