The Impact of Local Art Galleries in WNC

Art impacts how we perceive and interpret culture. Western North Carolina’s many galleries have created exciting downtown destinations for artists and art lovers alike. But more importantly, art spaces add new life and a sense of identity to our neighborhoods.

“All the galleries of downtown Waynesville bring a tremendous amount to the community. We have all this terrific talent that people are attracted to, and so they come to this area to see all the artwork,” says Carrie Keith, owner of Twigs & Leaves Gallery in downtown Waynesville. “Waynesville has a large community of artists. I find that they feed off each other, and so it makes a great place for artists to come and stay.”

For many of our mountain communities, the arts have often led the way in the revitalization of main streets and town centers. Today, art galleries and related retail outlets are some of the most common businesses found in our thriving main street areas. From Asheville’s River Arts District to Main Street, Weaverville, to Marshall High Studios in downtown Marshall, burgeoning art scenes have rejuvenated Western North Carolina towns.

“One of the things that really helps a lot in communities to get people to start coming is a lot of different kinds of arts, whether it be visual arts or performing arts. We, here, feel like the influx of the galleries has brought vitality to downtown Hendersonville, has really brought a great new feeling to the area,” says Michelle Sparks, owner of Art MoB Studios & Marketplace in downtown Hendersonville.

With $2 billion in new investment in main streets, 18,000 new jobs, and the opening of 4,700 new businesses over the last 33 years, the State of North Carolina has been dedicated to revitalizing downtowns. During a time when the arts are often the first budget item to be cut, the growth of successful arts districts and urban centers demonstrates that investing in creative and artistic ventures is a proven way to revitalize our communities. Art galleries are a central piece of this trend, and as WNC continues to grow, the arts will play a vital role in creating and expanding the many ways to Live the Life You Choose.

The video below gives you a great sense of the breadth of art studios and galleries in the area. For more information on the arts and galleries in WNC, contact your Beverly-Hanks associate or read about some of our agents’ favorite spots for original art.

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