6/9/2011 - Touring the town through art, from Deco to decoupage
by Ursula Gullow -Mountain XPress
UNIQUELY ASHEVILLE! Join us here in the mountains of Western North Carolina and see what's around - LaZoom can take you there, and have some extra fun while doing it!!
Attention, locals and visitors: If you're intrigued by Asheville's creative climate, take advantage of LaZoom's latest endeavor, the Asheville Art Tour. Hosted by local artist Gabriel Shaffer, the multi-axle expedition connects art enthusiasts to artists and offers a close look at the burgeoning art scene of Asheville from the open windows of the purple bus.
Beginning May 21, tours will take place every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Riders board the decked-out LaZoom bus at the French Broad Co-op at 90 Biltmore Ave. From there, the ride proceeds through downtown Asheville, the River Arts District and West Asheville. Throughout the tour, Shaffer delivers an oral history of Asheville, peppered with anecdotes of the art life and quotes by famous artists. Live musical accompaniment fills in the gaps (like crossing Patton Avenue or ascending the Clingman Avenue/Haywood Road hill).
The art tour examines Asheville's eclectic creative landscape by calling attention to its Art Deco architecture, crafting traditions, downtown galleries, the Asheville Art Museum, public art, graffiti and the legacy of Black Mountain College.
The first stop, at Curve Studios and The Wedge in the River Arts District, gives riders ample time to step off the bus and check out the wares of local potters, jewelers, sculptors, weavers and painters, including Alena Hennessy, Constance Williams and Maria Andrade Troya. (Tours will rotate among featured River Arts District studios.)
The bus continues from there to West Asheville, stopping at The Meadows Building at 474 Haywood Road. On the ground level, Dustin Spagnola invites participants into his studio to discuss the creative process behind his large, graffiti-inspired paintings. Upstairs, the studios of up-and coming artists like Anna Thompson, Andy Herod, Kreh Mellick and The Thousand Collective are also open.
Throughout May and June, LaZoom is running a special of $28 per ticket, $15 for kids (regular price is $35). Cost of the ticket includes locally made snacks and discounts on art purchases made during the tour.
Visit lazoomtours.com to buy tickets.