Silver River Chairs Chair Arch 2019!

For our 30th year here at CURVE, Silver River Chairs built and installed a chair arch sculpture in our garden! It was unveiled at our 30th party, and was amazing to experience. Below is a video were we documented the building, installation, and unveiling of the whole project!

Magic Beans!

Early in 2019, CURVE artist Mary McCall Timmer’s Aunt Johann sent Mary and her husband Matt a handful of Dr. Martin’s Lima Beans… these beans are direct descendants in a lineage that extends back to Mary’s Grandmother. So Matt sprouted some and gave two plants to Pattiy here @ CURVE for the vegetable garden, as they need something strong to grow on and our raised beds have a 5 foot metal fence! Well, we have had a bumper crop of these delicious HUGE lima beans so we are sharing the wealth with our CURVE 30 Party goers as a sincere thank you for supporting CURVE studios and its mission all these years!

Dr. Harold E. Martin, a Philadelphia dentist who lived just down the road from what is now Pete's Produce, had an unusual hobby. In the 1920s, Martin developed what became known as the Dr. Martin Lima Bean. According to Martin's obituary that ran Dec. 26, 1959, in the Daily Local News, Martin was born on March 2, 1888, in Philadelphia.  'Dr. Martin was a longtime resident of Westtown township, living for many years along Street Road, in the vicinity of the Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School. His hobby was growing vegetables and his lima beans were widely known for their size as well as their tenderness and flavor. “Generally, large limas are not tender, but these are,” he said holding up one of the beans, which are almost twice the size of a regular lima bean.’

The legume was named for the capital of Peru, where they've been cultivated for more than 7,000 years. What you are eating is actually the seed.

One-half cup of lima beans are fat and cholesterol free, only 100 calories and provide 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber and 7 grams of protein.

Mary's Aunt Johann McKee 2019.jpg

Pete's Summer Succotash

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1½ cups Pete's 'candy' onion minced

Coarse kosher salt to taste

1 large garlic clove

3 cups cherry tomatoes, minced (about 1½ pounds)

2¼ cups corn kernels: four ears of corn, 2 white, 2 yellow

2 cups fresh Dr. Martin lima beans (from about 2 pounds of pods)

3 tbs thinly sliced fresh basil

Goodbye Pam!

This month we are saying goodbye to our jeweler Pam! We are so proud of how far she has come in the short amount of time she has been at CURVE, and we wish her all the best in her upcoming endeavors!

Camelia Heart Fotowall at Curve

Woohoo! On June 4 2019, Allegra Asheville installed Pattiy’s latest fotowall “Camelia Heart” onto 7 River arts Place! Check out the video below to see how the installation went!

Fotowall on back of CURVE!

To battle some graffiti that we were tagged with on the back of our building, we decided to cover it with a new fotowall! Facing the railroad, you can spot our building a bit easier, even from the five way stop!


Welcome to CURVE studios & garden

The railroad came to Asheville starting in 1880 bringing with it lots of people, goods and services. The River Arts District, at that time, became the place for the warehousing and distribution of these goods… everything from coal, ice & lumber to corn & chickens.

Originally built in 1916, by Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, as a warehouse from which they supplied their chain of retail gasoline stations, Standard Oil also offered a full line of fuel & lubricants to the agricultural concerns in the area.

What is now the River Arts District has a rich history of innovation. Farmers Federation, a successful agricultural cooperative and AFRAM, Asheville’s first African-American owned industrial concern were housed in what is now The Wedge. After the modernization of the 1950’s & 60’s and the urban renewal of the 1960’s & 70’s, however, this neighborhood went into decline.

When CURVE studios & garden was purchase by Pattiy Torno on October, 13, 1989, the buildings had been used as a place to fix, paint and detail cars for the previous 20 or 30 years. There was no sewer to the property. There was one toilet on the property and it straight piped into the French Broad River. It was rough. So after new roofs & insulation, switching all the electric from 3 phase to single phase, installing all new plumbing, new windows and doors, some new rafters and floors, new heat and lighting we got started!

