Foundation Studios, a new community art center space at The Foundation complex off Lyman Street in the River Arts District, is celebrating its grand opening with a series of weekend events.

The space is curated by metal artist Reid Dawson of Modern Wave Gallery (which has a home here), and includes about 20 smaller studio spaces with a range of affordable rents aimed at accommodating everyone from the emerging artist to the established maker. Communal and classroom space is also included here.

Foundation Studios, perhaps more than any other Foundation tenant, seeks to keep alive that spirit of offering affordable spaces to up-and-coming artists. And it’s just one of several new tenants at The Foundation. In recent years, the spot was a collection of mostly condemned warehouses strung along Old Lyman Street (off of Lyman Street and behind Riverview Station) between the French Broad River and railroad tracks.

In 2015, three partners bought the 14-acre property and the nine buildings located there for $1.3 million. Asheville developer Eddie Dewey, furniture maker Brent Starck and Chris Eller of Civil Design Concepts have gradually been fixing up the property and leasing it out ever since.

Today, the area is home to more than a dozen small, independently owned businesses. There are maker-spaces for woodworkers and glass blowers. A coffee shop (Summit Coffee Co.), an indoor skatepark (RAD Skatepark) and and a bicycle shop (Chainheart Cycling Studio) sit alongside vintage clothing shops (House of Kismet, Wildflowers, Sugar Britches) and a furniture store that sells antique pieces from exotic places like Morocco (Sunnyside Trading Co.).

In all, The Foundation has grown into another great showcase of Asheville’s entrepreneurial spirit, much like North Lexington Avenue in downtown and Haywood Road in West Asheville. While just about all of the space is taken, one 60,000-square-foot warehouse remains empty.

Here’s what’s happening at Foundation Studios this weekend:

On Friday, July 12, there’s a ticketed dinner party and private viewing of some of the artwork on display.

On Saturday, July 13, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., there’s an art walk and then a grand opening party from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Brinehaus Meat + Provisions Food Truck will be there serving up delicious eats.

And on Sunday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there’s an artist’s talk and brunch. Visitors can meet artists at the Foundation Studios and hear more about their work. The Underground Café with DoughP Doughnuts will provide doughnuts, and there will be live music by DJ Bowie, as well as live art demonstrations.

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