Much to do at the Phil Mechanic

Don’t be daunted by the size and labyrinthian layout of Phil Mechanic Studios. Most days, the doors are open and many artists eager for visitors. And along with the regular 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday hours, there are aplenty of other programs happening at the building. Flood gallery (a contemporary art gallery in the building’s heart) is the largest space, with sister gallery Pump occupying the entranceway. Poetry, zine and literary readings, workshops, classes for children and adults, philosophy camp, concerts and experiences of every sort. More info at

Twice a year Asheville’s River District Artists open their studio spaces and invite the public to wander in, look around, learn a little something and do a little shopping. And, while art crawls abound in Western N.C. the River Arts District stroll—now in its 15th year — has its own flavor. First, the River District Artists organization includes more than a dozen buildings housing working spaces for nearly 20 artistic mediums, along with other businesses. The studio strolls spotlight not only working artists but tasty treats (Clingman Cafe, Twelve Bones Smokehouse, Twin Cousins Kitchen and Greene’s Mini Mart), live music and the locally-crafted beer at the Wedge Brewery.

Want to go? The stroll takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Asheville Historic Trolley Tours provides shuttle service during the Studio Stroll for a $5 fare, or look for parking on Roberts St., Clingman Ave. or behind the Wedge Building. The stroll is free and most studios are within walking distance from each other. For maps and additional info, visit

“From the womb to the tomb, there’s program for every age and walk of life,” Jolene Mechanic says. “There’s something here for you. You’re going to click with something in this building, I promise you that.”

ARTeries, clothing line by Stina Andersen
Asheville Glass Center , Logan MacSporran, Alex Greenwood
The Beehive Collective, Beatrice Mendoza, Zeph X. Fishlyn (volunteer grassroots art-activist group dedicated to creating collaborative, anti-copyright images for education and organizing)
Blue Ridge Biofuels
The Button Florist, Celia Barbieri
Jennifer Brooks, photographer
Steve Brown, painter
Covington Pottery, Julie Covington
Dang Salon, Casey McCuller
Andrew Fedynak, photographer
Ryan Florey, potter

Stina Anderson designs and sews ARTeries clothing line.

Ursula Gullow, painter, writer, videographer
David Hopes, painter, poet, playwright, Black Swan Theatre productions
The Nook Gallery, David McDermott, painter and photographer, Michael McDermott, Paul McDermott, photographers
The Hairy Potter, Chris McGee
Courtney Murphy, ceramics
On the Inside, lingerie by Elise Olson
Sean “Jinx” Pace, metal sculptor
Richmond’s Studio, Richmond Smith, painter, teacher
Jason Sabbides and Merlin Strivelli, painters
Pool Gallery & Shop, Melissa Terrezza, ceramics
Northern Crescent Iron, Matt Waldrop, Blacksmith
Julie Vann, local performer, painter, and tinkerer

– Wednesday afternoon potluck lunchs. Noon in the Pump gallery. Bring a dish, come hang out.
– Asheville Youth Magazine workshop, collaborative publication created for and by Asheville’s youth, 1 to 3 p.m. June 13 in the upstairs library.

The bottom floor houses Blue Ridge Biofuels, Asheville’s ground-up, grassroots alternative-energy company.

– Specimens: New Work by Nicole McConville. Encaustic collages and assemblage works. Opening reception with the artist, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 12. Show up through June 30.
– Phase one opening of Asheville Glass Center, Friday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. Come sign up for half-hour classes that will be offered during Saturday and Sunday’s studio stroll hours.
– The Sled and the Blocks: Work from Jeff Bell. Sculptural works. Opening reception with the artist, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 12. Show up through July 3.
– Drummers as Thinkers: Exploratory Concert in Percussion, music from River Guerguerian and friends. Part of the Flood Gallery’s Sonic Experience series. 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13.


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