#27 of 79 Asheville Things To Do

Asheville Art Museum

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Asheville Art Museum: Bringing Artistic Beauty to the Heart of Asheville
Staff Score:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Asheville Art Museum aims to transform lives through art by bringing a range of dynamic experiences to the heart of Asheville. The museum easily accomplishes this mission, while also offering an opportunity for laid-back, peaceful fun in the city.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

The Asheville Art Museum is undergoing a major expansion and renovation. It is scheduled to reopen in late summer 2019.

Asheville is quickly becoming an arts-oriented city, complete with several galleries as well as impressive works of art within local breweries. At the heart of the community, however, lies the Asheville Art Museum, where you’re encouraged to nurture your appreciation for cultural and visual beauty. At this charming museum, you’ll find a variety of exhibits, programs, and other offerings designed to engage the community at large. The museum highlights both local and international artists, with a variety of traditions, techniques, and materials on display at any given time.

Founded in 1948, the museum has a long history of broadening horizons among Asheville residents and visitors alike. Exhibitions change regularly, so a whole new experience could await even just a few months after your latest visit. A long-awaited expansion promises to dramatically increase the scope of the museum’s offerings. Preservation efforts will retain the charm of the historic north wing, but new spaces bring a modern feel while providing exposure to a range of exciting topics and opportunities.

Depending on which exhibits are currently on display, you may encounter paintings, glasswork, ceramics, or photographs. While many of these represent the works of modern artists, several exhibits highlight important artistic figures who may otherwise be lost to history. Both types of exhibits are fascinating and worth checking out.

Occasionally, the museum hosts special events for children and adults. Summer camps, for example, allow kids to explore artistic niches such as mixed media and recycled art. Adult opportunities include book discussions, studio classes, workshops, and informal gallery talks. These events offer attendees valuable insight into the concepts and processes that go into their favorite works of art.

The staff members at the Asheville Art Museum are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Clearly passionate about visual art, they are happy to answer questions or simply chat about the work on display within the museum.

After you’ve checked out the current exhibits, don’t hesitate to hit up the museum store. There, you’ll find shirts, books, jewelry, and a variety of other items that can also be purchased online.

The Asheville Art Museum may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in passion and charm. As you explore Asheville, set aside an hour or two for gazing at the many works contained within the museum — and reflect on the talent present within Asheville and in far-off places.

Insider Tips:
– Parking can be a challenge, as is nearly always the case downtown. Situated adjacent to the museum, the Pack Square Garage is typically the preferred option. Otherwise, limited meter spaces are available within walking distance of the museum.
– Because the temporary exhibits switch so often, your experience could vary dramatically based on when you visit. If you’re only interested in select artistic styles or techniques, check the museum’s Instagram page or the exhibition area on the website to determine which exhibits are up currently and which will be available in the near future.