LEAF Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab

 Easel Rider – Asheville’s Mobile Art Lab – is all about connecting people and art. The City of Asheville’s Parks & Recreation Division has partnered with LEAF Community Arts to operate the Easel Rider, helping boost access to public art. The Easel Rider provides interactive hands-on activities that invites the Asheville community to experience creation on the go!

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!

Easel Rider Partners and Collaborations 2019

Asheville Parks and Recreation After School Centers & Summer Camps

Malvern Hills

Walton Street park

Therapeutic Center in West Asheville 

Tempie Avery Monford Center

Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center

Shiloh Complex

Stephens-Lee Recreation Center


Burton Street 


Event series 

Buncombe County Summer Meals program – Deaverview Mondays through out  the summer

Parks and Rec Movies in the Park –  Second Friday of the month  June through August 

Asheville Downtown Association – Cultural Arts in the Park – Every Wednesday June through August 

Christine Avery Center- Every Wednesday after school year round

Asheville Urban Youth Basketball series- Every Sunday June through September  

Pop up events                                                                           

6/1/2019 Pink dog – Community Container paint day

6/22/2019 11am-6pm HOLA Asheville!

6/22/2019 4-9pm  Music on Main 

6/23/2019 2-5pm  Junetenth at Hillcrest

JULY 2019

7/1/2019  1-2pm  Deaverview Summer for summer meals

7/3/2019 6-7pm Cultural Arts in the Park at Prichard Park 

7/7/2019 2-6pm  Ashevllle Urban Youth basketball at Weaver Park

7/8/2019  1:15-2:15 Deaverview summer meals 

7/10/2019 6-7pm Cultural Arts in the Park at Pritchard Park

7/12/2019 6-8pm Movies in the Park at Pack Square 

7/13/2019 11am-5pm Second Saturday River Arts District 

7/14/2019 2-6 Asheville Urban Youth Basketball at Montford 

7/15/2019 1:15-2:15 Deaverview summer meals

7/17/2019  6-7pm Cultural Arts in the Park at Pritchard Park

7/21/2019 Asheville Urban Youth Basketball at Carrier Park

7/28/2019  Asheville Urban Youth Basketball at Rec Park

7/31/2019 6-7pm Cultural Arts in the Park at Pritchard Park

 More to come throughout the Year! 

Gallery of Asheville Parks and Recreation Centers 

August and September 2019 

8/9/2019 Movies in the Park Pack Square

8/10/2019 River Arts District Second Saturday

8/24/2019 East End Valley Heritage Festival

9/14/2019 Just Folk event at Triangle park 

9/20- 9/22 Goombay at Eagle Street hosted by the YMI

9/21/2019 Asheville Van Life rally in Fletcher Howard Gap rd

9/29/2019 Peace love and happiness event at DR Wesley Grant Center 




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

In 2011, the Cultural Arts Division of converted a 1984 bread truck into a rolling art studio and showcase. 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! The Easel Rider contains 80 linear feet of art supplies, a sound system, and projectors.

In July 2013, the City of Asheville partnered with LEAF to continue Easel Rider programming. LEAF Community Arts hires teaching artists that come with the truck to your event to facilitate an art project related to the theme of the event. The Easel Rider is used in many different capacities: after-school programs, community functions, specific school activities, outdoor activities, and summer camps, reaching

6,262  youth a year. 

Easel Rider’s primary programs are in partnership with City of Asheville Parks & Recreation Department, therefore events happening at those facilities and organized by City staff are no cost to reserve. All other organizations and events will need to plan for a nominal fee to book the Easel Rider, which directly supports our fabulous Teaching Artists, fuel our gas costs and help replenish supplies!