Indoor Winter Activity…Exploring Asheville Art

See…you can see the mountains indoors, too! George Masa’s Mountain Landscape, part of the permanent collection at the Asheville Art Museum

Although many of our January and February guests like to get outdoors and hike on trails here in Western North Carolina (winter can be a very nice time of year to go hiking…really, we mean it!), we do like to give some options for those of us who are closer to the cool weather=hibernation end of the winter activity spectrum.

The Inn on Mill Creek is located in the Asheville area — an artists’ mecca — and there are some wonderful galleries and museums and other exhibit halls out there for you to discover, all inside where it’s warm and cozy.

So without further ado, here are some artsy {indoor} places to visit:

Asheville Art Museum ( – the museum has a permanent collection, but also showcase regional and national artists, and exhibitions that are significant to Western North Carolina history and culture, such as their current exhibit of photography by Lee Friedlander featuring Frederick Law Olmstead (who designed the grounds of Biltmore Estate as well as Central Park in NYC and the landscaping of the US Capitol Building).

Black Mountain Center for the Arts ( – not only does the Center for the Arts, located in downtown Black Mountain, offer art classes, but on weekdays through February 11, the Center is hosting its 3rd Clay Studio Gallery Show, showcasing the work of local pottery teachers and their students.

Black Mountain College + Arts Center ( – this exhibition space and resource center in Asheville is dedicated to keeping alive the history and legacy of Black Mountain College, considered to be one of the most innovative and revolutionary liberal arts colleges of its time (1930s-1950s).

Blue Spiral One Gallery ( – this gallery in downtown Asheville specializes in Southeastern fine art and crafts and has several exhibits going on right now, including one featuring three regional artists who are showing their works for the first time at the gallery.

Folk Art Center ( – Located near the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway on the east side of Asheville, the Folk Art Center showcases the works of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. From quilts to woodworking, fiber art, jewelry and more, this is the place to see the beautiful craftsmanship of southern Appalachian artists.

River Arts District ( – The River Arts District in west Asheville is a group of studios housed in what were once factories and warehouses. This district has seen quite the transformation over the past few years and is home to one of Asheville’s neatest studio strolls. During the quiet season, several of the artists keep their studios open so you can view their work in the very place it’s created. Pretty cool.

Woolworth Walk Gallery ( – over 150 artists, artisans and craftspeople from Western North Carolina have their items on display (and for sale) at the old Woolworth building on Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. There’s also a diner called the Soda Fountain, where you can get soup, sandwiches, hot drinks and ice cream.

Many, many more indoor places to see arts and crafts in our lovely, artsy Asheville can be found at

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