This downtown studio has glassblowing demonstrations six days a week and a gallery full of intricate pieces. Bonus: order a local craft beer at the back bar, then take your time browsing and stick around to see these amazing artists in action. Those that would like to take a class should visit the North Carolina Glass Center in Asheville’s River Arts District.
Lexington Glassworks, 81 S Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 348 8427
This gallery sits in the historic Grovewood Village as part of the legendary Grove Park Inn campus. Yet, the artwork inside the Gallery of the Mountains wows guests, too, all of which was created by local and regional artists. The gallery has been going strong for over 30 years.
Gallery of the Mountains, 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 254 2068
Technically this home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild houses three galleries and should be included as part of anyone’s itinerary who wants to view a solid representation of Southern Appalachian artists. Recent rotating exhibits include Tapestry Weavers South and a thematic collection called Wonderland. And with its location at the mouth of the Blue Ridge Parkway, adding some driving time on this iconic parkway makes for an excellent pre- or post-gallery jaunt.
Fok Art Center, Milepost, 382 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 298 7928
This impressive two-story gallery focuses on smaller pieces like jewelry, playful signs and glassware created by nearly 100 regional creatives. Downstairs, high-end antique furniture can be found. The Kress Emporium building itself is also an artistic gem as it dates back to 1928 and was designed in the Neoclassical vein.
Kress Emporium, 19 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 281 2252
While many galleries in the River Arts District deserve a gander, Curve Studios makes for a fun stop as the buildings share a lovely garden filled with outdoor art and a top floor dedicated to the art of chair caning. Other areas house several ceramic studios, jewelry makers and clothing makers.
Curve Studios, 6 Riverside Dr, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 388 3526
Near Curve Studios sits the century-old Wedge Studios building, which basically serves as a mini-version of the best of the River Arts District and Asheville in general. Here, painters, filmmakers and textile artists create by day and can often be found sipping beers after work in Wedge Brewery’s funky courtyard.
Another section of RAD to check out is Riverview Station, since more than 60 members of Asheville’s creative class call this 1902 building their work home. Five individual artists also have their own galleries here.
Riverview Station,191 Lyman St, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 231 7120
Another downtown gallery to consider is Blue Spiral 1, who prides itself on filling the 15,000-square-foot space with a diverse collection. The gallery also has a section dedicated to the works of modernist Will Henry Stevens, with pieces rotated in from his estate regularly.
Blue Spiral 1, 38 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 251 0202
The mantra at New Morning Gallery is “Art for Living,” which reveals its focus on crafts and has led it to be the largest single craft gallery in America. This gallery resides in the historic Biltmore Village area of Asheville, a shopping destination worth exploring after snapping up some of New Morning’s functional art.
New Morning Gallery, 7 Boston Way, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 274 2831
This gallery’s claim to fame is being the oldest fine art gallery in Asheville that’s still going strong 30 years later. As a cooperative, each of the 31 members has an owner’s stake in making this a premier gallery in a city known for its arts scene. And its location right on Asheville’s main street, Patton Avenue, and across the street from famous French Broad Chocolates means it enjoys quite a bit of foot traffic during busy times.
Asheville Gallery of Art,82 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC, USA, +1 828 251 5796