Exploring the River Arts District (RAD) near downtown Asheville and Biltmore is so much fun. Meet friendly world-class artists who love to show you the process of making their amazing creations. After getting the story behind the art, you can take home the perfect souvenir and expand or begin your art collection - with something in all price ranges! Discover 200 artists in 22 buildings, creating high-quality fine art of every variety.
Artist Stephen St. Claire loves to explain his brilliant "dialuminism" technique.
See Melanie Robertson's inspiring art at The Village Potters.
Artists are located in converted warehouses and industrial buildings along the French Broad River, just a few miles from downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Many artists are open throughout the week (more are open on Fridays and Saturdays). Fewer studios open in January-March. At Second Saturdays & Fall Studio Stroll, most of the artists open their studios and give special presentations. See and download a map at the bottom of this page.
In 2018, find many new studios, galleries and restaurants. RAD is home to great restaurants such as White Duck Taco and the Wedge Brewery. Check out 12 Bones Smokehouse (5 Foundy Street) for great BBQ and down-home cooking.
The "River Arts District" sandwich board signs are easy to spot along the small triangle of streets and avenues with road names such as Clingman, Depot, Haywood, Lyman, Riverside and Roberts.
Fleta Monaghan is just one of 25 painters at 310 Art
River Arts Studio Stroll & Second Saturdays
In 2018, find added events on each Second Saturday of the month - including demos, classes, openings, parties, live music and food. Read more. Also, see more great Art Events & Festivals throughout western North Carolina.
Directions to the River Arts District (RAD)
There are many GPS addresses since the RAD covers more than a mile of riverfront. Starting points could include 191 Lyman Street, 344 Depot Street or 240 Clingman Ave.
From West / Downtown: I-240E to Patton Ave. (downtown), turn right onto Clingman Ave.
From North: US Highway 19/23 South to Patton Ave. (downtown), turn right onto Clingman Ave.
From South: I-26W to 240E to Patton Ave. (downtown), turn right onto Clingman Ave.
From East on I-40 and Biltmore Estate: North on Biltmore Ave. (through Biltmore Village), left on Meadow, which turns into Lyman St.
From East: I-240W to "Montford 4C" exit, turn left at light, take first right onto Haywood St., go straight across Patton Ave. and the road becomes Clingman Ave.
Tips for Exploring the River Arts District in Asheville
- Pick up a map at any of the studios to help you find your way. Artists are located in 25 building in a one-mile radius. It's a treasure hunt! Find artists and mediums on the River Arts website.
- The River Arts District is just a few minutes from downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate entrance, so it's very convenient.
- Since this is a transforming industrial area, many of the buildings are converted warehouses. You'll be very surprised to see the amazing art hidden inside these modest and architecturally fun buildings.
- You can walk to many studios, but you'll need to drive around to find all the buildings. Some streets do not have sidewalks, but parking is usually easy to find. And all parking is free. Most of the studios are located in four areas (see map below).
- Most artists have a studio plus a gallery, so you can purchase a wide range of art after you see how it's created. The best days to visit to catch more artists are Wednesday-Saturday. Some are open seven days a week (usually in the 10 AM-5 PM time range) year-round. Just look for the River Arts sandwich boards.
- Please touch! You'll find a huge variety of art. If you are looking for something in particular, just ask one of the artists. It's a close community and they love to refer to other artists.
- Take an art workshop or hands-on class.