Readers flew “the Land of the Sky” into the top spot in the Small Cities category for the first time this year. A walk along the streets of Asheville will prove why it deserves this honor, from the Art Deco buildings seen all over the city (including the town’s city hall) to the more than 50 galleries representing every medium. Reader Mark Flowers, of Alexander, N.C., explains, “Asheville’s creative scene runs from the visual art, the handmade craft arts, the music arts, down to the amazing small brewery arts. It’s a total package that brings me downtown whenever I am near.”
With two new public arts programs, Asheville is undergoing a downtown renaissance. In the city’s historical center, known as Pack Square, a new park opened this spring. Along with lush green space, Pack Square Park features an interactive water fountain (aptly named “Splashville”), an amphitheater decorated with handmade tiles, and original works of art by local artists.
Local artists also inspired the new Asheville signage program. More than 300 signs direct visitors and residents to almost 90 attractions, but what makes these signs special is in the details. The city’s artists were commissioned to create unique sign elements in the form of blown glass, bronze and wrought iron.Read the full article