Bringing fine art & fashion to Asheville for over 25 years
Our original boutique, Bellagio Art to Wear, opened its doors in the early 1990’s, but its story begins much earlier. Bellagio co-founder John Cram moved to Asheville in 1972 with a dream to make art accessible to the community. With only $500 in his pocket, he opened New Morning Gallery in Biltmore Village; a risky move during a time when Asheville was a struggling city with a crumbling infrastructure—hard to believe given the thriving town we have today.
Not only did New Morning Gallery turn out to be a great success, it planted a seed. By the late 1970’s, the gallery was doing well enough to expand; meanwhile, John expanded his involvement in efforts to revitalize downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Village area, joining the Tourism Development Board and advocating for funding and legislation that would simultaneously promote tourism, inject money into revitalization efforts, and support conservation trusts to help preserve the area’s natural beauty.
In the early 1990’s, John bought the Asheville Fine Arts Theatre and adjacent building, both of which had sat vacant for years. He renovated both, opening Blue Spiral 1 Gallery and the Theatre. Shortly thereafter, John Cram and Matt Chambers joined forces to open Bellagio Art to Wear in Biltmore Village, which added fine art in fashion to the mix. Our latest boutique, Bellagio Everyday, opened in 2005, bringing affordable fine fashion to downtown Asheville.
Together, John, Matt, and our staff at these venues provide an irreplaceable resource for area artists and craftspeople to show their work, learn from and inspire one another, and celebrate the region’s rich arts and crafts heritage. We are proud to bring fine arts and beautiful fashions to the citizens of Asheville and visitors alike. Learn more about our stores & philosophy»
A proud history with the Village Arts & Crafts Fair
Bellagio Art to Wear, along with New Morning Gallery, has presented the Annual Village Arts & Crafts Fair in Biltmore Village since its early days.
Held the first weekend in August every year, the Arts & Crafts Fair is Asheville’s premier weekend for independent artists to showcase their work on the beautiful grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls church. Over the years, the fair has grown to include over 120 artists from across the nation, including nearly 40 from western North Carolina alone. Each year, several thousand guests come to shop, explore and learn about the rich tradition of crafts in our community. The fair celebrates its 44th season in 2016.
Interested to learn more about Bellagio and our boutiques? Contact us. We’ll be happy to help.