The River Arts District (RAD) in West Asheville is definitely a favorite place to explore since friendly artists 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! You could even get them to custom make something just for you.
Gallery and Studio at The Village Potters
Discover 185 artists in 25 buildings, creating high-quality fine art of every variety. Artists are located in converted warehouses and industrial buildings along the French Broad River just a few miles from downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and Biltmore Estate. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Many artists are open throughout the week (more on Fridays and Saturdays). Fewer studios open in January-March. At the twice-a-year River Arts Studio Stroll, almost all artists open their studios and give special presentations. See and download a map at the bottom of this page.
In 2016, find many new studios, galleries and restaurants. Plus, a visitor center will open later this year. RAD is home to great restaurants such as Clingman Cafe, Grey Eagle Taqueria and the Wedge Brewery. Check out 12 Bones Smokehouse for great BBQ and down-home cooking. The White Duck Taco Shop is another local's favorite. New Belgium opens their big brewery nearby in 2016.
To find the biggest art creations, see our Top 10 Murals in Asheville.
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.
River Arts Studio Stroll
Almost all of the studios are open for the River Arts Studio Stroll, held two weekends a year (spring and fall). See their latest artwork, watch demonstrations and find some good deals. Read more about Studio Stroll. Also see more great Art Events & Festivals.
Directions to the River Arts District (RAD)
From West / Downtown: I-240E to Patton Avenue (downtown), turn right onto Clingman Ave.
From North: US Highway 19/23 South to Patton Avenue (downtown), turn right onto Clingman Ave.
From South: I-26W to 240E to Patton Avenue (downtown), turn right onto Clingman Ave.
From East on I-40 and Biltmore Estate: North on Biltmore Avenue (through Biltmore Village), left on Meadow which turns into Lyman Street.
From East: I-240W to "Montford 4C" exit, turn left at light, take first right onto Haywood Street, go straight across Patton Avenue where road becomes Clingman Ave.
Tips for Exploring the River Arts District in Asheville
- Pick up a map at any of the studios or download the River Arts District map to help you find the studios. Artists are located in 25 building in one mile radius. It's a treasure hunt! Find artists and mediums on the River Arts Web site.
- The River Arts District is just a few minutes from downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate entrance, so it's very convenient. You can GPS Clingman Cafe (242 Clingman Avenue, Asheville) to get in the area.
- 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 10 AM-5 PM 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, ask one of the artists. It's a close community and they love to refer other artists.
- Take an art workshops or hands-on class.