Categories for ‘Staying With Art’

To help search the Twitter posts, I am suggesting the following hashtags. These categories will also be used in setting up the full map-based interface for Staying With Art. The categories are all based on actual members of the group. If you have a category that is not included here, let me know! But we do have to strike a balance between covering all bases and keeping things under control. If we split 24,000 members among 24 categories, we should average a thousand hosts per category. But if we split them into a thousand categories, it doesn’t work!

Actually, pigeon-holing creative genres is a headache. For music, I’m suggesting the pragmatic Popular / Classical / Traditional triad, but in reality the list should be long and fractal. Well, if hosts start tweeting the hashtag #StayingWithJazz then that’s the way it is. This is an experiment, after all.  For dance, I separated Burlesque as it seems a distinct form of performance from Dance per se. For art, I am suggesting classification by medium: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Conceptual Art, but separating out Jewelry (wearable art) from Sculpture, and Bodypainting from Painting.  I felt that Digital Art needed a separate category as its mode of execution is so different; and Design is another discipline altogether, and from that I separated Fashion as a distinctive enterprise. (I don’t know where puppets fit it, but I once stayed with AirBnB host who ran a puppet theatre using his own hand-made puppets, so there has to be a category of Puppets.) Photography and Movies complete the set of visual arts. For writing, there is obviously Poetry, but I split prose into Fiction and Writing. Several members of the group play support roles for the arts, such as teachers and models, gallery owners and managers, and organisers of events, festivals, exhibitions; so we have the categories ArtTeaching and Galleries (the latter including transient displays such as pop-up galleries and shows). Crafts might be considered a distinct other half of the pair ‘arts and crafts’ but I felt that it fits the intention of this project. Finally, Drama encompasses all aspects of live theatre and spoken story-telling.

  1. #StayingWithArtTeaching – art teaching (in schools, colleges, or freelance), life modelling, running art courses, and so on.
  2. #StayingWithBodypainting – specifically painting faces and bodies.
  3. #StayingWithBurlesque – burlesque dance as an artform, including belly-dancing.
  4. #StayingWithClassicalMusic – all forms of classical music or ‘art music’. (medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, contemporary, atonal; orchestral, chamber, opera, ..)
  5. #StayingWithConceptualArt – art installations, performance art, art happenings, situationalism.
  6. #StayingWithCrafts – making dolls and dollhouses, dreamcatchers, doorchimes, model ships; also includes ceramics of all types (earthernware, stoneware, porcelain); also high-end confectionery; but not puppets.
  7. #StayingWithDance – performance dance of many kinds (ballet, contemporary, tango, flamenco, …)
  8. #StayingWithDesign – graphic design, architecture, and other creative design.
  9. #StayingWithDigitalArt – computer-generated artforms (distinct from graphic design).
  10. #StayingWithDrama – live theatre (stage acting, directing, playwriting, stage lighting, costumes, backdrops, street theatre) and story-telling, mime, and so on.
  11. #StayingWithDrawing – drawing with pencil, charcoal, chalk, etc.
  12. #StayingWithFashion – fabric design, garment design, fashion modelling.
  13. #StayingWithFiction – novels and short stories.
  14. #StayingWithGalleries – art galleries and art shows (gallery owners and managers, exhibition organisers, festival organisers).
  15. #StayingWithJewelry – wearable art (stones, metal, upcycling).
  16. #StayingWithMovies – film and video (filming, directing, producing, scriptwriting, film acting, running an art-house cinema).
  17. #StayingWithPainting – all types of paints (oils, acrylics, watercolour, tempera, and so on) on any kind of flat surface (canvas, board, walls …), also drawing; see separate category for bodypainting.
  18. #StayingWithPhotography – still photography (analogue or digital).
  19. #StayingWithPoetry – poetry (scanning or otherwise, literary or concrete, including prose-poetry, …).
  20. #StayingWithPopularMusic – all the diverse genres of popular music – jazz, blues, soul, pop, rock, rap …
  21. #StayingWithPuppets – making puppets, performing puppets.
  22. #StayingWithSculpture – three-dimensional artworks in any materials (but not wearable).
  23. #StayingWithTraditionalMusic – folk music, ethnic music.
  24. #StayingWithWriting – non-fiction writing (the work of authors, editors, journalists, bloggers, et alia).

I know that we commonly use the expression “the art of …” for activities that are not art. For example, the “art of cooking”, the “art of conversation”, even the “art of motorcycle maintenance”, … I hope it is clear from the above list that that is not what we are talking about here. Also, I hope it is clear that this is a group of hosts who are actively following an artistic practice. Sorry, but going to art galleries or watching movies – although these are commendable and attractive qualities in a host – are not what we mean!


The ‘Staying With Art’ Team

Above: The Staying With Art team, Peter B. Lloyd and Reka Komoli, on a wet and windy day on the Staten Island Ferry, New York City. Photo © 2015, Reka Komoli.

Peter B. Lloyd, writer & editor

My background is in mathematics and science, my but passion is for philosophy, with an interest in information design and the history of subway maps. I have self-published three books on philosophy, and had one book on the history of the New York City subway map published by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT Press).

book covers

I have also had essays published in a series called SmartPops by BenBella Books

book covers 2

and a long chapter in a peer-reviewed  book on the philosophy of mind:

book covers 3

The project I am currently working on is a multi-volume history of the New York City subway map. Following on from the RIT Press book on Vignelli, these will be self-published. I am finalising the first of these volumes at the moment!

