About 20 minutes from Asheville, Black Mountain College played a crucial role in 20th-century American art, with Josef Albers, John Cage, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell among the legendary figures who taught there. The school closed in 1957, but Asheville continues to attract artists and musicians to the Blue Ridge Mountains. A number of music venues like the intimate Grey Eagle and Mothlight and the renowned Orange Peel present everything from Southern Appalachian music to rock while many of the city’s craft breweries also host live performances. In the summer, open-air festivals and street buskers add to the music in the air. If your taste runs towards the more classical, the Asheville Symphony Orchestra performs year-round at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. With all these concerts and performances, it’s no wonder that Asheville made Thrillist’s recent list of America’s 12 Greatest Music Cities.
When it comes to the visual arts, Asheville’s Downtown Arts District boasts over 30 galleries, and the River Arts District includes 180 artists working in 22 converted factories and other historic buildings along the French Broad River. Asheville continues to draw fine artists and craftsmen who are happy to meet visitors at their studios or at some of the city’s many arts events. In Asheville, you’re never far from the pure energy of creative genius.
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