Asheville is a top arts destinations in the Southeast, featuring hundreds of art galleries and working art studios.
The Craft Trails of Western North Carolina wind their way through the region along scenic byways. Downtown, visitors can stop by 30-plus galleries, or embark on one of the many Art Walks sponsored by the Asheville Downtown Gallery Association throughout the year. And remember, Applewood Manor Inn Bed and Breakfast is within walking distance of downtown!
Just minutes away, the River Arts District located along the French Broad River is home to an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional artists. Studio strolls are offered twice a year, but visitors are welcome year-round to the funky, distinctive collection of studios housed in renovated warehouses. The Folk Art Center, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, showcases their work along with ongoing exhibits and demonstrations.
Asheville has been heralded as a prime arts destination by the New York Times, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure and American Style Magazine, just to name a few media accolades.
Appalachian Craft Center
The pottery of the North Carolina folk potters awaits you at Appalachian Crafts. Teague, Owens, McNeill, Wyndham, and Coles, as well as many skilled artisans from the surrounding neighborhoods. Phil Brown’s carved eastern song birds, wooden toys, hand-woven looper rugs, hand-quilted quilts, jams, jellies, wooden kitchen utensils, and even bees’ wax candles! Rather read? We have books by local authors (Thomas Wolfe, Wilma Dykeman), books on what to do and where to go: hiking, biking, exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, and even some down home Southern cookbooks! Y’all come!
Asheville Art Museum
Be inspired by world-class special exhibitions and the Asheville Art Museum’s outstanding collection, showcasing the very best of 20th and 21st century American art and the cultural heritage and contemporary art of Western North Carolina. This award-winning Museum presents 14 exhibitions and hundreds of public programs annually and welcomes visitors of all ages. The Museum is open free to the public the first Wednesday of every month from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Holden Community Gallery on the first floor of the Museum is always free to the public.
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) was founded in 1993 to honor and pay tribute to the spirit and history of Black Mountain College and to acknowledge the College’s role as a forerunner in progressive, interdisciplinary education with a focus on the arts. Emphasizing the individual rather than the institution, the College had striking success in producing creative people of great talent and originality. Black Mountain College left both a remarkable legacy in the arts and an important educational model. Through exhibitions, publications, lectures, seminars, films and oral history interviews, BMCM+AC is committed to spreading awareness about Black Mountain College. In addition to our programming, other ongoing projects include oral history interviews with BMC alumni and the development of a permanent collection to provide safe storage for artwork and historical materials related to the College.
Specializing in Southeastern fine art and crafts in a stunning, three-level, 15,000-square-foot setting. Thirty thematic and one-person exhibitions a year. The gallery was founded in 1991. The 15,500-square-foot gallery in an elegant and spacious surroundings and spans three floors connected by an open stairway. Blue Spiral 1 presents thirty annual exhibitions of sculpture and paintings.
Folk Art Center
Home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild representing craft artists from Southern Appalachia. Houses three fine galleries and offers daily craft demonstrations March through December. It is also the home to Allanstand, the nation’s first craft shop, and a Blue Ridge Parkway information desk and Eastern National bookstore.
North Carolina Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum’s 434-acre campus is nestled along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 393 in south Asheville and offers 65-acres of cultivated gardens including the Bonsai Exhibition Garden, 10 miles of forested hiking and biking trails, garden tours, Art Walk, nature activities for families, changing science, art and cultural history exhibits, a cafe and gift shop.
Pack Place Education, Arts & Science Center
Pack Place is a place for everyone! A vibrant centerpiece of downtown Asheville and the keystone cultural facility in the Pack Square Cultural District, this bustling complex includes the Asheville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, Diana Wortham Theatre, The Health Adventure and the YMI Cultural Center.
River Arts District
The River Arts District, filled with dozens of working art studios, is one of the Asheville area’s unique arts neighborhoods. Make sure to visit during the free Studio Strolls, held in June and November each year. Visit the studios of the artists and be a part of the art experience.