Asheville is a city known for its creative energy. A great area to explore the local art scene is the River Arts District (known as RAD). In the past few years, hundreds of artists have set up shop in the renovated industrial warehouse galleries along the river.
My favorite stop is Element Ceramic Studio on Depot Street where artist Heather Knight displays her porcelain creations inspired by the natural world. I had admired her work from cyberspace on Etsy so it was a real treat to see the artist in her workspace, view her pieces in person and bring home a meaningful souvenir.
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This sounds as if RAD is just a clay place. Nothing against Element Clay, but the RAD is so much more. It's the River Arts District which is a community of over 200 artists, most of whom have open working studios (visit and watch them work, ask questions etc). It's an old gritty warehouse district where the artists have rehabbed buildings, and now includes, restaurants and other eclectic businesses......a dog wash, dog training, doctors, small theatre (live performances not movies), a middle school for girls, and apartments. Hosting two studio strolls a year when everyone is open, free trolley rides to explore, special demos by artists and food trucks.