The newly renovated and expanded Asheville Art Museum just had its grand opening in downtown Asheville. After my visit to the beautiful space, I walked around Asheville with my branded museum tote bag and was stopped by locals expressing their joy and excitement to have this new space. For example, the barista at Double D’s Coffee and Desserts said she recently took her son and that “Asheville really needed a space like this.”
Without a doubt, the Asheville Art Museum will be a beacon for the art community, both local and visiting, and an inclusive venue welcoming people of all ages.
Even the breathtaking glass orb sculpture at the entrance is a reflection of the museum’s aim to build community.
Whitney Richardson, Assistant Curator states, “My hope is that Reflections on Unity acts as a symbol of what Asheville Art Museum is—a place of unity. I want it to start dialogues about inclusion, diversity, and how art can facilitate those discussions. I also expect that the visitor will see the beauty, inner quiet, and yet highly interactive nature of this work of glass and appreciate it in relation to our new glass building.”
Among the many spatial offerings of the 54,000 square feet building are a library and an adult studio.
There is a library with beautiful windows available by appointment. In addition to the library, there is a studio space that will host weekly classes and daylong workshops. One current workshop is entitled Drawing Journey Journals. It will run through mid-December and will encompass sketching with watercolor pencils.
Asheville Art Museum has a sensory-rich playscape designed for their youngest visitors.
As for the younger visitors of the museum, the Wells Fargo Art PLAYce displays interactive art that invites creative play. Though the Wells Fargo Art PLAYce was designed with the youngest visitors in mind, humans of all ages are invited to take part.
Perspective Cafe will sustain you during your creative daylong retreat at Asheville Art Museum
Another fun addition to this museum is the rooftop cafe. The Perspective Cafe’s locally sourced menu will change often. Expect small plates like pea and potato samosas and lemongrass chicken meatballs. The menu will also have sandwiches and paninis like brisket sandwiches or tempeh and avocado grilled cheeses. While you’re up there, enjoy a view of the city and mountains from their rooftop terrace.
The inaugural exhibition: Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia
The inaugural exhibition, Appalachia Now! , will run through February 3, 2020. The two-story exhibition celebrates 50 artists working in towns and cities bordering Western North Carolina. Ongoing exhibits include a glass collection and photography collection.
In short, the Asheville Art Museum is a beautiful community space for people of all ages.
With the Wells Fargo Art PLAYce, studio, and celebrations of artists of color, the Asheville Art Museum promises inclusion. To further their efforts, they are also piloting a program dedicated to serving adults living in the WNC community with mild to moderate memory loss and their care partners. With the current state of affairs of our country, I’m so grateful to places like this museum to inspire acceptance, dialogue, and hope.
You can stay abreast of the new museum’s events and programs by becoming a member. Membership rates begin at just $25 dollars and go up to $5000 with increasing benefits. You can find relevant information on their website linked below.
Curious about where to eat in Asheville? Check out my Asheville Restaurant Guide!
Asheville Art Museum
S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
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