Hospitality is an art form, and in a perfect storm of art and innovation, Haydee Thompson has transformed about 3,000 square feet above Krankies into one of the most successful Airbnbs in Winston-Salem — and an art gallery.
Five rooms, with walls covered by art from local artists, comprise the Wherehouse Art Hotel where Thompson, 49, an artist, actor and musician, is also helping local artists sell their work, taking only 20% instead of the traditional 50% gallery fee.
On March 11, Thompson will open all of the rooms for public view. That rarely happens, because the rooms are usually occupied.
The Gallery Room will host “INDIA, From an Intimate Distance,” an installation by Greg Vore, an artist from New York City. His pictures have been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, to name a few.
Although it’s not a requirement, many of the artists who have work in the hotel have a personal connection with Thompson. In Vore’s case, he was a directing student at UNC School of the Arts when she was studying acting there.
About once a month, Thompson turns the Gallery Room over to a different artist to create an installation by re-arranging the furniture and decorating it however she or he likes, with final tweaks by Thompson to be sure the hotel guest will have reasonable amenities. Plus, the artist gets a percentage of the booking fee for that room.
Last week, it was still in Valentine mode with the queen bed in the center of the room.
Artist Hayden Sharpe had arranged gauzy white drapes around the bed that emphasized the room’s airiness and openness. Faux lily pads with fairy lights floated in containers of water. Sharpe’s art work — watercolor figures in attitudes of intimacy — hung on the walls.
Besides the wall art, the rooms are furnished with objects that are either handmade or decorated by artists. In the Green Room, yarn art by Amy Cruz reflects the colors…