Asheville Art Experience Tours

City Tours feature art, community, and tradition!

The history of Asheville’s art legacy traces back to early Appalachian culture. Scotch, Irish, and German settlers migrated to the region in the 1700s and brought with them their traditional methods of making handmade quilts, coverlets, pottery, wood carvings, and woven baskets, all created with natural dyes and raw materials. While the objects were functional and necessary for survival,  they were also beautiful and decorative.  European settlers to the region were also influenced by Cherokee crafts and the styles created by Native Americans over centuries before Europeans arrived on the continent.  This unique combination of traditions was passed down through generations and is still a part of Asheville’s art culture.  

 In the 1920s the John C  Campbell Folk School in Brasstown and the Penland School For Craft established an educational foundation for Appalachian crafts that attracted visitors and artists from all over the country. The Southern Highland Craft Guild established their headquarters in Asheville in 1930. Their showcase of the creations of area artisans transformed the handicraft tradition into a meaningful part of the region’s economy. 

The planning and construction of the home and grounds of the Biltmore Estate attracted famous architects to Asheville, including Richard Morris, Richard Sharp Smith, Raphael Guastavino, and Frederick Law Olmstead. Following them were brilliant young architects who designed landmark buildings in downtown Asheville, such as Douglas Ellington’s brick and stone art deco style City Hall and the colorful S&W Cafeteria. They made Asheville an architecture destination that featured a variety of styles:  Art Deco, Neoclassical, Romanesque Revival, Beaux Arts, Gothic, and Spanish Renaissance. The Biltmore Estate also housed a hidden vault of our nation’s most valuable artworks, including a classic portrait of George Washington by artist Gilbert Stuart. 

 The revitalization of the River Arts District (RAD) over the last two decades also drew local artisans to affordable studio space. The concentration of artists created by this district cemented Asheville’s reputation as a world-class arts and crafts destination. More recently, in 2019, the Asheville Art Museum underwent major renovations and now houses an  extraordinary collection of 20th and 21st-century art that demonstrates the rich, unique, and remarkable artistic history of Western North Carolina

Take an Asheville Art Tour

There are many ways to experience Asheville’s art culture, including multiple guided tours. Sherry Masters’ Art Connections creates tours customized to your interests. She also offers art consulting services to assist clients with selecting works for their homes or offices. Sherry has 27 years of gallery experience with strong connections to artists across Western North Carolina. “Some of my tour participants are artists themselves, and they love the opportunity to meet other artists,” she said. “Others guests are collectors who know of the art scene in Asheville and want to find artworks specific to their interests.” Other guests are just excited to get to know the artists and make connections and follow their work. 

The Asheville Art Experience, owned by long-time River Arts District glass artist John Miguel Almaguer and his wife, provides public and private art tours to over 200 RAD galleries. His goal is to allow visitors to observe the spaces where artists create. “It’s a small, intimate experience,” Alaguer said. “You’re getting a chance to truly connect with the artists and their work and really have a more personal experience, not only with artists but with your guide and with each other.”  Visitors can embark on an art-buying tour or enjoy an active art experience and make their own creations. Art experiences are available for both children and adults, and classes are offered for families.

Mountain Mural Tours offers both private and public tours of Asheville’s urban art, including street pieces, murals, graffiti, and more. Guests will travel through the River Arts District, downtown, and West Asheville to learn about the artists’ stories and inspirations,  local history, and the community businesses that make Asheville a national tourist destination. Long-time local entrepreneurs Krista Stearns and Lewis Lankford love creating an experience that is enjoyable for tourists and residents alike, and that celebrates the artists that make our city so vibrant.

A great way to experience Asheville is to take a tour and learn about the artists that have shaped Asheville into a beloved destination. You won’t leave Asheville empty-handed!

1 hour 30 minutes
Group Size
4 to 12

Walls that Speak-Mountain Mural Tour-River Arts and Downtown Asheville

Creativity abounds in Asheville and our artists love to take to the streets. Join us on a colorful urban art tour through the River Arts District and Downtown Asheville with an amazing collection of murals, graffiti, sculpture, and street art installations. You’ll learn about the creators’ stories and inspirations, local history, and the community businesses that have made Asheville a national tourist destination.

