Posts Tagged Asheville art

Explore the fine fringe arts in Asheville

Asheville’s annual Fringe Arts Festival offers a different spin on the arts. The festival this weekend features performances and classes that relate to dance, theater, puppetry and other performing arts.

Asheville arts events

The festival reflects the fresh creativity that abounds here in Asheville, where unique forms of expression are encouraged and appreciated. Various venues in and near downtown host the festival’s classes and performances, which include a spoof of reality TV by clothing designers.

Some events include audience participation. Multimedia, circus, comedy, sound artistry, visual images — all of the senses are engaged.

The arts scene in Asheville is thriving and lively year-round. Stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, to be close to all the fun.

Contact Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat June muse-letter

What a great month June is. We love that the days are lighter later — and earlier — and we look forward each year to observing the summer solstice in late June in whatever personal ritual we create to celebrate the new season. Our rose bush will spring alive in June, and one or two blooms already are announcing their luscious, red birth. The roses greet our visitors here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative. And lots of greenery, blooms and activities greet those who come for the bounty that western North Carolina offers.

            The outdoors beckons, whether it’s kayaking on the French Broad River; biking, hiking and wildflower hunting along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway beside our guest suite; golfing; rock climbing in the surrounding mountains; taking photos or other activities that get your pulse pumping from the inspiration and fresh air.

            June also signals the season of outdoor artistic events, including some that are FREE: UNC-Asheville has FREE outdoor concerts in June and July; the Wedge brewery shows FREE movies outside its tasting room in Asheville’s River Arts District; the Montford Park Players, a Shakespeare troupe, performs under the stars, with most shows FREE; Downtown After Five is a FREE outdoor music series in Asheville with locally crafted beer and other refreshments; and Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville is the setting for a wild variety of FREE events, from drum circles and belly dancing to hula-hooping and live music.         

            Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville lodging place, is a convenient home base where you can stay to indulge in all the free things to do in Asheville. Make our welcome mat yours on your visit.

            Events are posted and updated through the year on our Web site, Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. You can link to our blog,, on the home page, and we’re also on Twitter!

            Our Web site now features a link where you can contact us for a list of many money-saving and FREE things in Asheville.

            One free thing is Asheville’s downtown gallery walk June 4, a fun way to explore the scores of art galleries here that stay open later and offer refreshments. June 4 also brings Loretta Lynn to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium downtown, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will start the Biltmore estate’s summer concert series in Asheville on June 4.

            The Blue Ridge Roller Girls, Asheville’s roller derby divas, will strut their tough stuff downtown June 5. Also on June 5, Asheville’s Beer City Festival downtown will thrill those who appreciate locally-brewed suds from our nine breweries here.       

            The Original Drifters will perform at the Biltmore estate June 11, and the River Arts District Studio Stroll June 12-13 is a FREE event to meet artists and see their work near downtown Asheville. The Asheville-based Keowee Chamber Music Festival will offer performances in Asheville on June 13 and June 17.    

            You can chill out June 18 at the FREE Downtown After Five music festival. The WNC Highlands Celtic Festival June 18-19 will feature some great music in Black Mountain, an easy drive from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. The day lily show June 19 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville will dazzle you.

            Early July brings the first concert in the FREE summertime outdoor music series, Shindig on the Green, downtown. And plan to be in Asheville for July 4th to enjoy the celebration downtown with many bands, food and fireworks.

            All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

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Be a fan, or a fanatic, at Asheville’s Fanaticon

Whether you’re into Batman, Catwoman or some Spider-being in between, you’ll want to check out the FREE inaugural Fanaticon on May 15 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown.

            Those passionate about comic books, collectibles and pop culture in general will be intrigued by this event. Wear your favorite costume! Meet funky artists and exhibitors.

            Our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, is, as usual, positioned in an excellent location for our guests to check out all the quirky stuff in downtown Asheville.

            Contact us the next time you’re planning a trip to Asheville!

