Asheville, though not as big as Atlanta, Charlotte, or Jacksonville, is still one of the cultural hubs in the southeast. Some say it’s because of the numerous restaurants and breweries. Some say it’s because of the live music scene. Others give credit to the artists and makers that call Asheville home. We think it’s a little bit of all of these things. In this post we’re going to share some of our favorite spots to help you figure out where to see art in Asheville.
Andy Herod Gallery | 122 Riverside Drive
Located in the Asheville Cotton Mill Studios, Andy Herod’s Gallery is a great spot for someone looking for the quintessential Asheville art experience. His space is dog and kid-friendly. His hours vary but typically his space is open daily from 10-5pm. Plus, he has beer, wine, and sake for sale so you can sip while you browse on some of his posters, metalwork, t-shirts, stickers, and more.
Asheville Art Museum | 2 South Pack Square
A quick Google search on where to see art in Asheville is sure to reveal the Asheville Art Museum. It’s one of the best places to see art in Asheville. It’s located downtown and has four floors filled with world-class exhibits from both regional and national artists. There’s a hands-on area for kids and even a bar and cafe on the top floor. If you’re big on art museums, this is one of the first places you should start your adventure in Asheville.
Blue Spiral 1 | 38 Biltmore Avenue
For over 30 years, Blue Spiral 1 has been showcasing some of Asheville’s best art. Blue Spiral has roughly 25 shows a year with groups and individuals taking up space on the Main and Lower Levels and over 100 artists showcasing their work on the upper floor. If you are looking to buy art in Asheville, Blue Spiral is a must-visit. Even if you’re not in the market to purchase, this is one of the best places to see art in Asheville. To see some of the current, past, and upcoming exhibitions, visit them online at Blue Spiral 1.
CURVE Studios and Garden | 3 River Arts Place
If you’re wondering where to see art in Asheville’s River Arts District, we recommend checking out CURVE Studios and Garden. There are roughly a dozen artists in the space and true to the name, there’s a beautiful outdoor garden where you can sit for a minute and relax. (The gardens are open from dusk til dawn). You’ll find everything from ceramic artists, potters, jewelry makers, photographers, and even more at CURVE Studios. Bonus: The parking is free but the Greenway is located just across the street so you can ride your bike or walk to visit.
Folk Art Center | 382 Blue Ridge Parkway
Want to see art in Asheville and also check out a couple of overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway all in the same trip? If this sounds like your idea of a good time, hop in the car and head up to the Folk Art Center. From downtown Asheville, it’s about 5.9 miles to the Folk Art Center. Both activities are free. The Folk Art Center is open daily from 10-5pm and has two levels for you to check out. The first floor is home to a gift shop and also has regular demonstrations by local artisans. Check out their events page for details about who will be at the Folk Art Center and when. To learn more about the Folk Art Center as well as the Southern Highlands Craft Guild check out their website.
Lexington Glassworks | 81 South Lexington Avenue
This downtown Asheville glassblowing studio and gallery is one of the more unique art experiences you can have while visiting. There is a shop where you can purchase terrariums, rocks glasses, vases, and even make a custom order for lighting for your home. You can also visit even if you have no idea of purchasing something. They’ve got beer that you can sip on out of a hand-blown glass while watching the artisans work.
Mark Bettis Studio and Gallery | 123 Roberts Street
Though Mark’s name is on the studio and gallery, the space is actually shared by a handful of local to Asheville artists, not just him. Though if you get the chance to meet him, and you may if you visit as it’s a working studio, he is one of the nicest people you’ll meet in town. Located in the Wedge building that’s also home to the brewery that bears the same name, his studio is right in the heart of the River Arts District and is a great starting or ending point for those who want to see art in Asheville.
Momentum Gallery | 52 Broadway
This downtown Asheville gallery is open 7 days a week and 15,000 feet of space on two levels, all of which is accessible. Momentum Gallery describes itself as a place that “…curates exhibitions of museum-quality paintings, original prints, innovative sculpture, and studio furniture. Our program celebrates material-based traditions rich in this area and reflects a contemporary aesthetic in harmony with nature.” This is one of the more upscale places to purchase and see art in Asheville.
Phil Mechanic Studios | 109 Roberts Street
Just over the bridge that separates West Asheville from the River Arts District, you’ll find the Phil Mechanic Art Studios. STAND Gallery is located in the building as well as a number of Asheville artists including the world’s best tape artist aka Stephen L. Lange. There’s a free parking lot directly across from the studio and it’s also located near Mark Bettis’ studio and gallery in case you want to leave the car parked and walk around the RAD for a bit.
Pink Dog Creative | 342 Depot Street
No trip to see art in Asheville would be complete without paying a visit to Pink Dog Creative. These old warehouses have been transformed into numerous studios that are home to 30+ artists as well as a couple of spaces that are home to a coffee shop and pizza place. This is a great place to walk around and explore on foot and if you only have time for one art stop, this would probably be our pick. One not-to-miss artist here is Joseph Pearson who is located in Suite 130.
Murals in Asheville
In addition to the numerous art galleries and studios in Asheville, there are tons of cool murals to see around town. If you want to be surprised at what you see, we recommend checking out West Asheville on foot or on bike. There are tons of them to be seen on Haywood Road. The River Arts District is a good area as well. If you want to maximize your time, check out our post on the Best Instagram Spots in Asheville. It has addresses as well as photos.
Where to See Art in Asheville Recap
Your options for where to see art in Asheville are numerous. You have a bunch of galleries and studios to choose from as well as numerous murals around town. And in our opinion, once you get tired of browsing art, there’s almost always a brewery, cocktail bar, or restaurant nearby where you can grab a beer or a bite.