The Official Website for Asheville, North Carolina’s River Arts District
… inspiration flows here!
The River Arts District consists of a vast array of artists and working studios in 22 former industrial and historical buildings spread out along a one mile stretch of the French Broad River. This eclectic area is an exciting exploration of arts, food and exercise. Plan on spending a day or more visiting artists working in their studios, grabbing a bite of local cuisine or a brew and taking time to find art that’s perfect for your world.
More than 200 artists work in paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, glass, wax, paper and more. As unique and individual as their art, so too are their schedules. There are no official “Open Hours” for the River Arts District, but at any given time throughout the year, you will find a plethora of open studios and galleries. If you are coming to see someone in particular, your best bet is to check in with them before your visit. Do it here, online via our search feature, or check the Studio Guide.
Come be inspired, shop, meet the artists and watch live demonstrations! Some studios also offer classes and internships. See the individual studio websites for more information.
1. What should I expect to find in the RAD?
Explore the website or download & look through the Studio Guide. You can find the guide at the Chamber of Commerce, most large hotels, area B&B’s and in all the buildings that are part of the River Arts District (aka RAD)
2. When are you open?
More than 200 artists work in the RAD and they all keep individual schedules and studio hours. There are no official “Open Hours” for the River Arts District, but at any given time throughout the year, you will find a plethora of open studios and galleries. If you are coming to see someone in particular, your best bet is to check in with them before your visit. Do it here, online via our search feature, or check the Studio Guide. You can also check out our Calendar, Twitter and Facebook for RAD happenings.
3. How do I get to the RAD?
Check out the Map. Don’t worry about meters! Parking in the district is free. You can park on the street or in designated lots outside of studios (marked in grey on the Map).
4. Can I walk to all the studios?
Wear comfortable shoes— the district is a mile long and generally walkable, although you’ll find a car does come in handy to get to some of the furthest-out studios (and you won’t want to miss them!) There are several stretches between studios that have no sidewalks. Note: Buildings have sandwich boards outside the studios with a black industrial cog on the sign. If you see that symbol, you have found a RAD studio/gallery building!
5. Are there places to eat in the RAD?
Yes! Come hungry (and thirsty!) There are restaurants, cafes and a brewery all here in the district! (Look for the knife, fork and cup symbols marked in grey on the Map).
6. Can I ship my purchases to my home?
Most artists are happy to pack and ship your purchases. Don’t be afraid to ask.
7. Can I take pictures in the studios and galleries?
You should always consult the artist or gallery before you take pictures.
8. Where are the bathrooms?
Most buildings have restrooms and the artists are happy to share. It’s generally considered rude, however, to use the restroom without even looking at the art in the building.
9. I’m an artist interested in space in the district. Who do I contact?
You can contact individual building owners or managers of the buildings when you visit. Artists are usually happy to share their knowledge of any openings. Otherwise check on Craigslist – Asheville.
10. When’s the best time to come to the RAD?
Anytime you can get here with time to really explore is a good time! Our artists are local and work year-round. If you want to come for the most open studios, come during our bi-annual Studio Strolls (3rd full weekend in May & 2nd full weekend in November) – not only are the studios open, but we provide free trolley service throughout the district! Note: Studio Strolls are full of people, leaving less ability to interact one-on-one with the artists.
For more information, email us at RiverArtsDistrict@gmail.com or call (828) 552-4RAD
Find out about joining the River Arts District Artists!