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Make your visit to Asheville a work of art

            For many people who visit Asheville, it’s hard to resist browsing in the numerous art galleries, most of which are clustered downtown. The seasonal art gallery walks, sponsored by the Asheville Downtown Gallery Association, make it easy to explore the area’s funky and fabulously varied art world. The first art walk this year will be April 2, and it’s FREE!

            When you stay with us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re a quick drive from the gems that await you in the Asheville art galleries.

             The art walks are an opportunity to explore the creativity of the hundreds of visual artists who live in and around Asheville. Galleries stay open longer, and you can enjoy refreshments and casual conversation with gallery owners and artists. Whether your taste is American folk art, glass, jewelry, crafts, contemporary or classical European or anything else, you’re likely to find it in the Asheville art scene.    

            You’ll come home to artwork in our guest suite. Our guests comment on the original art at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. It’s part of the comfortable atmosphere we’ve created for visitors. Other FREE art walks in Asheville are scheduled for the first Friday evening in June, August and October.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat April muse-letter

 The forsythia is about to burst with its proud yellow, the daffodils are nearly popping out, and the birds are busy as bees tending to their nests in the trees here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative. We’re springing into April!

            There’s no prettier place to come for the greening than western North Carolina, where the mountains are inspiring all year, the Blue Ridge Parkway just around the corner from Lovers’ Loop Retreat will start flowering any time now, and downtown Asheville becomes an even more hopping and happening place.         

            April boasts Asheville’s typical variety of musical entertainment and the start of the Biltmore estate’s Festival of Flowers, a spectacular array of colors that lasts into May. April also brings the Asheville HATCHfest, David Sedaris, the first Actionfest film festival, Asheville’s zany and tough roller derby divas, the annual herb festival and more.   

Lovers’ Loop Retreat is close to all of these goings on, so make our Asheville vacation rental your convenient and homey base when you sample Asheville activities.

            Events are posted through the year on our Web site,, and we update the site regularly. Use the Web site to check out what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. We’re also on Twitter!

            The first gallery walk of the season is April 2, when the many Asheville art galleries downtown stay open longer and offer refreshments in a casual but festive atmosphere as people gallery-hop. Think fun!

            The Festival of Flowers opens April 3 and lasts through May 16 at the Biltmore, an estate with beautiful gardens and grounds open to the public. The festival features stunning tulips and live music, too.

On April 10, several members of the monthly poetry group we host, the Lovers’ Loop Poetry Forum, including a Lovers’ Loop Retreat co-owner, will read original poems publicly at Posana Cafe in downtown Asheville. 

            On April 15, the Irish band Lunasa will play Celtic music at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, and Allan Toussaint will rock at the Orange Peel downtown.

            Also on April 15 in Asheville, HATCHfest comes around again, and Actionfest makes its debut. Both events will run April 15-18. HATCHfest brings big names in arts and entertainment to mentor participants with emerging talent in workshops, panels and exhibits. Actionfest calls itself the world’s first festival focused on action films. Chuck Norris will appear at the festival, which will offer screenings of world premieres and classics, demonstrations by a stunt man and other eye-opening entertainment.    

            Humorist David Sedaris will appear April 16 at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville. This popular and funny dude has appeared in Asheville before enthusiastic audiences. 

            Chimney Rock Park, North Carolina’s newest state park, has amazing biodiversity, and the park starts to rock in spring. The park, a lovely, scenic drive just east of Lovers’ Loop Retreat, has an Earth Day celebration April 17 and a guided bird walk April 18 and many other guided walks throughout the year.

            The Blue Ridge Roller Girls stomp and strut around the roller derby ring on April 24 in downtown Asheville. And on April 30, the Asheville Herb Festival begins and runs through May 2.

            Early May brings the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), the Asheville Wordfest poetry event, Norah Jones and Fanaticon, a convention for fans of comic books, science fiction and fantasy.     

            All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat December muse-letter

            This is the month when we’re usually startled at how quickly the year seems to have passed. Is 2009 really nearly gone? In addition to December’s other notable days, it’s the winter solstice month, and that’s a date (Dec. 21, according to our calendar) we always observe here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat in Asheville, N.C. We like that the solstice marks not only the beginning of winter but the beginning of more daylight, even though very gradually. One aspect of winter that we appreciate is the visibility it gives us and our guests to enjoy the mountain views at our Asheville vacation rental and elsewhere around Asheville.