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1 hour 30 minutes
Group Size
4 to 12

Dolly Parton and Beyond- Get off the Beaten Path of Asheville Street Art

Get ready to immerse yourself in Asheville's vibrant urban art scene on this guided walking tour! We'll explore hidden alleyways and bustling streets, discovering the stories and artistic talents behind the city's most captivating murals.
Our adventure begins in the River Arts District downtown, where the city’s art culture was born. We'll marvel at diverse styles, from photorealistic portraits to abstract creations. Our knowledgeable guide will share insights into the local artists and the messages they aim to convey.
No Asheville art tour is complete without a visit to West Asheville! Here, a vibrant community spirit shines through the colorful murals that adorn the walls. We'll stop by the legendary Beauty Parade Hair Salon, where a true Asheville icon – Dolly Parton – graces the side of the building. Artist Gus Cutty's creation features Dolly in all her rhinestone-studded glory, joined by the fabulous RuPaul in a recent update. Snap a selfie with this Instagram-famous mural and learn the story behind this unexpected artistic duo.
We will encounter murals that celebrate Asheville's rich cultural heritage, and local businesses close to the community's heart, or whimsical designs that spark your imagination. Our guide will keep you engaged with interesting facts and anecdotes about the murals and the artists who breathe life into Asheville's streets.
This tour is perfect for art enthusiasts, photography lovers, or anyone seeking a unique way to experience Asheville's culture. It's a chance to appreciate the artistic energy that pulsates through the city and be surprised by the beauty found in unexpected corners. So hop on the bus and join us on a colorful adventure!

1 hour
Group Size
2 to 12

Asheville Art Walk: Street Art Gems of Foundy Street in the River Arts District

Asheville Art Walk : A Graffiti and Mural Tour of the River Arts District

Unleash your inner art explorer on Walk the Line, a guided walking tour through the vibrant graffiti scene of Asheville's River Arts District (RAD)!

Immerse yourself in a world of artistic expression as we navigate the dynamic streets of the RAD, uncovering hidden alleys and showcasing large-scale murals. Our expert guide will peel back the layers, deciphering the messages and techniques behind each piece.

Here's what you can expect:

Discover iconic works by renowned Asheville street artists.
Learn the history and evolution of Asheville's graffiti scene.
Gain insights into the local artists' inspirations and styles.
Explore the cultural significance and impact of street art.
Uncover hidden gems tucked away in unexpected corners.
Capture Instagram-worthy photos of Asheville's most captivating street art.

Asheville Art Walk is perfect for:

Art enthusiasts curious about the world of graffiti.
Visitors seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience.
Anyone who appreciates the vibrancy and raw energy of urban art.

Join us on the Asheville Art Walk and discover the hidden gems of the River Arts District!

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2 hours
Group Size
Up to 14

Unveiling the Urban Canvas: A Private Asheville Mural Tour

Asheville Mural Unveiling: A Private Tour for Teams, Families & Celebrations

Transform your next team outing, family reunion, or birthday bash into a unique and unforgettable experience with Asheville Mural Unveiling, a private walking tour celebrating the city's vibrant street art scene!

Unleash creativity and spark connection:

Team Building: Our interactive tour fosters collaboration and communication as your group works together to decipher hidden messages and artistic styles within the murals.
Family Fun: Engage all ages with a captivating exploration of Asheville's colorful streets. Capture the excitement of discovery and create lasting memories together.
Birthday Celebrations: Make your special day even more unique! This private tour offers a personalized touch and a backdrop for amazing photos to commemorate the occasion.

Tailored to your group:

Flexibility: Customize the tour route and pace to suit your group's interests and abilities.
Engaging Guide: Our knowledgeable guide will share fascinating insights into the history and cultural significance of Asheville's murals, keeping everyone entertained and informed.
Photo Opportunities: Stop and capture stunning photos in front of the city's most captivating street art.

Asheville Mural Unveiling is the perfect way to:

Bond with colleagues outside the office.
Create lasting memories with loved ones.
Experience Asheville's artistic pulse in a fun and interactive way.

Make your next gathering truly special with Asheville Mural Unveiling! Contact us today to book your private tour.

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