New exhibits, tours and trails showcase the well-established creative spirit that extends across the Asheville area, as well as under-the-radar experiences and narratives of nearby neighborhoods and towns.
- Masterpiece Art in Multisensory Form: Biltmore’s yearlong exhibition series — Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore — kicked off in November 2021 with “Van Gogh Alive” (through March 5, 2022) and continues with timeless works of art and design by Monet and Da Vinci. “Monet & Friends — Life, Light & Color” (March 9 to July 10, 2022) will pay homage to Claude Monet and fellow Impressionist painters as their masterworks come to life in a rich display of light, color and sound. Next up, “Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius” (July 14, 2022, to Jan. 8, 2023) will highlight the artist-inventor’s brilliance and varied extraordinary achievements as they are brought to vivid life. The immersive events will also weave in ties to George Vanderbilt’s collection of treasures on display at Biltmore.
- New Tours Curated by Experts:
- Dive Into Asheville’s Deep Music Scene: A new tour, offered through Airbnb Experiences, takes participants on a musical journey of Asheville. Led by Alli Marshall (former arts-and-entertainment editor for local indie pub Mountain Xpress), the Asheville Music History Walking Tour explores downtown Asheville through the stories of bands, musicians, sound innovation and creative culture and comes with an accompanying soundtrack. The 1.5-mile stroll highlights the intersection of tradition and innovation by touching on the area’s deep-seated musical roots, from Scots-Irish and Appalachian traditions, to today’s blend of rock, blues, electronic, hip-hop and experimental sounds. Stops along the way include the areas of Lexington Avenue and The Block, as well as the Moogseum (honoring electronic music pioneer and longtime Asheville resident Bob Moog), Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and legendary Asheville venue, The Orange Peel. More about Asheville’s music legacy and lively culture.
- Go Behind the Scenes of a Radical Experiment in Education: Tours are now available of the historic site of iconoclastic Black Mountain College. This one-hour tour covers campus buildings including The Dining Hall, Lodges, The Quiet House and The Studies Building as well as the iconic and recently conserved frescos painted by Jean Charlot and BMC students in the summer of 1944. The tours are the result of a partnership between Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (in downtown Asheville) and Lake Eden Preserve (in nearby Black Mountain).
- THE LEGEND: Black Mountain College was founded in 1933 as a radical experiment in education and community. Many renowned artists studied at Black Mountain, including Josef and Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Robert Motherwell, Dorothea Rockburne, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Franz Kline, Willem and Elaine de Kooning and Mary Caroline Richards. The Lake Eden campus saw the rise of the renowned Summer Institutes (featuring guest instructors like Albert Einstein, 1945), the flourishing of the architecture and work program and became a site of experimentation (including the great inventor Fuller’s first geodesic dome) that indelibly impacted the world of arts, culture, education and craft.
- Explore a Small Town With Big Flavor: The brand-new Black Mountain Ale Trail features a guided bus tour of breweries in the charming Main Street town of Black Mountain (a 15-minute drive to the east), complete with tastings and an opportunity to learn why the area’s mountain streams and rivers make local beer taste so good. Click here to find out how Black Mountain is making big strides as a culinary destination to watch. Read more
- Tip-based Tours Expand | Asheville Free Walking Tours, the city’s only tip-based walking tour, is adding a West Asheville tour to its lineup of downtown and River Arts District excursions. The tours cover history and how Asheville came to be the vibrant mountain berg it is today, with free tastings and advice for budget-conscience guests.
- Upgrade Your Munchies: Click here to check out a new culinary and dispensary tour curated by a local food critic. Read more
- (Re)Connect Through Participatory Art: Hands-on, creative workshops are now being offered by Create + Connect Circles and Workshops, providing an experiential way to authentically connect with others or yourself (available for groups, kids or individuals) as you create a work of art. Artist and educator Ginger Huebner of Roots + Wings School of Art and Design hopes to deepen connection through a reflective and transformative art-making experience using the accessible mediums of collage and chalk to construct collaborative self-portraits. All materials are included, with a frame for each participant’s work.
Want more 2022 news? Click here to view 22 (and then some!) transformational travel stories for the year ahead. Beyond the “what’s new” factor are the ever-inspiring histories, untold stories and trailblazers leading the way in this lively mountain city.