            For those who are captivated by Christmas and the various aspects of the year-end holidays, there are fun things to do in Asheville in this busy month. Some of the activities are free, which makes them all the nicer, and they’re all within easy range of Lovers’ Loop Retreat. We have events posted through December and into 2010 on our Web site, Use the Web site to check out what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. You can link to our blog,, from the home page.

            If you enjoy some bang for your buck, downtown Asheville is the place to be for the annual Asheville Seasonal Sizzle, the fireworks display on Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19. Why wait until July 4? The show makes a lively downtown all the livelier.

            For a different kind of splendor, visit Asheville’s Biltmore estate, the mansion that’s transformed with lights, trees and other festive décor through Jan. 3. The estate — one of America’s most visited homes — is a year-round destination that many people make a point to see at Christmastime.  

            Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, performed by the Asheville Shakespeare troupe Montford Park Players, runs Dec. 3-6 and Dec. 10-13. Keeping with the Dickens theme, Biltmore Village outside downtown Asheville will host a Dickens-inspired Christmas fest Dec. 4-6.

            The Big Crafty on Dec. 6 is a popular happening, with about 100 crafters represented and live music in downtown Asheville. It’s free!

            One cool gig is the annual gingerbread house display through Jan. 3 at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. The competition draws many entries that make for an imaginative and artistic exhibit. This, too, is free!  

            For a nontraditional kind of holiday experience, the annual Swannanoa Solstice on Dec. 20 will feature varied entertainment, including Celtic and mountain music, bagpipers, dancers and storytellers. It’s at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville.

            And to wrap up the month – and the year — there’s the New Year’s Eve Downtown Countdown in Asheville. In addition to that event, bars and restaurants downtown and elsewhere in the city are geared up to host their own countdowns.

            Looking into 2010, get a funky start to the year with the annual Asheville FringeArts Festival, which broadens minds and opens eyes each January. It will be Jan. 21-24.

            All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville

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Be crafty in Asheville, N.C., Oct. 15-18

            One of the biggest craft events of the year in the Asheville, N.C., area runs Thursday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 18, all day each day. It’s the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, held twice a year (also in July) in downtown Asheville at the civic center. Guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental, are 10 minutes from this popular happening.

               More than 200 craftspeople display their work at the fair, and they’re all members of the guild, so it’s basically a juried show. You’ll see works of glass, metal, mixed media, paper, jewelry, wood, fiber, clay and more. The fair also features craft demonstrations: corn shuck dolls, calligraphy, drum-making, fiber art, blacksmithing, dyeing and spinning.

            There’s also live music: bluegrass, old-time mountain music, vocalists. Enjoy the washtub bass, kazoos, fiddles, slide whistles and more with a lot of festive sounds.

            This is the fair’s 62nd season. The craft guild is one of the oldest in the United States and represents craftspeople in about 10 states. The guild is based at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The center, only minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, has a gift shop with lots of handcrafted items for sale.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat August Muse-letter

            August in Asheville, N.C., is a month of quilts, crafts, comedy, outdoor music events and street performers of all stripes downtown—plus the outdoor recreation that draws hikers, cyclists, rock climbers, kayakers, photographers and other visitors to our two rivers, national forests and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat Asheville vacation rental are within 10 minutes or less of all of this fun.

            The best part is that most of this entertainment is FREE! One of the August headliner events in Asheville each year is Goombay, the free street festival of African-American and Caribbean cultures that features live music, dance, food and a great diversity of people. This year, Goombay will be Aug. 28-30.

            Our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative is stocked with information about restaurants and what to do when you’re here, and guests comment on how helpful our resources are. We also have wireless, so you can search the Internet and do e-mail while you’re here.

            Visit our Web site at to see a list of events we update regularly. We’ve posted events through December, so you can see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. You can link to our blog,, on the home page.

