Asheville Instameet Press Release

Historic Cotton Mill Studios & Authentic Asheville Come Together for the Next Asheville Instameet on September 10th


Historic Cotton Mill Studios, which houses the Asheville Guitar Bar in the River Arts District, (122 Riverside Drive), will be the host site for Asheville’s next Instameet group, taking place on Sunday, September 10th at 6:30 pm.

The Asheville Instameet is a group of Instagrammers that meet up to take photos and videos together. The group is comprised of well known local photographers, hobbyists, and curious explorers. Organizers Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley of Authentic Asheville started the event as a way to connect with other creatives in town.

“This event is free and celebrates community over competition. It’s a chance to ask questions and learn something new, talk to a photographer in town whose work you really admire, and watch other people work. I’ve left every time feeling inspired by what other people are doing,” says Erin.  

Last October, Erin was one of eight photographers selected to go on a trip out west to visit national parks and historic sites as part of the National Park Foundation’s “Find Your Park” campaign. Some of the people she met on that trip were hosting Instameets in Miami and Austin. 

“When I got back to Asheville I was super excited to join an Instameet, but there wasn’t one, so Caroline and I and a few friends decided to create the Asheville Instameet,” she says.

The Historic Cotton Mill Studios Instameet will be the fourth convening for the group. Around 25 to 30 photographers usually attend, and all skill levels are welcome. The meetup will start at Historic Cotton Mill Studios, and move to a few other places in the River Arts District before ending up at the original Wedge Brewery location at 37 Paynes Way.

“This is open to anyone and everyone. No experience or special equipment is necessary,” said Erin. “The camera on your phone will do just fine.”

To stay current on the Asheville Instameets, participants are encouraged to use #AshevilleInstameet and on social media.

An Instameet in the RAD

Jannette and Rich, the new owners of the Historic Cotton Mill Studios

Jannette and Rich, the new owners of the Historic Cotton Mill Studios

The new owners of Historic Cotton Mill Studios, Rich Patino and Jannette Montenegro, are excited to welcome the Instameet members to explore their stretch of the River Arts District (RAD), and are hoping for a big turnout. The couple is busy fielding inquiries to rent six available spaces in Historic Cotton Mill Studios, and are open to creative business ideas to fill some of their ground floor units, to attract daytime visitation.  

Recently, City Council unanimously voted to increase the RAD revitalization plan from $50 million to $54 million—the biggest capital improvement project in Asheville’s history.

"So much is happening in this part of the River Arts District, and there’s so much more on the horizon” said Rich. “Now is a really great time to explore these historic spaces and document how they’re coming to life in new and exciting ways.”

“We invite everyone to come to the Historic Cotton Mill Studios Instameet to discover the unique, and special beauty of this part of the RAD,” says Jannette. “There is so much to be inspired by in the River Arts District, and the creativity in Asheville is just amazing.”

In the tradition of the Asheville Instameets, Jannette and Rich will be offering a giveaway to Instameet participants— providing camera straps to two lucky participants, courtesy of the Historic Cotton Mill Studios.

In October, the Historic Cotton Mill Studios will host a grand re-opening. The website for the studio,, will provide more details closer to the event. Social news and updates can also be found on Historic Cotton Mill Studios on Facebook. Anyone interested in renting the available studios can email with their inquiry.