By Kirby Rucker
Asheville’s River Arts District (also known as the R.A.D.) found its beginnings in the 1880’s, when the Norfolk Southern Railroad came to town. Since then, it’s gone through many changes. After a peak in the manufacturing industry, the R.A.D. was slowly but surely converted into an artists’ oasis beginning in the 1970’s and is today home to some of Asheville’s most renowned artist studios, as well as restaurants and breweries, retail spaces, and a park. These ten art studios are part of what gives Asheville’s R.A.D. its title.
1. Riverside Studios
Riverside Studios was part of a revitalization project which included multiple buildings from the 1880s-era Cotton Mill Village. Inside, you’ll find the working studios of multiple artists with a variety of different mediums. There is also a gallery which showcases their work.
Resident Artists: Jim Richbourg, Brit J. Øie, David Berry, Patricia Cotterill, Nat Dickinson, Sara Moser, Ron Maffett
Fri., Sat., & Mon. 11 A.M. to 4 P.M., Sun. 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.
174 W Haywood St.
2. Cotton Mill Studios
Cotton Mill Studios was revived after a fire burned down the majority of the building in 1995. What remained of the old textile factory became a thriving community of eight studios in the R.A.D., an art gallery, and the Asheville Guitar Bar.
Resident Artists: Andy Herod, Sugarcane Sewing Studio, Kizmet Yogawear, Kathryn June Amorastreya, Daidala Ciders, Luxe House Photgraphic, Sound Mind Creative, Red Rabbit Tattoo Company
Mon. – Sun. 11 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.
122 Riverside Dr.
3. Hatchery Studios
Hatchery Studios is home to seven creative spaces, including the new Baby Bull restaurant (a sister eatery to Bull & Beggar). The building was constructed in the 1950s, originally as a poultry corporation which later became known as “Chicken Hill.” Today, the Hatchery houses R.A.D. artists who create jewelry, pottery, paintings and more.
Resident Artists: Olivia de Soria, Rosendale Martin, Court McCracken, Miranda Wildman, The Squeaky Wheel Potter’s Studio, Corey C. McNabb Fine Art
1 Roberts St.
4. Warehouse Studios
This building was turned into an artist studio space in 1987 but was originally the 1901 Williams Feed Company, as the facade still states today. Warehouse Studios houses seven painters and is home to RiverLink.
Resident Artists: Barbara Fisher, Cheryl Keefer, David Skinner, Dawn Winter, Grace Carol Bomer, Olga Dorenko, Pamela Winkler, Sue Dolamore
170 Lyman St.
5. CURVE Studios & Garden
Located in the 1916 Standard Oil Company of New Jersey building, CURVE studios has been in the R.A.D for over 30 years. It now houses 11 artists with widely ranging mediums, as well as a garden which is open from dawn to dusk and available for special events.
Resident Artists: Shirley Bavonese, Cassie Butcher, Codega Fiber Studio, Amber Mahler, Melanie Merenda, Alice Scott, Silver River Chairs, Angelique Tassistro, Mary Timmer, Pattiy Torno, Maria Andrade Troya, Millie Weeks
Mon. – Sat. 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.
3 River Arts Pl.
6. Wedge Studios
This historic building was originally constructed in 1898 and became the largest leather tannery in the country at the time. Now, the Wedge is one of the R.A.D.’s larger spaces, with room for over 30 artist studios as well as Wedge Brewing Company, restaurants such as the Bull and Beggar, and other retail spaces.
For a full list of Resident Artists, visit https://wedgestudioartists.com/explore-studios/
Mon. – Sun. 1 A.M. to 6 P.M.
129 Roberts St.
7. The Lift Studios
The Lift Studios is home to a single fine artist, Daniel McClendon. The building was originally constructed in 1907 and was home to the National Biscuit Company. The studio still holds many of its original traits today, including its 14-foot exposed brick walls.
Resident Artist: Daniel McClendon
Mon. – Sun. 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.
329 Depot St.
8. Northlight Studios
This building, a former leather tannery built in 1904, is now home to five resident artists. These artists are all painters with styles ranging from landscape to abstract. These studios turn into a gallery at least once a week and boast a welcoming and charming atmosphere.
Resident Artists: Wendy Whitson, Angela Alexander, Nadine Charlsen, Nan Davis, Christine Longoria
Saturday 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.
357 Depot St.
9. Trackside Studios
Trackside Studios is home to the working studios of over 30 artists, as well as a gallery of their work. It’s come a long way since its origins as a meat packing plant facility that was built in 1901. The artists of Trackside Studios are incredibly diverse with a wide range of mediums.
For a full list of Resident Artists, visit http://www.tracksidestudios375.com/home
Thurs. – Mon. 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.
375 Depot St.
10. Pink Dog Creative
Pink Dog Creative is home to over 30 resident artists and a number of retail spaces in the R.A.D. Formerly a textile manufacturing facility and warehouse, this building was constructed in the 1920s before being transformed into a River Arts District artist studio. Pink Dog regularly raises funds and awareness for organizations in Asheville.
For a full list of Resident Artists, visit https://www.pinkdog-creative.com/artists
342 – 348 Depot St.
For more information on the history of the River Arts District, check out our 2019 article, Constructive Zone Ahead.