Bring Your Credit Card to Asheville’s River Arts District

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

If you’re one of the 250-plus HSA members attending the 2016 Annual Meeting, April 29, in Asheville, N.C., bring your credit card. The River Arts District has inspiring art you’ll want to take home.

For me it was a watermelon tourmaline ring. The ring was Asheville - ringsynchronicity. I’ve wanted a watermelon tourmaline ring for 20 years. Every now and then I’d visit NEOMA rock shop in Northeast Ohio lusting after slices of the pink and green stone. I’d make
hints to my ex-husband. (Maybe that’s why he’s an ex; he couldn’t hear me.)

Anyway, I could never bring together beauty and budget.

Just two weeks before my trip to Asheville, I’d renewed my quest, searching Etsy.com for the perfect piece. I must have wasted an hour drooling. But nothing was quite me.

Asheville artistEureka! I stumbled into Bluebird Designs studio in Asheville and knew I couldn’t leave without the chunky sterling silver and gemstone ring.

For your own shopping epiphany,  you must get a River Arts District guide. Peruse online, but you’ll save printer ink if you pick up one in town.

Know that 200 artists are housed in a string of 22 converted industrial and historical buildings on a one-mile stretch along the French Broad River. This is not a mall, but a walking or driving tour. You may go by foot and pick up your art later. Or even have it shipped home. We drove because I’d recently had foot surgery.Asheville RAD

You’ll find notable artists like Matt Toomey making sculptural art baskets and hand-dyed, felted wearables at Dyed in the Wool Designs.  And those are just a tease.

The studio guide will help you decide which buildings hold the art medium/artists you’re most interested in. And, that will help you make the best use of your time. NOTE: Some studios require climbing stairs

Know that, true to their reputation, artists may keep funky hours. You’re most likely to find them in their studios on weekends.


Tell us about your favorite Asheville artist.

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