Monday, November 15, 2010

River Arts Studio Stroll

Twice a year the River Arts District hosts an open house for all the galleries in this secion of town. I took advantage of the lovely fall day and went by myself on Sunday.

This was a very marginal neighborhood for many years after the mills closed in the 60's and 70's. The old and vacant warehouses along the French Broad River in Asheville are becoming a source of pride once again, with many being converted into studios and living quarters for aspiring artists. Today, more than 100 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Many of these studios are open on a regular basis. Their "River Arts District" signs are easy to spot along the small triangle of streets and avenues with road names such as Clingman, Depot, Haywood, Lyman, Riverside and Roberts.

Clingman Cafe

Almost all of the studios are open for the Studio Stroll, now in its 14th year. Artists welcome you into their studios to talk with them, see their latest artwork, watch demonstrations, and experience for yourself the magic hidden inside the old factories and warehouses along the French Broad River. More than 110 artists are participating! The Studio Stroll is free and open to the public. Most studios are within walking distance of each other, and there is plenty of free parking. 

The Clingman Cafe was doing a booming buisness and was selling food to go by the sidewalk. The first studio I checked out was 240 Clingman with these large abstract and colorful paintings by Jonas Gerard.  They had quite a spread with music, lots of appetizers - strawberries, chocolate, veggies and dip with beverages.

I head back down the street to where I parked and crossed the railroad track to the the Warehouse Studios which houses several artists including Wendy Whitson - I loved her soft landscape paintings.

Next to them is a group of buildings called Curve Studios and Garden. Fabric artist Pattiy Torno bought the building in 1989 back when there was no "District" here.  One of the buildings then housed a punk rock bar. It is come a long way since then  They had a great selection of pottery and clothing with many artists on hand to demostrate their craft.

Colorful fabric from Pattiy Torno's studio.

The kids were sounding the tube shaped bell.

Potter Patty Bilbro at work.

Some of the garden  metalwork

There is more to see on my next post.  It is great that this area is being lovingly brought back to life by such creative folks.  Be sure to check back later this week for the announcement of the winner of my drawing - leave me a comment that you want in, if you haven't already.  The Giveaway page under the header will divulge the details.


msdewberry said...

That looks like a very cool place to wander through. The artwork is plentiful and colourful. I'll bet you could do all your Christmas shopping here!

Linda Starr said...

what a great tour; I missed Asheville this past trip I hope to get up there next time.

ilovepink1078 said...

Wow, great photographs. I like the car/cab painted in rainbow. I love arts especially painting.

By the way, Sis I am hosting Christmas giveaways contest. Please Come and Join us now!

Kerri said...

Now that sounds (and looks) like a FUN Day!

Odie Langley said...

Thanks for another wonderful tour and such beautiful pictures. You are really giving me ideas for a road trip.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for these absolutely wonderful and talented creative folks reguvenating this district with suhc pizzazz!!!! These are brilliant artists' studios - they're great! I love that they have days like these to display their work and their talents! The whole area looks transformed!! I am quite partial to that painted van outside the cafe!

Thanks for sharing these amazing pics of a truly vibrant area! Take care

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

This is just super....I so enjoyed the walk-about with you. Thanks for sharing the artful district.

LEGO art is my Ruby Tuesday today, hope you can stop by to join me!!

Donnie said...

That is such a bright and vibrant area and we can stroll there for hours. Loved being able to revisit it with you.

Auntie E said...

Wow that van is something! I love all the old building. Look like a lot of fun.
Happy Ruby Tuesday-Fall Lazy Flare

EmptyNester said...

I enjoyed the tour! I felt like I was there!

Carver said...

I love to see old places re-used in different ways. This was a great tour.

Louvregirl said...

I like that soft painting at the water's edge as well!

Greensboro Daily Photo said...

Oh so cool! Makes me want to move to Asheville! For sure we need to get up to see the artwork and new venues!!!

Light and Voices said...

I wish I could have come along for this art tour. Oh well. Looks like you enjoyed the day.
Joyce M

Angela said...

Just beautiful pictures..loved them..and loved the touches of red. Happy Rednesday.

Mary said...

What a fun afternoon! I need to put this on my calendar for next fall or spring if there is one then~ Love the landscape painting :-)

Anonymous said...

Great pic's, I love any kind of art,this is a must visit. Love NC!

LV said...

Thank you for taking us along on this great outing. I would loved to have been there with you. So many interesting things to see.

~~Carol~~ said...

Wow, what a great way to see all different kinds of art! I especially like the metal yard art. And I'm pretty sure I said it in a previous post, but I would love to have a chance to win your giveaway. I love books, especially mysteries!
Happy REDnesday!

daylily777 said...

Looked like a marvelous time , thanks for the wonderful tour !I would like to go next year.

ilovepink1078 said...

Hi, Sis! Thank you so much for dropping by and Hope you can join the contest. Keep in touch!

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Thanks for taking me along! I love Asheville but am not familiar with this area.I will have to check it out the next time I pass through
Happy Rednesday, Annette

Deborah Kay at The Paint Splash said...

Looks like an awesome place to visit. I am having a giveaway and hope you will stop by. It ends Nov. 28th and has lots of goodies. Blessings, Debbie

SueLovesCherries said...

This is great! I love success stories of cities and neighborhoods that are revitalized.


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