LAFAYETTE — The Bottle Art Lofts are being built on the site of the old Less Pay Motel in Lafayette on the corner of Cameron Street and North University Avenue. The new complex is geared towards bringing the arts back to the city, while offering affordable opportunities for aspiring artists throughout the community.
"There is so much talent here in Lafayette," says developer, Josh Collen. "We think a facility like this that people can gather together in and feed off of their creativity could really help everyone's careers and do a lot of economic development in the surrounding neighborhood."
Collen says that the apartments are rent and income restricted, with prices ranging from $650 per month for a one bedroom unit, and $750 per month for a two bed room unit.
"The whole point is that if you're an artist, you shouldn't have two or three part-time jobs, in addition to pursuing your art," says Collen. "You should be able to focus on your art."
All units will be spacious and loft to provide ample space for artists to work, in addition to skylights and large windows which will offer natural light and inspiration from the outdoors.
The complex will include amenities such as an urban garden, indoor and outdoor work spaces, and art studio on site. Bottle Art Lofts are partnering with the Acadiana Center for the Arts to create a mini art gallery inside the complex so residents, and artists living in the surrounding area, can display their art for free.
The Executive Director, Samuel Oliver, hopes that these apartments will draw other aspiring artists out of the shadows to introduce their talents to the rest of the community.
"Everyone's artistic project, or practice, starts as a side hustle," says Oliver. "I am really excited that these units, being so affordable and offering a live and work space, will help encourage people who are thinking about making their side hustle their main hustle, and really show them that there is a pathway for them to do that right here in their community."
Collen says that applicants will be placed on a waiting list to apply, and while all community members are welcome to live in the complex, those who are actively seeking a career in the arts will be moved to the top of the waiting list.
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