Ashvegas Hot Sheet: HGTV picks Asheville house for ‘Urban Oasis’ remodeling project


More of what’s going around:

-Follow the flip: HGTV has chosen a 2-bedroom bungalow in Asheville for its Urban Oasis remodeling project.

-Arboretum personnel change: Allison Inman is leaving her position as PR/marketing coordinator at the North Carolina Arboretum. She’s leaving to work in a similar job with the Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, the largest public managed care organization in the state. Smoky offers comprehensive health plans for individuals & families in need of mental health, substance use or developmental disability services, Inman says. The Arboretum has hired a new marketing & public relations coordinator, Whitney Rigsbee, who will start on April 6. Rigsbee is a graduate of Appalachian State University, and she has extensive experience in media relations and account services, Inman tells me. Her email address will be

-TNT at Vortex: This is just a note to mark the recent latte art competition at Vortex Doughnuts. The “Thursday Night Throwdown,” or TNT, generated some real excitement among coffee geeks in town. Keep it going! Here’s a great blog post about it from

-Sara Gruen reading: The literary event of the month will go down Tuesday at Malaprop’s, as author Sara Gruen reads from her new novel, At The Water’s Edge. The ticketed reading and book signing is sold out. Gruen, who lives in Asheville, is best known for her best-selling 2007 novel Water for Elephants.

-Black Mountain College Re-Happening: The social event of the week will be Saturday in Black Mountain. That’s the day the annual Black Mountain College and Museum fundraising event known as the Re-Happening will be held. There will be plenty of avant-garde art installations during the day, and a night-time dinner event. Tickets here. And just in case you missed it, check out this New York Times story about the impact of Black Mountain College.

-New music in Asheville: There are a couple of new records from Asheville bands headed for release.

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band plans to release its fourth studio album in May. Funk Life was recorded at Echo Mountain Studios. The band has a page up, where you can get sneak previews and much more.

The Honeycutters, an original country roots band, is set to release their third studio album, Me Oh My, on April 21 with Organic Records. The band has an April 17 date set to play The Isis in West Asheville.

-Beard award finalist: John Fleer, owner/chef of Rhubarb restaurant in Asheville is a finalist this year for a James Beard award.

-Book about fire towers: Giving a shout-out to a newspaper journalist-turned author Robert Sorrell, who has a new paperback titled Blue Ridge Fire Towers.

-Weaverville Art Safari: This year’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 2-3. From the press release:

This year’s free event boasts 35 acclaimed artists and the opportunity to purchase pieces from their newest collections. Offerings showcased include handmade pottery, glass, sculpture, jewelry, furniture, paintings, drawings, fiber art, and more.

A special preview party and fundraiser at the Weaverville Town Hall kicks off the event on Friday evening, May 1. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and includes live music, door prizes, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, desserts, and more. The highlight of the evening is a silent auction featuring art works donated by each participating artist. Event tickets are only $10 at the door, with additional door prize tickets available for $5 each. Event proceeds fund future Weaverville Art Safari tours, and promotes the arts and community in the Weaverville area. The goal is to expose locals and visitors alike to some of the most talented artists in the area.

Guests looking to plan their visit can pick up Weaverville Art Safari brochures containing maps and artist information at greater Asheville-area galleries, restaurants, and shops beginning in April. Brochures will also be distributed from an Art Safari information booth located on Main Street in Weaverville on May 2 and 3. A downloadable brochure with map and full details about participating artists is also available at

-Oskar Blues acquisition: Just fyi, Oskar Blues is buying a small Michigan brewery, according to Brewbound.

-Highland Brewing birthday bash: Here are a few details from a press release. Go here for all the info on the Highland Brewing birthday event:

Scotty, Highland Brewing’s mascot, is finally old enough to drink beer. To celebrate, Highland is throwing a 21st birthday party on Saturday, April 11. Expect the birthday requisites – cake, balloons, streamers, a photo booth – and a bold new beer. Scotty’s birthday Double IPA hails from the pilot room and will be available on draft only at the brewery. The high-gravity West Coast DIPA is Head Brewer Hollie Stephenson’s creation, expected to clock in at an aggressive 10% ABV (alcohol by volume), she says, “this beer is a hop bomb—we wanted to do a big beer for this big birthday celebration.” IPA fans will love this highly hopped, very aromatic, and full-bodied beer. It will be offered alongside several other small batch brews all day.