We just spent 2 days in beautiful, art-infested Asheville! We spent the better part of the stay visiting artist studios by the score. The RAD (Riverside Artist District) is huge. The artists have taken over at least 10 large warehouse buildings next to the French Broad River. They are open To the public daily and many of the artists seem to be making a living as working studio artists. There is an abundance of ceramic artists, some painters, sculptors, photographers, glass and woodworkers, and mixed media artists (including encaustic!) These people understand the value of their pursuits. For the most part, the work is genuine and not necessarily reflective of the region for the sake of the tourist trade. Quality stuff.
We explored the district mid-week, and there was a vibrant constituency. We saw several sales. Some customers had come from 100 miles away to purchase special pieces for their homes. The artist community here is definitely doing something very right.
We drove out to Maggie Valley to check out the country. While we didn’t see much on the road we drove up a mountain and saw some beautiful views of the Smokeys. This is truly a beautiful part of the country.