Long-known as an arts colony with connections to the American Craft Revival and mid-20th-century avant-garde movements, the Asheville area features hundreds of fine artists, mountain crafters, folk artists, colorful arts neighborhoods and galleries that celebrate creativity.
- This winter, visitors can finally explore new museums that opened just before the pandemic with safety measures and capacity limits in place. The Asheville Art Museum, a new $24 million-plus, state-of-the-art building, features expanded gallery space, education facilities, an art library, a lecture and performance venue and a rooftop sculpture terrace and café with views of downtown architecture and the surrounding mountains. The Center for Craft, the leading organization in the U.S. identifying and convening craft makers, curators and researchers and matching them with resources, tools and networks, has also reopened with a new exhibition centered around issues of race, gender, immigration status and other pressing social and political issues.
- Another Asheville art center closed by the pandemic just shortly after debuting is LEAF Global Arts Center, a cornerstone in the continued rebirth of the city’s historical African American business district, The Block. The center now offers educational experiences for guests rooted in music, art, community and culture inclusivity via social distancing, a one-way path through exhibits and advance reservations.
- Just opened, Noir Collective AVL has an important mission as a retail space for Black entrepreneurs, artists, makers and social activists. The shop is in the YMI Cultural Center, which has a rich history as one of the nation's oldest African American institutions dating back to 1893 and is located on The Block, the city's historic Black business district.