LEAF Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab

 Easel Rider – Asheville’s Mobile Art Lab – is all about connecting people and art. The Easel Rider helps boost access to public art by providing interactive hands-on activities and inviting the Asheville community to experience creation on the go!

Easel Rider Online Classes

Like you, LEAF Global Arts is staying home. Fortunately for us all, music & art are universal and we can connect to each other from afar! For the month of April, we are excited to invite our global community to get engaged and get creative with LEAF Schools & Streets through virtual Cultural Arts education, exploration, and experiences! 

Join us for a free online Easel Rider craft on Facebook Live with our Community Engagement Director, Marsha Almodovar. These fun crafts will utilize supplies you can easily find in your own home. Tune in each Thursday at 3pm EST as we go live to provide step by step instruction, and enjoy a moment of creativity and connection in your day!

Follow the Facebook Event here!

Meet the New Easel Rider!

Early in 2017, Harmony Motors, generously gifted the LEAF Easel Rider team with a nearly-new Sprinter van to help meet the demand for the Mobile Art Lab in more cities across the state and region. Alas! Easel Rider would be able to retire old Betsie (as the old breadtruck was lovingly called when she needed extra special TLC) and embark on a journey of new heights. Through a very intentional and creative process, the LEAF Cultural Arts team worked with Nate Ballinger of Bearwallow Construction to outfit the interior and create safe storage conditions; Tommy Lee, visual artist and designer to create the fresh new look; Dean and team of Sign One to get the vehicle wrap art installed and ready to rock. In the process, we gained new friends and collaboration possibilities at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff (based in Boone, NC & Asheville, NC) and Maybin Mission, founded by Houston Astros’ Cameron Maybin.

LEAF Love to all the Teaching Artists, partners, organizations & supplies that keep the wheels on the art lab going ’round!

Grassroots Arts Grant

Easel Rider is supported by Grassroots Arts Program grant. Asheville Area Arts Council and North Carolina Arts Council 

Meet LEAF Easel Rider Teaching Artists!


Easel Rider Hall of Fame

Beloved Teaching Artist who made an impact on Easel Rider our hearts and the community on the path to new bright journeys!

Easel Rider History

Easel Rider – Asheville’s Mobile Art Lab – is all about connecting people and art. In 2011, the Asheville Cultural Arts division realized that it had a high-quality arts and cultural heritage program, but were having a difficult time reaching the entire community, so they converted a 1984 bread truck into a rolling art studio and hit the road! LEAF Global Arts operates the Easel Rider to help boos access to public art. The fully-customized Sprinter Van contains 80 linear feet of art supplies, a sound system, and projectors, providing interactive hands-on activities that challenge the Asheville community and beyond to experience creation on the go. 

Today, LEAF has a growing roster of 10+ Easel Rider Teaching Artists that facilitate a visual art project related to the theme of the community event or cultural art craft. Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab is used in many different capacities: after-school programs, community functions, specific school activities, outdoor activities & camps – reaching roughly reaching roughly 3,623+ youth at over 170 events in 2019.