Asheville’s inspiring landscape has long attracted artists and makers of all mediums and styles to the Western North Carolina mountains. A large influx of craftspeople came to help build the massive Biltmore Estate in the early 1900s--an artistic masterpiece itself--and since 1931, the Southern Highland Craft Guild has been helping to support and promote the thousands of craftspeople that work in our region. And in recent decades, the ever-developing River Arts District (RAD) has helped strengthen Asheville’s reputation as an artist’s hub with more than 300 working artists occupying warehouse spaces and galleries in 22 former industrial buildings. With all these artistic assets and more, your groups will appreciate the chance to experience Asheville’s art scene up close and personal.
Art Connections with Sherry Masters and Asheville Art Studio Tours are two in-depth guided art tour options for groups. Asheville Art Studio Tours can accommodate 12-15 people because “as an artist who loves to connect to guests and one who loves to see guests connect to artists, we keep that as the paramount focus of our business,” explains owner/operator and glass artist, John Almaguer. Standard, luxury and bus transportation can also be arranged, and optional stops for food or drinks can be incorporated as well. Art Connections will work with groups of any size to create a custom tour, but typically works with groups of 2-12 people. Custom tours are available Mondays through Saturdays from 10am-6pm, and owner Sherry Masters has worked in the arts here for 30+ years. “I know the people in the arts community, and they know me,” Masters says, giving her groups lots of flexibility. Both tour companies also offer step-on services for bus groups. View a complete list of local art tours in Asheville.
Be sure to check out these excellent options for team bonding or a fun reward for incentive trips!
For guests wanting to enjoy more of Asheville’s artistic side during free time in the conference or meeting schedule, suggest they head downtown and do a self-guided tour of Asheville’s Urban Trail dotted with bronze sculptures or through Downtown Asheville Art District, a collection of 25 galleries and arts-related businesses. Two other art destinations downtown that can provide hours of browsing include Woolworth Walk, featuring local artists exclusively, and Kress Emporium, seller of crafts and art by more than 80 regional makers. And Historic Biltmore Village also has plenty of galleries and shops to explore, including an outpost for the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the New Morning Gallery, the largest craft gallery in America. View a complete list of fine art and craft galleries.
Explore Asheville is your one-stop-shop for meeting planning assistance. We’re here to ensure your meeting is a success and are your best first point of contact when choosing Asheville as your meeting's destination. Learn more about the complimentary services we offer for meeting planners.
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“We chose Asheville for our conference not only for the beauty of the setting, but for its rich and diverse culture and support of the arts. As a very walkable city, Asheville provided our attendees a background of entertainment, amazing food, and creative drinks while learning about how to make a living in the field of jewelry and metals. The large amount of galleries in the downtown are provided for a rich exhibition crawl filled with unique and varied exhibitions.
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