The River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP), a capital improvement upon more than two miles of road in the RAD, is complete. The project includes a multi-use path along the river, a new stormwater management network, wide pedestrian sidewalks and bike lanes, additional parking, more than six acres of new parkland and several new pieces of public art. The RADTIP is just one section of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Master Plan.
Naturally, the RAD community is very excited about the completion of the RADTIP and, in partnership with the City of Asheville, will host a month-long celebration with most events held between Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, and May 20, the birthday of local sustainability legend Wilma Dykeman.
The Greenway Celebration will include many outdoor activities and events hosted by a variety of organizations. The River Arts District Artists (RADA) are planning several art events including Micro Art Galleries where visitors can find and take home a free piece of art, much like the Little Free Libraries around Asheville. Using a QR link and website information included on each piece, they can find further information on the work, the artist and where to find their studio in the district. QR links will also be featured at scenic spots throughout the district, directing visitors to artists who have been inspired by or have depicted the scene in their work.
On April 14, Bridget Benton will host a gel plate printing class focused on botanicals at 310Art Gallery from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, April 24, the Earth Garden, a meditation labyrinth located adjacent to the Cotton Mill Studios, will launch anew with a medicine wheel and a hands-on experiential area where visitors can make small, earthen altars from natural elements and supplied materials. The space will also offer Prayer Sticks to encourage playful, socially distanced movement exercises. The day-long event starts at 10 a.m.
On May 1 from 12–4 p.m., Asheville Print Studio will host Print Day in May, a workshop for visitors that is part of a simultaneous global event. Individuals and groups of up to four people are encouraged to sign up at half-hour intervals, dockside at the 310Art Gallery, for this free event.
“The ease and safety that the walkways, bike and running lanes have imparted are immeasurable,” says Asheville Print Studio owner Denise Markbreit. “One can walk from one end of the district to the other in safety on concrete, stop to admire a vista on the river or the local graffiti, hop on the swings, park with ease and visit the many artists’ studios and businesses.”
For more information, visit RiverArtsDistrict.com.