Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers the best of both worlds: breathtaking scenic beauty and a population that values creativity and work made by hand. “Asheville is funky, eclectic and rooted in generations of homespun crafts inspired by the surrounding mountain beauty,” says reader Dan Ward, of Weaverville, N.C. “The mountains make us whimsical, and whimsy fuels creativity.”
The renowned Asheville Art Museum has plans to double its size, with a groundbreaking anticipated for 2012. The expansion will hold its ever increasing collection—with the permanent collection exhibition space growing by 70 percent and a special changing exhibition space that will double.
Up and Coming
This summer three venues are individually hosting wood art exhibits, creating a “woodturning trifecta” for collectors. Blue Spiral 1 Gallery will feature a group exhibition with more than a dozen Southern woodworkers July 1 through Sept. 30. Grovewood Gallery will feature 19 woodturning artists from all over the U.S. July 1 through Oct. 2. And the North Carolina Arboretum is hosting an international exhibit of 45 of the world’s most outstanding wood artists until Sept. 5.
The Bele Chere Festival, one of the Southeast’s largest free outdoor festivals and a local favorite, stages its 33rd annual event in downtown Asheville July 29-31, with nearly 200,000 people expected to attend.
The second through the 10th top small cities, according to American Style, are: Santa Fe, N.M.; Gloucester, Mass.; Saugatuck, Mich.; Sarasota, Fla.; Sedona, Ariz.; Key West, Fla.; Frederick, Md.; Taos, N.M.; Bradenton, Fla.Read the full article