See new artists create on banks of world’s oldest river
As a bustling artist enclave draped along the French Broad River, Asheville’s River Arts District (known locally as the “RAD”) pulses with an artistic energy born of diverse media, lively interchange and countless handmade projects in motion on any given day.
The River Arts District, though constantly evolving, currently occupies 22 former warehouse and industrial buildings festooned along the river for roughly a mile within an easy five minute drive (or bus ride) from downtown Asheville or Biltmore Village. Some 200 artists ply their craft in studios that include glassworks, kilns, painting ateliers, metal and fiber works, and all sorts of other creative spaces. You can easily sandwich in a brew or, as evening unfolds, treat yourself and friends to a full farm-to-table banquet in one of a growing number of restaurants dotting the RAD landscape.
The large warehouses and industrial buildings that make up Asheville’s River Arts District were once served by the French Broad River and railroad. This was a convenient place to manufacture products, with easy access to transportation routes. With manufacturing on the decline, this section of Asheville was transformed into a lively and exciting community of artists, art studios, and galleries.
Visiting hours for studios and galleries vary, though most businesses are open throughout the week. The River Arts District sponsors two studio strolls each year, including free trolley service along the river.
To plan your trek along the river, visit www.riverartsdistrict.com.