The North Carolina Mountains Feature


River Arts District

River Arts District. Asheville's River Arts District isn't SoHo—not yet, at least. This former industrial and warehouse section, just southwest of downtown, is the up-and-coming arts-and-crafts center of the region. As industrial companies moved out, artists moved in, seeking cheaper rents for studios and loft apartments. Today the district is home to more than 165 working artists—mainly pottery and ceramics artists, fabric artists, and sculptors—and this doesn't include students taking courses. As many as 70 studios in 18 early-20th-century industrial buildings are open to the public (hours vary but many are open daily from 9–5). You can talk to artists and buy their work, often at lower prices than in galleries. On the second Saturday of each month, studios offer refreshments and demonstrations for visitors. Twice a year, on weekends in mid-June and early November, the District holds a Studio Stroll, when nearly all the studios and galleries are open to the public. Increasingly, restaurants, bars, and coffee houses are opening in the District, and a large national craft brewing company, New Belgium, is opening its East Coast brewery and distribution center here. River Arts District, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/280–7709.

Cotton Mill Studios. This 19th-century brick building is home to about a dozen artists and craftspersons who specialize in painting, pottery, and textiles. 122 Riverside Dr., River Arts District, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/252–9122.

Curve Studios & Garden. Here you'll find a diverse group of arts-and-crafts studios, including those devoted to ceramics, jewelry, fabric arts, and metal sculptures. 6, 9, and 12 Riverside Dr., River Arts District, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/388–3526.

Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts. One of the largest arts-and-crafts centers in the River Arts District, Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts has pottery studios and a ceramics gallery. 236 Clingman Ave., River Arts District, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/285–0210.

Riverview Station. This1902 brick building houses more than 50 artists, craftspersons, and entrepreneurs. 191 Lyman St., River Arts District, Asheville, NC, 28801. 828/231–7120.

Updated: 2013-09-09

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