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Asheville’s RAD Art Scene

There is no doubt that Asheville is a city where art is thriving. There is a huge presence in the downtown area with cute little boutiques and studios, there’s amazing graffiti and public art all over the streets, and there’s an especially awesome area, RAD (or River Arts District) over in the old warehouses along the French Broad River. The art scene is something you do not want to miss on a visit to Asheville. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite artists, works of art and studios around town.

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River Arts District/Studio Stroll

A couple of weeks ago was the River Arts District Studio Stroll where all of the artists are in studio with their artwork on display, and Sherwin and I got to tour through the studios, checking out all the amazing works by super talented artists!

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My dear friend Andrea demonstrating how she makes her incredible Ukrainian pysanky eggs. (Much more on her in a bit!) 

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This is James Davis. I totally fell in love with this cityscapes series that he’s working on. The photo below, Urban, is my favorite of the ones he had on display. He’s working on at 30-piece series. He and his wife were incredibly sweet and interesting to talk to about art and travel!

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Sherwin taking in the art during the studio stroll

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We went into another studio of an artist whose work was like paper mosaics. It was very beautiful and she even had a Hands On station where people could make their own art.

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The studio stroll was an incredible experience because you got to see the artists in action, and learn more about them as individuals. I think you automatically get an extra connection to art when you get to meet the people who create it.

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Spotlight – Andrea Kulish-Wilhem

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Andrea, aside from being a great friend, is a truly incredible artist! She makes paper, prints beautiful collaborative work between her and her mother, lamps and, my favorite, pysanky eggs

Andrea is a Ukrainian American and grew up making pysanky eggs, and she has just continued to make these beauties. Her studio is in AshevilleStudioA, part of the Pink Dog Collective in the River Arts District and when she’s there I’ve watched Andrea give demonstrations on how she dyes the eggs countless times and each time I am amazed! She draws on the eggs with beeswax, using a special tool, and then dips them in the dye. She continues this process and then melts all the wax away to expose the design! It’s so impressive! 

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Here Andrea has displayed the process incredibly!

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Each color and design used means something

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I love these darling quail eggs

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Andrea also sells pysanky kits and gives classes on how to create your own beautiful pieces of art! I love to bring my friends and family to her studio because of how unique, intricate and amazing Andrea’s art is! Be sure to stop by her studio.

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Street Art

Asheville has a pretty incredible amount of street art, and the downtown area is my favorite place to take it in. There’s a wall on Biltmore Avenue that has works of art that change out every-so-often. The two I’ve really enjoyed have been the series of black and white photos of people doing everyday things, and the ‘Before I Die I Want To____’ wall. 

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Jocelyn and me filling out our wishes on the ‘Before I Die___’ wall. It was actually a really powerful moment. It was so cool to have this connection with others through art. I loved reading everyone’s desires, and I was amazed at how many of the wishes were travel related.

The graffiti in Asheville is really amazing as well. Here are a few of my favorites:

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This and the other two below are in Chicken Alley in downtown Asheville

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Under the 240 overpass is covered in artwork- Biltmore Avenue Downtown

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This beautiful work is on Merrimon Avenue just north of downtown. I adore these flower bombs. 

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This was my first favorite work of art in Asheville. This beautiful mural of a person holding a bouquet of flowers is also downtown on Biltmore Avenue. I always stop to look at it when I pass by.

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I hope you enjoyed this look into my favorite aspects of the Asheville art scene. This is only a small taste of all the amazing talent that this city has to offer. So, come check it out!

To keep up with my travels in real-time and read more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

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