Asheville is a vibrant arts city, with every kind of expression on display at all times. There are beautiful sculptures, murals, and street art around almost every corner downtown, and plenty of incredible installations in other parts of the community as well. Unlike other towns where expression is confined to a museum, Asheville is a place where art is everywhere.
If you’re looking to spend an afternoon absorbing the local culture, all you need is a bike or a good pair of walking shoes and some sunscreen. Many of the best displays of local art are freely accessible to the public, at no charge. We created this helpful guide to get you started on your first art walk around Asheville.
It’s hard to keep track of every mural downtown. It seems like a new one is going up every day. Many local property owners turn to Asheville’s incredibly talented stable of street artists to make their businesses stand out with everything from nature scenes to beautifully rendered portraits.
One essential mural to check out is located right at the entrance to the city: the Lexington Gateway Mural transforms I-240 support beams into a beautiful work of art that represents the culture and spirit of Asheville. This massive mural is filled with details, including portraits of figures that represent various stages of Asheville’s history. The mural was completed in 2008 by six local artists: Steve Lister, Molly Must, Harper Leich, Kurt Theasler, Joshua Spiceland, and Daniel Beck.
Lexington Avenue businesses and alleyways also have their fair share of street art. Forever Tattoo has an always-evolving mural on the side of the building that you will definitely want to check out from time to time. You can also find the Chicken Alley rooster between Lexington and Broadway, an iconic piece by Molly Must that commemorates a time when chickens roamed downtown streets and alleys.
Stay Weird, Stay True, Stay Asheville
Possibly the most iconic piece of Asheville outdoor art is the silo mural in the River Arts District. It is visible from the highway as you come into town, and is easily accessible on foot for the obligatory selfie at its base.
The mural, by local artists Ian the Painter and Ishmael, has gone through some evolution over time. It originally read “good vibes,” before “Stay Weird” became the iconic message to a town known for its wonderfully eccentric residents. During the peak of COVID-19 shelter orders, the call evolved into “Stay Home,” and it currently reads “Stay True.” It’s definitely worth checking out up close to see the many tags and paintings that surround the silo.
Asheville’s Painted River Arts District
The River Arts District is a must-see for any street art lover. Nearly every building has been lovingly decorated by local artists with everything from abstract designs and incredible lettering to iconic pop culture figures. We definitely recommend heading down on a day when the many, many galleries are open to support local artists, but the buildings themselves shine even when the shops are closed up.
The Foundation Walls Project (located at 339 Old Lyman Street) is the crown jewel of the RAD’s street art. The massive property is home to Wedge Brewery, 12 Bones Barbecue, Summit Coffee, vintage shops, galleries, and a skatepark. The property owners give permits to local artists to express themselves through paint—without the threat of tickets they might face for unlicensed graffiti in other parts of town. This promise of a safe, free canvas brings Asheville’s finest artists out of the woodwork, and the work on display is creative, thought-provoking, and constantly evolving.
Homes for Sale in Asheville, NC
Asheville is a great place to live for artists looking for a canvas, and art lovers who want vibrant expression everywhere they look.
If you’re looking for a new home in Asheville, whether you’re a newcomer or a long-time resident, Keller Williams Asheville is here to help. We have the web’s largest, most accurate database of homes for sale in Asheville. You can start your home search right now using our interactive map of homes for sale in Asheville, which lets you search for everything from homes in a certain price range to bedrooms and square footage.
If you’re ready to find your dream home, start looking today, and get in touch with one of our expert real estate agents to make this amazing work of art your hometown.
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