Horse and Hero opened on Friday, June 13, next to Farm Burger, offering a new spot downtown to find unique indie arts and crafts and get to know local designers. A spinoff and sophisticated extension of the well-known community craft bazaar, The Big Crafty, the Horse and Hero is a “downtown showcase for boundary-pushing art and craft as well as a place for people to get connected with local artists, designers and craftspeople for creative projects,” says Justin Rabuck, Horse and Hero co-owner and organizer of The Big Crafty.
The gallery features a wide variety of Asheville-area artists and designers such as Skrapmonkey, a functional metal artist; Smiling Rock Box Shop, a creator of shadowbox art; sustainable clothing by Holdfast Printworks and painter Gabriel Shaffer, who demonstrates his artistic talents live in the front window of the store. Short Street Cakes and Aesthetic Coffee are also represented, providing baked goods and pour-over coffee for shoppers.
Dylan Jung of Aesthetic Coffee says he is excited to have the space, which he describes as a pop-up shop, within Horse and Hero. “I’ll have handcrafted coffees from multiple roasters and teas from Dobra Tea,” he explains as he prepares an iced pour-over coffee for a customer. He will continue serving coffee on weekends at Horse and Hero.
Throughout the soft-opening weekend, locals and tourists alike mingled among the art displays, chatted with artists and soaked up the calm, inspiring atmosphere of the white, gallery-like space. It seems to be an easy place to gather and connect. Rabuck explains that the idea of the place is to “carry [work that] is sophisticated in its design sensibility and rooted in area history and culture. In this way, we hope it will appeal to locals and those traveling through.”
Throughout the rest of June, Horse and Hero will be experimenting with hours, but plans to be open later in the evenings, offering a nice place to stop in during an evening stroll or after dinner or events downtown. The owners are also planning a grand opening. Expect more details soon.
Drop in for yourself one day, grab a cup of coffee and a cookie, strike up a conversation with a local artist and peruse some of Asheville’s unique art offerings.
Horse and Hero is at 18 Patton Ave.