VANTAGE Art Flats opens in Danville as new AirBnB and hub for artists and art lovers
DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Danville community celebrated the opening of Vantage Art Flats with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.
The 9 apartment-style Airbnbs feature artwork that represents the history of Danville – something Danville local Rick Barker wanted to make sure was incorporated into the design.
“Danville is booming now and for the first time in my lifetime, we’re actually having to address tourism because tourists are on the way,” said Rick Barker, President of Rick Barker Properties. “In addition to overnight lodging, it’ll actually provide an experience. It’ll allow the visitors to engage the community a little more and to know a little more about Southern Virginia before they leave.”
There are also colorful, life-size animal sculptures throughout the rooms, like the seven-foot-tall elephant out front - Eldridge.
“Elephants are smart. They’re strong and they’re resilient, which represents Danville, Virginia in the last 10 years,” added Barker.
The large response the elephant received from the community led to a partnership with an organization in Africa called Follow your Legend. All proceeds from items in the gift shop will go to preserve elephant habitats.
“When we announced that we were going to have an elephant here, it created a lot of interest. We realized people were really interested in elephants, and we thought we could take it a step further. Art often makes us think, and this guy has required us to think a little more so that we can do something meaningful,” said Barker.
Rick Barker Properties is also sponsoring an Artist in Residence program for artists all over the world to stay and create art for eight weeks. The artists will share their art with the community and engage with Danville Public School students.
“We think it’s important to expose people to the arts. We especially want our young people in here to see creatives working with their minds and their hands, and then occasionally for someone to imagine a career path in the arts,” explained Barker.
The first artist in the program comes from California. Joah Harrison creates abstract wall hangings out of handmade papers.
“I like the conversation that it brings,” said Joah Harrison, artist. “I like the connection with another person and seeing how they interpreted something that I did. They might get a different message from it than I got from it.”
The art studio will be open to the public every Saturday to view the pieces and watch the artists work.
Guests will be able to stay for $200 to $300 a night. The rooms will be listed on AirBnB under Vantage Art Flats sometime next week.
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