Nearly everyone who lives in and around Asheville is familiar with the River Arts District that is located in the old industrial block along the banks of the French Broad River, a quarter mile below the city center. In Asheville’s recent history this has been a marginalized strip of land, given to industrial exploits and used for legalized dumping. In the last few decades, however, there has been an influx of artists and creative types who found cheap rents and an encouraging community in the buildings that have been abandoned by industry. At the same time, organizations like River Link have pushed to revitalize the banks of the French Broad and to incorporate the river more fully into the life of our city as a place to spend time and recreate. Simply put, there’s a lot of cool stuff happening down along the French Broad, and it inspired me to tell a few stories of the individuals who live and work along the river.
Using Hillman Curtis’s Artist Series (hillmancurtis.com) as my model, I proceeded to build relationships with several artists in the River District and to work on short profiles that attempt to capture their personalities, their stories, and their artistic vision. I hope to compile at least seven profiles that represent a survey of the different media being worked in throughout the District, from glass blowing to ceramics to dance to found-objects sculpture. This collection of short video stories will be incorporated into a larger project that I’m working on about the French Broad River as a whole (more on that soon).
I’ve really enjoyed the challenges this work has presented. It’s been rewarding to meet and get to know new people along the river, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to continue this work throughout the coming year and produce several new installments for the series.
Thanks for taking a look; I hope you enjoy the video:
Some photos I took during filming: