The River Arts District’s (RAD) semiannual Studio Strolls are amazing ways to immerse yourself in the Asheville arts scene—whether you’re a local or visitor. But if you only take part in the district through this passive experience, you’re missing out. Hands-on opportunities in painting, drawing, and ceramics abound all year. And if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find some unexpected class options, including chances to…
at Blue Kudzu Sake Company: 372 Depot Street
Think sake is a distilled product, or a rice wine? Not so fast, says co-owner Mitch Fortune. “Sake is brewed in a totally unique way compared to other alcoholic beverages,” he shares. “It really belongs and is in a whole category of its own.”
Enter the brewery’s education program, taught by Fortune and other Certified Sake Professionals—a title only around 1,000 people hold. Four classes clear up misinformation: Sake 101 covers the basics, Sake 102 explores the brewing process, Sake 103 delves into history, and Sake 104 features an in-depth style exploration. Each costs $35 and includes a tasting flight, handouts, an appetizer sampler, and a 90-minute presentation.
Visit bluekudzusake.com for upcoming class dates, times, and registration info + a look at their tasting room menu. Note: Classes should be taken in succession.
at Cloth Fiber Workshop: Studio D, 122 Riverside Drive
Fittingly, this textile arts learning/teaching space is located in Cotton Mill Studios, a warehouse where denim was once produced for Levi Strauss. In other words, there was and is a strong textile culture and community here. “To keep it going, we need to share our knowledge and technique,” says founder and director Barbara Zaretsky.
That’s why Cloth offers classes to all levels, including beginners. This spring and summer, take everything from screen printing to embroidery. For a true Asheville experience, don’t miss their place-based class on dyes: You’ll tour the landscape to discover local dye plants.
Visit clothfiberworkshop.com for upcoming class dates, times, prices, and to register.
…Work on Wellness
at Nourish & Flourish: Suite 201, 347 Depot Street
There’s a wellness class here nearly every day of the week, but not one is run-of-the-mill.
Try “Yoga for the Eyes” on Fridays. The class combines yoga and qigong with the Bates Method, an alt-therapy for improving eyesight. Or sign up for Nia on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, a cardio workout drawing from martial arts, dance, and the healing arts.
Less classes and more not-to-miss events, you can also drop in for kirtan on Tuesdays or Dances of Universal Peace once a month. A Google search will fill you in if you’re not familiar.
Visit nourishflourishnow.com, or call 828-255-2770 for details. Nourish & Flourish is also a Network Care practice and juice/tea bar.
There are many more rad classes in the RAD. For artists offering them, grab a 2014 Studio Guide, or scroll through it online at riverartsdistrict.com. Also visit ashevillerad.com for class info and links to all the businesses in this bustling section of the French Broad River corridor.