The next day we entered Asheville from the south, beneath a tunnel with a large old tree growing on top of it. People in Asheville were more earthy than healthy. Light hiking and sleeping beneath the stars was more desirable than extreme mountain climbing like the athletes of Colorado’s wilderness. People here were laid-back, accepting of every walk of life, age, and job; there was enough fresh air in the city for good living. Every shop owner had positive things to say…’Oh you’ll hear the drum circle on Friday night… Did you eat at Bouchon?.. Oh you two will love the River Arts District!’ So, we went down to the river.
Surprisingly, the River Arts district had so many blank spaces. The arts had, within the last five years, come to inhabit the industrial spaces at the river. We walked around their workshops and galleries that inhabited the same spaces. Each building was spread apart from the next. Over two streets, held together with a hill in between and laced with the railroad track, the River Arts district didn’t really seem to be a place.
But, there were great places in each separate building! At the Riverside Studios I found two phenomenal artists. Brit J. Oie and Jon Graham.
The painting above is by Oie. She works in the Riverside Studios along with Graham, whose painting is below. His painting struck me to answer a question I always have about word art, and I appreciated how he represented words in painting.
The Curve Gallery was refined. Three smaller building centered around a pea gravel parking lot. There was a reception for neurosurgeons arriving as we left.
This river area was desolate at five on a Saturday except for The Wedge Gallery where all kinds of people were gathered to try the beer. I had a Derailed brew and Phil and I sat to watch all the people in conversation or playing corn hole. The crowd was so diverse. This is what made the city so great, the diversity and the acceptance of it.
The last night ended at the mellow mushroom. A slow grown wisteria canopy covered the entry way. Our table swayed on the unsettled stone. We talked about people and places, piano lessons, Maryland and Italy. We talked about our travels and then went to grab a coffee to go at the Old Europe cafe. It was a packed little world of grownups. Two pretty women were behind the counter. Many patrons were bent over to look at the refrigerated glass case. Would it be a tiramisu or a fudge cupcake? I was proud to leave this city… going forth with a vision to be more tactile in my work -happy I could fend for myself by gardening and sewing. (The probable happiness most likely spawned by the cup of good coffee I was holding.)
Old Europe brings real, homemade Hungarian pastries to friends and visitors of Asheville, North Carolina. – Old Europe pastries