After two years as “Squashpile”, a drug, smoke and alcohol free punk rock club, Pattiy renovated the property into live/work studio spaces for artists. Noteable residents have included Cynthia Wyn, Andy Merrick, Nick Kekic, Roddy Capers, Scott Simono, Christopher Mello, Rob Pulleyn, John Blackwell, Mark Burleson, Robin Van Vaulkenburg, Kyle Carpenter, Karen Newgard& Keith Phillips to name just some.

There is a history of flooding at CURVE studios & garden as we sit adjacent to the French Broad River, the third oldest river in the world. Almost simultaneous Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast Hurricanes starting on July 9, 1916 culminated in the heavy rains that caused the French Broad River to rise to 23 ½ feet. The M. T. Mitchell Corn Whiskey Distillery buildings previously located at 6 Riverside Drive went down river in that flood that also cost the lives of at least 80 people.

Similarly, in 2004 Hurricanes Frances (14.45 feet) and Hurrican Ivan (12.3 feet) caused flood waters to fill up the property at 6 Riverside Drive. The result was devastating to two of the ground floor tenants who lived and worked in their studios. The buildings hardly seemed to notice. The ground floor spaces have now been converted to strictly retail spaces, with portable businesses… just in case.

CURVE Studios & Garden is celebrating 30 years in Asheville’s River Arts District as part of the RAD Second Saturday Celebration on October 12, 2019. Studios will be open from 10am-6pm with demonstrations, classes, an artist talk, birthday cake and—in keeping with CURVE’s long tradition of “bringing people to art and art to life”—the unveiling of a public art sculpture in the garden.

On October 13, 1989, Pattiy Torno bought the Standard Oil Company buildings (circa 1916) at 6 – 12 Riverside Drive to make a punk rock / all ages club called Squash Pile. The club was open from 1990-1991. When Torno renovated the buildings “it was a complete gut job... the roofs, plumbing, electric, heat, doors, windows, everything except the exterior walls needed work”. The fruits of these labors created live/work studios, supporting hot glass, woodworking, photography, ceramics, painting and metal sculpture studios. The floodwaters of 2004 that inundated CURVE changed live/work studios to retail / working studios. In 2005, working with neighboring artists, friendly building owners as well as city and county government, Torno successfully advocated to “name the mile long section of the French Broad riverfront that was already full of artists” as Asheville’s River Arts District.

Thanks to the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP), CURVE has new addresses. Riverside Drive is now River Arts Place. Come see some of the many changes that include new and improved roadways, sidewalks, greenways, bike lanes and public art, all part of the RAD TIP Project.

In celebration of 10 years at CURVE, ceramic artist Cassie Butcher will give an artist talk “Unearthing the Soul” from 2-3pm in 5 downstairs. Cassie is one of 11 artists currently working here at CURVE.

Silver River Center for Chair Caning, the only chair caning school and museum in the USA, has created an 8 ft tall chair arch to honor Torno’s three decades of contributions to the RAD. Built by chair nerds, Brandy Clements, Dave Klingler, and Lucy Kruesel, the CURVE garden Chair Arch is inspired by a chair arch built in 1877 by the furniture makers of High Wycombe, UK to welcome Queen Victoria. The Chair Arch will be unveiled @ 4:30pm in the garden with a bit of the bubbly.

10am to 6pm Extended Open Studio Hours • all studios

2pm Cassie Butcher Artist Talk “Unearthing the Soul “ • 5 downstairs
4 to 6pm
Happy Hour • drinks and snacks in the garden

4:30pm Chair Arch unveiling • with bubbly in the garden

5pm CURVE 30th Birthday Cake cutting • 5 downstairs

CURVE Studios 30th Birthday Celebration is free to the public. Plenty of parking is available at CURVE and in two adjacent public lots & a free trolley will be available to take visitors around the River Arts District from 11am to 5pm. This event will happen, rain or shine!

Happy Hour • drinks and snacks in the garden Chair Arch unveiling • with bubbly in the garden CURVE 30th Birthday Cake cutting • 5 downstairs

CURVE Studios 30th Birthday Celebration is free to the public. Plenty of parking is available at CURVE and in two adjacent public lots & a free trolley will be available to take visitors around the River Arts District from 11am to 5pm. This event will happen, rain or shine!