The Red House Gallery: Making Changes! - TribPapers

The Red House Gallery: Making Changes!

The Red House Gallery and Studios grand opening reception. Photo submitted.

Asheville – The newest exhibition at The Red House Gallery is called “Making Changes,” and what an appropriate name it is. The Red House Gallery and Studios recently had to make the biggest change of all after they lost their space in the Red Farmhouse annex of the historic Monte Vista Hotel in Black Mountain when the hotel was recently sold.

Leaving Home

The Red Farmhouse had been the home of the Swannanoa Valley Art League (SVAL), the region’s longest-established group of community artists, for the past 12 years, but when the new owner’s plans changed, the board of the league had to make some hard decisions. Having just come back in a strong way after the shut-downs of COVID, they didn’t want to lose the momentum they had gained, so they set out to find a new space in a very short period of time.

Ribbon cutting for The Red House Gallery and Studios grand opening reception. Photo submitted.
Ribbon cutting for The Red House Gallery and Studios grand opening reception. Photo submitted.

Finding A Better Home

Good fortune was with them when they found the perfect location at 101 Cherry Street in Black Mountain, a three-story space with larger studios, a main-floor gallery and education space, and incredible access to walk-in foot traffic. In an interview with vice president Donna Davis, she said, “You cannot imagine how many things have fallen into place for this to be a reality. We have right at 4500 square feet. We have the gallery on the main level, then we have permanent display walls along the sides and back of the gallery that our artists can rent by the month.”

Davis explained that the gallery also has exhibitions that are open to any member of the art league, and both the artist’s walls and the exhibitions will change every two months, with a reception to invite people to come view the new art.

New Ideas And Opportunities

Along with the new gallery and studio space, SVAL is also doing some new things that will enhance both the artist’s and the public’s experience. They have created a brand new website that is very user friendly, highlights artists work, and now gives everyone the ability to view the art and purchase online if they wish.

The Red House Gallery and Studios grand opening reception. Photo submitted.
The Red House Gallery and Studios grand opening reception. Photo submitted.

Davis also related that they will now have a new spotlight artist every month. This artist’s pieces can be seen on a wall as you enter the gallery and in the front windows. The first spotlight artist is Ron Maffett, an engineer by training but also one of the league’s long-term members, who also drew up all the plans to set up the gallery, the education room, and the downstairs studios.

Sales Are Already Up

The thing Davis was most excited about is how well they have already done at this new location. Tina Kannapel, Swannanoa Valley Art League president, said in an interview with the Black Mountain paper that they spent 75% of their time just trying to get people in the door, even though they were only one and a half blocks from the downtown traffic. She said, “We have fantastic artists, but all the buzz was a block and a half east of us.”

Davis shared that since their opening on March 15th, “We’ve had several people who have had numerous sales already from their walls. We have also had more sales at this current show, the first one since we moved; we’ve probably sold two or three times what we would have sold in three or four shows at the other location.”

Something For Everyone

When asked why people should come to see the gallery, Davis replied, “It’s a wide variety of different kinds of art. There are various price points, so it’s a great place to find a gift or something special for yourself. There are beautiful cards and prints on a wide variety of different subjects. There’s also jewelry; fiber; 2-D art and 3-D art. It’s just a really wonderful place.

In addition to the gallery and educational space, the upstairs and downstairs will house the artists’s studios. The studios and wall rental spaces are currently full, but members of the art league can get on a waitlist if desired.

It looks like the changes they’ve made are for the best, for everyone. Check the website at for exhibitions, classes, workshops, demos, Open Studio, and Let Loose Tuesdays, as well as membership information.