The Arts…An Autumn Adventure: Discover Asheville

After a summer, hot and humid,

What a great relief is fall.

Of all the seasons of the year,

I like it most of all.

The air seems fresh and clean

At sunset every night,

And the breeze through open windows

Is a sleeper’s delight.                                                                                                                                Bryant Williams

            Hmm, I do smell fall in the air, it’s all around me, enveloping every breath I take. Come join me! I am on another artistic adventure. After a beautiful 50 (or so) minute drive over the mountains from Lake Lure, I have arrived in the arts and cultural community of the City of Asheville – specifically the famous and wonderful River Arts District. I have spent the morning visiting studios and galleries and talking with and watching demonstrations by the artists who live and work here. It is a mile long walk filled with fine art and crafts with bike lanes and trolleys and places to park your car. There are more than 220 artists who will inspire and thrill you with their work.

            It’s a very happy and relaxed place along with the chance to meet extraordinary people engaging in what they love most to do with their time and energy. I have seen beautiful pieces of fused glass, hand-painted silk items, pottery, sculpture, paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic. Something new to me was an introduction to encaustic collage which involves working in hot wax, specifically beeswax. Using paper, then applying wax and colorants, an image is created. I also learned a little about pyrography which is a wood burning technique.

            Right now, I am seated at a little outdoor café, catching my breath and enjoying a perfect September day of breathtaking splendor. There’s a tinge of wood smoke in the air along with a tantalizing smell of orange and cranberry coming from the warm English scone next to the steam rising from my cup of Earl Grey tea. My companion’s sweet apple-cinnamon tart with whipped cream melting on its top looks and smells pretty tempting also. The bag at my side is filled with little tokens of my morning. There are many cards and notes from all the shops and galleries plus a little watercolor I couldn’t resist. It is a real beauty and will make a special gift to someone in my family.

            You can come back time after time and still find something to learn and to inspire you. Asheville is a real joy to discover and not far away at all.

            Don’t forget the annual Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Lake Lure across from the beach on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 from ten in the morning until five pm in the afternoon.  Happy hunting!

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