Matt Peiken | BPR News

  Public art often invites public debate, but a new sculpture in downtown Asheville has drawn a surprising group of critics—the people the sculpture was created to honor. 

This past week, Hotel Arras unveiled a 14-foot-tall steel sculpture at the northeast corner of Patton and Lexington avenues. It was conceived and designed as an homage to street performers.


Lawmakers in liberal Asheville, a city of 87,000 set amid a soul-stirring stretch of mountain scenery, insist that they do not want to kick anyone out — especially not their artists. But they are looking for a way to deal with the headaches that have come with the city’s emergence as both an increasingly upscale tourist destination and an upstart Southern street-music capital.