Not every art gallery and garden start out as a punk rock club, but that is how the story of Curve begins! In 1989, Patty Torno purchased a former Standard Oil warehouse built in 1916 which had most recently been used to fix, paint, and detail cars for 20-30 years. At the time of purchase, there was no sewer on the property, and the one toilet piped straight into the French Broad River. In this dilapidated setting, “Squashpile,” a drug, smoke, and alcohol-free punk rock club, was born. That experiment lasted for two years, before the property was extensively renovated: this time as living and studio space for artists. It has been operating as Curve Studios ever since and celebrated 30 years in Asheville on October 12, 2019. Take a look around in the video below!
CURVE is home to a diverse group of artists with varied interests. Hot glass, woodworking, photography, ceramics, painting, and metal sculpture studios all operate here. In 2005, working with neighboring artists and the city and county governments, the artists at Curve successfully lobbied to name the area Asheville’s River Arts District.
Curve’s garden is peppered with a wide variety of artistic displays and found objects sure to interest visitors. The formal garden, created by one woman on the remains of earlier industrial operations, aims to show how mass plantings can mitigate industrial brownfield hazards. The owner continues to expand the garden, and bring style and taste to this once overgrown land. Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy seeing and smelling perennials such as roses and irises from April through June, winter-flowering honeysuckle in winter, and tea olives in September.
Cover image from @curvestudios on Instagram.