Reka Komoli, photographer

Reka is a professional photographer, currently studying for a Masters degree in Photography in the University of Westminster. Here are a few pictures from her portfolio:

Reka pics

On a less serious note, Reka also runs a highly popular Instagram account for the two cats Artemis and Apollo, @TheMaineCoonLife:

Artemis and Apollo


Welcome to Staying With Art

Above: A beautiful stained-glass house by Tom Fruin in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn, with Manhattan Bridge in the background (Kolonihavehus, 2010). It represents the kaleidoscope of ‘arts’ to be found in Staying with Art. Photo © 2015, Reka Komoli.

What is staying With Art?

Staying With Art is a project to bring together AirBnB hosts who are artists, writers, or performers.

AirBnB and arts hosts

People who follow an artistic discipline often have to face a dilemma – to sacrifice art to get a day-job and earn a decent wage, or sacrifice home comforts to dedicate time to art. It’s great if you can get a job in the arts that pays you enough to live on, but many people in artistic fields have to muddle through with a mixture of causal jobs, artistic gigs, and doing without. AirBnB enables some people in this situation to add another source of income to the portfolio without having to sacrifice huge chunks of creative time.

History of this group

At the end of 2013 I set up a Group in AirBnB called Artists, Writers, and Performers. My idea was to provide a forum for prospective guests to find hosts who are active in one or another artistic field, and for hosts themselves to network with each other. At the time, I was a writer depending on AirBnB for my survival, and I thought it might be nice to reach out to others in a similar situation. I expected that there might be, say, twenty-four other people who would join. I certainly did not expect twenty-four thousand to join, which is what happened!

Unfortunately, the web software provided by AirBnB for the Groups was inadequate for such large groups. Both the discussion page and the list of members were so long, it was impossible to scroll to the bottom; and the rudimentary search function stopped working; and there was never a function for searching by geography or by art. So, Reka Komoli and I set up a prototype of some web software that would solve these problems. The problem then was to get the thousands of AirBnB hosts in the Group into the new system. I asked members to send me their details, and about a thousand did, but often incompletely, and then we faced the task of manually entering the details, and the whole process ground to a halt as other pressures on time made it impossible to spend hours every day transcribing host details.

No more AirBnB Groups!

But now … AirBnB have announced that they will shut down and delete all Groups on February 25, 2016. I think the Artists, Writers, and Performers Group is too good to discard, so I am prompted to action …

The birth of ‘Staying With Art’

  • I have set up a Twitter handle (@StayingWithArt) and I am inviting all members of this group to follow this handle. Then we can at least stay in touch!
  • I am also inviting hosts to post a link to their AirBnB page, with a hashtag indicating their artistic field, for example #stayingwithpainting or #stayingwithdance. This provides a very basic way to search for hosts with particular interests. You can put more than one hashtag in. For example, I would put “@stayingwithart Peter & Reka hosting again soon #StayingWithWriting #StayingWithPhotography”. (I’m the writer, Reka’s the photographer. But we’re not hosting at the moment as we’re travelling.)
  • I have also set up a blog (this one:, which will hold general information, reviews of the works of AirBnB hosts in the group, notices of upcoming events pertaining to hosts in the group, and links to hosts’ web sites. In the ‘events’ section, I hope to put theatrical and musical shows, art exhibitions, gigs, and so on, that involve members of the group.
  • Soon(ish), we will have the all-singing, all-dancing map-based web interface online!

Who is this for?

This is only for AirBnB hosts who are sharing their main homes with guests. It is not for businesses who are running large numbers of separate properties. And it is only for hosts who actively pursue an artistic field in a fairly serious way. Hanging a few pictures on the wall doesn’t count; but running a public gallery while hosting on AirBnB is what we are interested in. Both professionals and serious amateurs are welcome, but doing a few doodles on the weekend does not cut the mustard. Anything that would normally be classed as ‘artistic’ is good: oil painting, writing short stories, ballet, burlesque, bodypainting, acting, poetry, murals, performance art, running an art gallery or theatre space … It does not include cooking, hairdressing, decorating, or living within a few miles of a museum.

Lots of people have tried to join the group who happen to live in a nice place and think it would be relaxing and inspiring for creative people. Sorry, that doesn’t count: the group is for hosts who are themselves artistically creative. Sorry if this seems hard. I have had to delete several really lovely hosts in gorgeous homes because they just don’t meet the simple criteria above. (Hey, you can always start your own group …!)


I plan to visit  members of the group and post reviews of their artistic work in the blog. (This is not a review of the accommodation, which is AirBnB’s prerogative, just the artistic work.) Reka is a professional photographer and will be coming with me to take pictures. These will be hosts I can easily reach, starting with London, including a short visit to Paris soon, and a longer visit to New York in April, and other places as we travel around.) (FYI Some of my earlier, non-AirBnB art reviews: Mr Smith, Angelo MuscoCompagnie Carbabosse, Anne-Francoise Couloumy, Alban, Light Attendance.)

As I cannot visit all 24,000 members, I will be welcoming proposals from any published writers in the group who want to do some reviews to be posted here on the blog.

  • Please Follow @StayingWithArt on Twitter and post with your AirBnB link and your hashtags (#StayingWith…).
  • Let me know if you would like to be reviewed in this blog; or if you would like to post reviews.
  • Let me know of any upcoming events relating to group members.