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Archive for May, 2010

AshevilleOTR1-2I’ve got a new travel feature in this month’s Charleston Magazine, May 2010. For the magazine’s annual arts issue, photographer Peter Frank Edwards and I went to Asheville, NC  and met some of artists, crafters and designers there. Below are the opening paragraphs, with the complete story in print and online here:

Arts Collective: Exploring the hands-on creative vibe of Asheville

I can’t say that everyone in Asheville can do this, but on a recent spring weekend there, several people I met could easily name at least a handful of their favorite artists in town. Interestingly, most also had ready answers for which beer they order when they sit among the welded metal sculptures on the patio at Wedge Brewing Co. (The citrus-hinted Iron Rail IPA was mentioned most.)

That’s the kind of city Asheville is, a place where the simplest pleasure of life – beer included – are surrounded by handcraft and art. Everyone seems to be making something.

After the 4 1/2-hour drive from Charleston, we’d start our weekend in Asheville in the River Arts District in view of the Wedge, which also houses wood-fired pottery studios. Hungry from the drive, we stopped first in Clingman Café. It’s a lively place with local art on the walls, a busy kitchen, and a refrigerator case of fresh food. I ordered a tuna salad plate and soup, and happened to be served by the owner, Tripp Howell, who moved to Asheville from Los Angeles. (And before that, in the 1980s, he said he worked at Henry’s in Charleston.) Howell keeps maps of the Arts District on the counter, and picked one up while he talked, and started circling must-see studios. He talked about the beautiful and impressive art now being made in the River Arts District, giving new vitality to the district’s blocks of defunct factory mills and warehouses on the French Broad River. “Art is all about contrasts,” he said. “That’s what we have here… and without pretense.”

– Sandy Lang, May 2010 (images by PFE)

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Art, Craft, Travel

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