photo from above of a girl with brown hair painting a wedding portrait

Featured Artisan – Aria Asbury

Featured Artisan – Aria Asbury, Washington County

Aria Asbury can remember coloring cardboard boxes with Sharpie markers in her father’s office at as young as three years old. Her lifelong love and passion is now her life’s work as an art teacher and professional artist.a painting of a girl hugging a Raggedy Ann doll in front of a bright background

“Art has always been a big part of my life,” Aria said.

As an elementary art teacher in the Bristol, Virginia Public School System, Aria allows children the freedom to create in her classroom.

“I want them to feel safe to explore,” Aria said. “I try to offer space to hone their confidence.”

In a brief conversation with Aria, you would likely pick up on that sense of wonder in her own personality and visual experience as an artist. She describes her painting style as positive and whimsical.

“To me, everything in the world is too heavy,” Aria said. “My art combats that stress and offers people a sense of childlike wonder.”

four colorful women characters walking in a colorful set of woods

Aria has been exploring a number of avenues as a professional artist, including offering commissioned pieces upon request and illustrating children’s books. She is working to complete her third book in a series, The Many Adventures of Trixie, the Holstein Cow, in collaboration with another Southwest Virginia educator and author, Janet Lester.

She has recently added commissions for wedding portraits, building on her love of relationships with people and capturing special memories that will always hold a special value for her clients.

photo from above of a girl with brown hair painting a wedding portrait

Aria’s surges of creativity include sharing this enthusiasm with her students, often working alongside them on her own pieces for enrichment opportunities. You will find fun nods to her personal interests like movies and marine creatures in her work. In a lesson to many of us, Aria’s work shows us that you never outgrow or over-educate on creativity and artistic expression.

Aria Asbury has pieces for sale at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace and will be a vendor in the 2023 Bristol in Bloom Art Festival. She takes requests for her personal commissions through her social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram (@artiasartworks).


painting of a girl with a line down her face and two fish covering each side