Art for All: Avani Hotels Brings Communities Together with Art-Centred Travel Stories
Experiencing local communities is one of the greatest joys of travel; whether it be through indigenous flavours, traditional architecture or art. During times of uncertainty, it often falls to the artists to help make sense of the new reality. Whilst narrating their individual, personal experiences in a way that gets a grip on the viewer, artists also tell the story of the entire community.
Avani Hotels’ travel series is focused on art-centred travel stories from Thailand and Cambodia where creatives have been experimenting with different media to express themselves in this new reality.
For most travellers Hua Hin is synonymous with lounging on the beach and nature walks. For those willing to venture farther afield, however, Hua Hin offers a uniquely local experience – a visit to the Baan Sillapin Artists Village.
The Artists Village features coffee shops, workshops and studios that also operate as art galleries, with artists showcasing their creative process as well as selling the finished pieces with all proceeds going towards supporting arts in the village. Located just a few minutes’ drive from Avani+ Hua Hin Resort, the art community hosts over 15 studios ranging from woodcarving, clay sculpture, jewellery making and antiques to photography, watercolour, oil paintings and contemporary art.
When picturing the many leisure activities available to a vacationer on Thailand’s Koh Samui island, painting trash bins rarely, if ever, comes to mind. And yet, this is exactly what the island’s long-time resident Donna Reiss encourages Avani+ Samui Resort’s guest to do to help save the planet.
Bubbly and personable, Donna invites the budding artists to her beachfront residence before presenting them with a pot of paint and some brushes. She then kicks off a creative session where an oversized trash bin is given a new lease of life. Glowing with a new coat of paint, the bins are distributed through the local hospitality network to public areas and beaches around the island. The goal is to prevent trash from ending up in the ocean, thus helping to preserve marine life and the environment.
If a traveller were to Google ‘Tribe Cambodia’, they would find Tribe Urban Art Gallery under ‘coffee shop’ category, and rightly so. Yet many visitors who drop by for a cup of freshly brewed espresso stay for Tribe’s impressive collection of contemporary art by established and emerging Khmer artists.
Located around the corner from FCC Angkor by Avani, Tribe is on a mission to educate as well as providing a platform for Khmer artists to share their stories with the world. Set in the heart of Kandal Village, the gallery has also been collaborating with global artists such as Pure Evil, Carne Griffiths and Irish street artist Fin DAC – brought over by British art dealers Nat Di Maggio and the late Terry McIlkenny to produce Cambodian-inspired work.