The comment that Charles Peele made about the reduction of artists in Asheville in the Oct. 2 edition was missing a perspective [“We Owe Artists an Opportunity, Not a Living,” Xpress].
First, artists are capable of selling at galleries all around the country — they’re not exactly running a local bakery dependent on local traffic.
Next, tourists come to Asheville, in part, due to the number and variety of artists’ studios. Art is part of what the area is known for. There are many talented and savvy artists who have difficulty getting their businesses started in an area with a high cost of living. They are smart to leave for a more affordable area and will continue to be able to sell at galleries around the country, but Asheville has lost out.
Once tourists start realizing there are not as many artists working here as there once was, then the mix of tourists will change to those exclusively interested in the main attractions of Biltmore, the mountains and breweries.
— Karen Simmons