            The Asheville Antiques Fair, one of the region’s largest and oldest, will be July 31-Aug. 2. The fair draws dealers from many states with a wealth of wares to sell. The fair, at the Asheville Civic Center downtown, has been offered for 60-some years.     

            The annual Village Art and Craft Fair, Aug. 1-2 in Asheville, is an upscale, longtime event that draws vendors from a wide area.

            Asheville’s bimonthly art gallery walk will be Aug. 7, and it’s fun to stroll among the many diverse galleries downtown and enjoy free refreshments. On the other end of town, the Asheville Quilt Guild will host its annual show Aug. 7-9 at the North Carolina Arboretum. We’ve been to this show, and it’s worth checking out, with a great array of quilts from multiple states exhibited.

            The popular and free Shindig on the Green, an outdoor music series in Asheville, continues every Saturday night in August—bluegrass and folk music and cloggers. It might be hard not to do some dancing yourself.

            Downtown After Five, another outdoor music series, continues in Asheville on Aug. 21. This is a free street festival that offers a range of music: rock, blues, jazz, world.

            And on Aug. 22, Asheville’s own Blue Ridge Roller Girls, a roller derby team, will shake things up at the civic center downtown. This is always an eye-opening event.

            If you need to get your laugh on, a late-night comedy series continues through Aug. 29 at Asheville Community Theatre downtown, and for more laughs, the Feral Chihuahuas perform in Asheville on Aug. 1, Aug. 14 and Aug. 15.

            The Asheville Tourists, a minor league baseball team, play through Sept. 3. And an interactive butterfly exhibit with hundreds of the winged creatures is at the WNC Nature Center, just around the corner from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, through Sept. 7.

              One more note: for Indigo Girls fans, the talented duo will play at the Orange Peel in downtown Asheville on Sept. 17. We’ve attended concerts at the Peel, and it’s a great venue for the Indigos.  

            All of these events and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat! See you in Asheville!

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Free Asheville Art Museum

If you enjoy art museums, explore the Asheville Art Museum when you visit us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville vacation rental. You can get in for FREE on the first Wednesday of each month, 3-5 p.m. It’s a nice way to get a peek at their collection.

The museum, which is observing its 60th anniversary this year, is in the middle of downtown.

On Aug. 5, we’ll check out the museum’s exhibit of Cherokee wood and stone carvers. Most of the artists represented in the exhibit live at the Cherokee reservation west of Asheville. We’re looking forward to this one because there are some great artisans in the Cherokee tribe.

We went to the museum’s free Wednesday gig on July 1 to catch an exhibit of photographs by George Masa, who took pictures of mountain landscapes around Asheville in the 1920s and 30s. Many of his photos are of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, west of Asheville.

Keep your eyes open, and take advantage of one of the free things to do in Asheville when you visit our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative!

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Sculpture peeping in Asheville

The Grovewood Gallery just north of downtown Asheville is among the classiest art galleries in Asheville. The grounds are beautiful, for one thing, and it’s a nice destination for that reason alone. On the grounds is an amazing collection of large-scale outdoor sculptures that will excite even those who go only to browse, like us. It costs nothing to just look, and it’s one of the fun, free outings we enjoy in Asheville.

When you visit us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, put this on your itinerary of free activities.

Grovewood Gallery’s second annual Sculpture for the Garden exhibit has just opened and will run through Dec. 31 this year. The sculptures are whimsical, functional and colorful. But don’t limit your visit to the sculptures. Venture inside to check out the array of arts and crafts at Grovewood. And upstairs is the furniture showroom, with a wonderful variety of handcrafted pieces – from beds, mirrors and tables to wall hangings and rugs. The gallery has new exhibits year-round.

Grovewood consists of six ivy-covered cottages with red roofs that house the gallery, weaving and car museums, a cafe and artists’ studios on 11 acres. The buildings originally were part of Biltmore Industries, established in 1917. Later called the Homespun Shops, Biltmore Industries produced hand-woven woolens and wood crafts.

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