Asheville photographer: Asheville projects the illusion of an artist safe haven, when in fact it’s a struggle to survive here

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Asheville photographer Micah Mackenzie, one of the best photographers in town, put up a melancholy Facebook post today that has resonated with fellow artists. Micah:

On the brink…of losing it all. seriously. This town has a illusion of a artist refuge. But that isn’t always the truth. 

Lots of folks have responded with support, advice and their own take on how hard it is for artists to survive in Asheville. This post resonates with me, too. So many of my friends in Asheville’s so-called “creative class” are simply hanging by a thread, barely scraping enough cash to pay bills and going deeper and deeper in debt just to live in Asheville.

Sarah Southerland:

lots of artists giving refuge to each other doesn’t necessarily mean$… Feel whatever you are feeling, and be gentle with yourself- I’m sure when ever you come out of your “bottomness” you will be filled with new inspiration and industriousness that will lead you to true abundance (perhaps of the more “global” sort)!

Mary Ashley Drabman:

Hang in there Micah. You are a talent man with a good heart and spirit. Its so hard for everyone right now. I have a Masters Degree and lots of fancy initals behind my name and still, every month it is a stuggle to make ends meet. We will over come this, blessings to you. If you ever want to talk, I am here. I am a therapist for what its worth.

Ben Hovey:

Hang in there man. Asheville has a tough testing time to weed out people. Its taken me over 3 years here to finally be able to make a decent living making music. We were beyond broke for a couple years. You are awesome man. Your beautiful light and skills will shine through!!

Kim Chastain

I feel you! I had to work 2 jobs to get Empire up. I have a lot of ideas for you. I need to give u a call. Hang in. You got what it takes!

What do you think?

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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  1. Micah M November 10, 2011

    And to the anonymous …I did this for all artist. Namaste

  2. anonymous November 5, 2011

    I'm unsure of why this grammatically incorrect rant is considered news worthy, or even blog worthy. Artists in every single city in the entire country, artist haven or not, are struggling to make it. Even great and well known artists are struggling to make ends meet, day by day. It's the path you chose, I'm not sure why all of this coddling is necessary. If you're doing it because you love it, struggling to make it comes with the territory, especially in this economic climate.

    And by the way, I'm an artist too, I'm struggling, but I deal with it because I'm doing what I love.

  3. Micah Mackenzie November 3, 2011

    And another thing. I don't have much, but what I do have …I use it well. You may think I am rich , but I am not. I use a lot of methods to get my stuff out there. Trust me, I'm not waiting on the moment. I preparing for it!

  4. Micah November 3, 2011

    I am. Everyone gets down sometimes. I'm a dreamer. The truest form in my talent people and Life. I post positive messages all the time. Mostly. So it is only human of me to show that I have struggles too, but I get over them and Push forward before forward pushes back!

  5. ThePhan November 2, 2011

    Isn't this a tough time to be an artist ANYWHERE right now?

  6. SuckItMcGee November 2, 2011

    I'm pretty sure its the same everywhere, even in the safest of artist havens. Aren't they called 'starving artists' for a reason?

  7. anon November 2, 2011

    I am a full time artist living in working in Asheville. Asheville does indeed have an amazing and sizeable creative community, but why do people think that should somehow equate to dollar signs? If i sat here waiting for Asheville to pay my bills I would have starved a long time ago.
    I know a lot of successful creatives in the area, and what they all have in common is searching for ways to make money beyond Asheville. All I can say is hang in there and broaden your scope.


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