Asheville Art Museum

Asheville Art Museum

The Asheville Art Museum is the only community based nonprofit visual art organization in Western North Carolina (WNC). Incorporated in 1948 by area artists, the Museum serves the Asheville urban area and a 24 county region with a population of 1,386,871. Thirteen of the 24 counties in the region are classified as 100% rural by state guidelines. The Asheville Art Museum's mission is to collect, preserve and interpret American art of the 20th and 21st centuries with a focus on work of significance to the Southeast.

The Asheville Art Museum's 24,452 square foot facility is located on the center square of downtown Asheville. It includes eight galleries on five levels within a historically significant 1926 Italian Renaissance style building with contemporary additions. In 1999/2000 the Museum renovated existing and added new facilities to create the WNC Art Resource center comprised of a new 3500 square foot studio/classroom, teacher resources center, art library, Cyber ArtSpace, museum shop and community gallery. The Museum is fully accessible.

Asheville Art Museum Facts

Founded: 1948
Annual Days Open: 310
Audience Served: 85,009 (2005/06)
Executive Director: Pamela L. Myers
Volunteers: 183

Visit the Asheville Art Museum at:
2 South Pack Square at Pack Place
Asheville, NC 28801

Museum Hours
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Quality of Life and Economic Impact

Local School Visits the Asheville Art Museum

The Museum’s programs engage diverse audiences of all ages in active exploration of themselves – their past and future – and their communities, through interpretation of American art since the beginning of the 20th century. Committed to being a vital force in the community and individual development, the Museum's focus is on lifelong learning through the visual arts for all audiences from pre-school children to senior citizens. The Museum has served over 1 million people in the last five years, welcoming visitors from 46 states and the District of Columbia. The Museum and its single paying attendees generated $2.7 million in local spending in 2005-2006.

Exhibitions and Permanent Collections

The Asheville Art Museum has established its expertise in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of American art beginning in the 20th century and in all aspects of public programming, making innovative and outstanding exhibition experiences available to residents of and visitors to WNC. The Museum preserves important aspects of our national and regional heritage through strategic collecting and the conscientious stewardship of great works of art. The collection, containing more than 1,900 works in all media, is the only such resource in the region. The Museum annually presents 15-20 exhibitions drawing from the permanent collection and borrowed works. In recent years, the Museum has curated exhibitions from the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Isamu Noguchi Museum, the Jewish Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum. In addition, the Museum has curated projects focusing on themes of contemporary interest and has invited internationally acclaimed curators to contribute their skills.

Programs and Educational Opportunities

Asheville Art Museum Educational Programs

The Asheville Art Museum maintains an active, exciting and engaging schedule of exhibitions and public programs based on its permanent collection and special exhibitions. The Museum's highly acclaimed in-house education programs include Studio Art, Math and Literacy school tours, which reinforce NC's Standard Course of Study goals and objectives, family workshops, summer and winter art camps and After School Art Adventure. The Museum also presents a variety of outstanding educational programs that enrich life for adults of all backgrounds. Travel programs, independent films, concerts, gallery and artist talks, lectures and volunteer and entertainment experiences are developed with the Museum’s many partners. In 2005/2006, more than 39,000 hours of in-depth arts educational programming were provided for audiences of all ages and interests.

Partnerships with Area Non-profits and Organizations

In accordance with its mission, the Asheville Art Museum provides leadership in the visual arts and educational reform through its work with the community to enrich educational opportunities for residents of and visitors to WNC. State agencies, businesses and foundations recognize the Museum as a leader in establishing partnerships with schools and organizations and presenting education opportunities for rural and urban students. Community partners include UNC at Asheville and at Chapel-Hill, Warren Wilson College, Mars Hill College, and organizations such as the Jewish Community Center, Catholic Social Services, Historic Resources Commission, WNC AIDS Project, Asheville City Preschool, Center for Diversity Education, Asheville Section of the American Institute of Architects, Project STEAM, YMI African American Cultural Center, Penland School of Crafts, Asheville Symphony, Asheville Parks and Recreation, Asheville City Housing Authority, Public Radio WCQS & WNCW, area arts councils and regional school districts.

Honors, Achievements, and Awards

In recent years the Asheville Art Museum has received many prestigious awards that recognize excellence in programming. They include:

  • The only art museum chosen nationwide to participate in the National Endowment for the Arts pilot program Summer Schools in the Arts, 2004 and 2005.
  • National Endowment for the Arts support for More Than Math, 2004.
  • MetLife Foundation Museums Connection grant for Literacy Through Art Rural Outreach, 2003.
  • National Endowment for the Arts support for Literacy Through Art Rural Outreach, 2002.
  • NC Arts Council Learning Audiences grant recipient, one of seven statewide projects, 2002 and 2004.
  • Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services General Operating Support, 1999 and 2001.
  • Named affiliated distribution site of National Gallery of Art, DC, educational materials, 2001.
  • A second re-accreditation award by the American Association of Museums.
  • Asheville Chamber of Commerce Sky High Growth Award, 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2004.

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Asheville Art Museum