About Us

Asheville Art Experience, formerly Asheville Art Studio Tours is evolving, just like the arts in Asheville!

Founded by a River Arts District Artist, the personal connections we have with artists and studios can help you maneuver into the heart of this ever evolving area. Our heart is for the artists- we love to connect people with the people behind the art. Our heart is for you to experience what it’s like to be an artist! – We know that when you take the seat of an artist, and make art yourself, you come alive inside. You express yourself, dream again, and let go of what you need to.

Family owned and operated, glass artist John Miguel Almaguer developed Asheville Art Studio Tours. Then in 2021, together with his wife Alicia, they merged it into Asheville Art Experience in order to focus on giving people more opportunities to both see the arts, meet artists, and even explore being an artist themselves. John is the creative talent behind Almaguer Glass. Specializing in fine art and lighting, Almaguer Glass has been a maker in the Asheville art scene for nearly a decade.

Before coming to Asheville, John lived and worked in Murano, Italy- the Venetian Island fully devoted to glass art making. Murano is renowned across the world as the premier location for glass art, with origins in glass dating back to the 1200s.

From John…

My heart in starting this company is to give people an enriched experience into the arts in Asheville. With nearly 200 artist studios, I don’t know of any other art district in the States like it as diverse and all within walking distance. But it doesn’t stop there. Moving out from the art district center, there are concentrations of artists in unique and diverse mediums scattered throughout the greater Asheville area, as well as fine art galleries fantastically curated. Our personal connections can help you navigate and experience the arts here.

As an artist, I seek to live and create from the heart. I welcome you to engage your heart in this vibrant art scene and be changed by your experience here. 

If you are looking for other things to do in town here is a great site, click on the logo to visit the site.

Asheville colorful logo

Frequently Asked Questions

General Info for All Tours

We will follow county guidelines for covid-19 precaution. This means if Buncombe county is currently under a mask mandate we will require masks for visiting studios. Also, some artist and studios may request visitors to wear masks even if the county is no longer under a mandate. In such situations we will request visitors to wear masks out of respect to that artist/studio. Your guide can advise you on the studios you are visiting.

If you want to book any of our experiences please fill out a quick inquiry with your desired date(s), time range available, and what you are interested in. You are also welcome to call, text, or email as well. We will then check the availability with instructors and guides to accommodate your request. If you have flexibility, please let us know several dates you are available. After we confirm the time and date, we will send a link where you can book instantly. 

We offer custom experiences and partner with local artists for your experiences, this makes our art tours and experiences a truly locally connected experience, and explains why we do not offer instant bookings at this time.

We have a two week cancellation policy for all of the art tours. For the art making experiences, we do not allow cancellations, as once your experience is booked the instructors are paid in advance. With enough notice however (48 hours), it may be possible to reschedule an art experience, if extenuating circumstances prevent you from attending.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or other contagious illness, please contact us to inquire about a reschedule date. No reschedule is possible for day of cancellations. 

If there is excessive weather (for example icy road conditions) we will arrange for a refund. Many times experiences can still happen on snowy days as the roads are usually cleared. Inclement weather here enough to cancel is pretty rare though.

Most tours or experiences happen in the River Arts District of Asheville. You will get your exact meet up location address upon booking, which also provides parking details and any other specific details to your experience.

Each experience is different so see the description of time length for each option.

We recommend that you arrive early for unpredictable traffic and to give you time to park. Each experience has to start on time for the sake of the instructor’s and/or guide’s schedule. Your experience can not be extended time wise to accommodate a late arrival, but will still need to end at the scheduled time. 

Most experiences and tours require standing and/or walking. But some art making experiences allow you to sit during the class. If walking or standing is an issue, please inquire prior as we are happy to work with any limitations (wherever possible) and still help you have a great experience! 

Yes, please tip your guide if able for the walking tours! Remember these are local artists and they are taking time from their busy schedules to give you an experience in the arts in Asheville.

-Bottle of water to keep hydrated

-Rain Jacket or Umbrella if a chance of rain.   If you are sensitive to sun bring a hat, sunscreen and or sunglasses, if your experience includes a walking tour 

-Dress according to weather

–Wear shoes to walk and/or stand in comfortably. If you are going on a walking art tour, there may be stairs to climb and some uneven sidewalks. (I highly recommend not wearing high heels)

-Closed toed shoes are important for glass and clay experiences 

Currently all making art experiences and tours require a minimum of two people. However, we can sometimes arrange special VIP or custom art experiences if you are visiting solo.

We are able to host large groups. We have hosted groups of 60+ people. In these instances, we break the larger group into smaller units (10-12 max size, typcially) offering multiple art experiences and/or tours at one time, at different studios but in the same general area so that your transportation/ driver does not have to go to multiple locations.

Do you have a large group? Feel free to get in touch and we can provide options to customize to your specific needs/requests. We have successfully arranged complex experiences for groups such as universities, corporate retreats, etc.

It really depends on the month, day of the week, and time you’re interested in. If you have a larger party, booking a few weeks or even months ahead is a great idea, if possible. For all experiences though we need at least 48 hours or more to plan your tour and experience, and we can not guarantee any request as it gets closer to the date. Remember these are custom tours/experiences and they require some planning. At minimum, one week ahead is preferred.

For art tours, children are a half price ticket. For art making experiences, it will depend on the child’s age as to whether they can participate or not, and if it will be safe for a child to be present during the class. We often arrange art experiences for families. Feel free to get in touch for ideas of what offerings are a good choice for families.

Yes, we do not cancel for rain, but please dress according to weather or bring an umbrella. Most art making experiences happen inside studios. Tours will only be cancelled for excessive weather.

Absolutely! We encourage support of the local artists here in Asheville. If you purchase a large piece you can leave it at the studio and pick up after your experience. Anyway we can help we will gladly help assist you in purchasing art.

There will not be refunds issued to guests who are unable to finish their experience. It will still start and stop at the planned time, due to the need to respect the art instructors and guide’s schedules.

If you are booking a private tour, then we can make arrangement for the tour to be handicap accessible, as well as for certain art experiences. Please inquire and let us know any specific needs prior.

We are glad to help answer your questions, whether they are on the website or not. Please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email us with your questions.

Yes, go to our custom tour page and fill out a request form and we will gladly help you customize your tour.


National Geographic – Art of Asheville

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MTXpress – Stepping up: Two new walking tours come to Asheville

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Our State Magazine – Best-Kept Secrets in Asheville: Asheville Art Studio Tours in the River Arts District

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Citizen Times – Be a Tourist in your own Town: Many Ways to Enjoy Asheville

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Better Homes – Print Story

Better Homes & Garden Article Describing The Asheville Art Experience

Forbes: A North Carolina Road Trip (Part One) — Waynesville to Blowing Rock

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Go World Travel Magazine – Asheville Beckons with New Adventures and Historic Charm

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RAW TRAVEL TV – Artistic Appalachia

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Adventurous Kate – 14 Reasons Why I’m Smitten with Asheville, North Carolina

Adventurous Kate Logo Travel For Independent Women

USA TODAY 10Best – 10 ways to tune into Asheville’s free spirit

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We look forward to meeting and getting to know you when you come join us on an experience.

Visit AlmaguerGlass.com to learn more about John and his glass work.

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