Woodworking is among crafts demonstrated by artists, during the River Arts Stroll. Photo by Pete Zamplas.
Artisans work in 25 former industrial buildings, near railroad tracks that follow the French Broad River south of Downtown. Studios are off such streets as Riverside, Lyman, Depot and Roberts.
Several artists will demonstrate their work during the stroll such as glass blowing, wood turning and wheel throwing.
Of course, the main idea is to introduce people to the artisans and their work which is for sale.
Glass and metal artists in the RAD artist list include Ray Charnell (metal sculpture), Andy Cooper (metal, glass and wood furniture) Tim and Donna Frady (metal found object garden), Tanya Franklin (3-D stained glass), Leene Hermann (mosaic and fused glass), Stephen Lange (pixelated glass, metal and vinyl on Birchwood for an holographic effect), and Deb Williams (kiln cast glass). The non-profit N.C. Glass Center has daily instruction and demonstrations.
RAD lists are also divided into jewelry, paintings, clay and ceramics, mixed media and photos, interiors, along with a more expansive grouping of basketry, fiber arts, textiles and wood.
The Wedge Studios building by Wedge Brewing Co. has been owned by John Payne. For years he ran Payne Studios there, featuring abstract steel such as mechanical prehistoric birds he moved for spectators. In the past, he has displayed in back of Wedge metal art such as a gigantic collage of gears and other recyclable items. That fit the district’s rustic feel.
Cotton Mill Studios hosts a free after-party at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. Entertainment is by local circus performers, and with music live and spun by disc jockeys. The site is at 122 Riverside Dr.
The mill opened 130 years ago in 1887, was enlarged in 1894, and closed in 1953. Denim and flannel were its prime products. Chicken Hill on the hill above is where its workers lived. Its peak workforce was 300. Its south wing and square smokestack survived a fire in 1995, and is among Asheville’s oldest industrial structures.
The Studio Stroll and its parking is free, with tours self-guided. Many studios are within walking distance of each other. Free trolley rides are every 15 minutes, during stroll hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
The event is twice a year; the spring one is in May. The Studio Stroll has been a popular event throughout the new Millennium.
Non-perishable food items are collected for the local MANNA food bank, at the recently-renovated City of Asheville building at 14 Riverside Drive.
To reach RAD from Patton Avenue, turn south (right coming from I-26/240) on Clingman Avenue.
Check www.riverartsdistrict.com for more on RAD, and links to its various artists, historic buildings, classes and events.