Event: Libbet Loughnan Art Exhibit at the National Arts Club, Gramercy Park & Brunch, March 4

Join AWNY for a very special tour of an art exhibit, Gramercy Park, and brunch. Australian artist Libbet Loughnan has a solo exhibition at the National Arts Club. Libbet has offered to give AWNY a private viewing of her exhibition and a walk through exclusive Gramercy Park. Afterwards we plan to go to brunch as a group to a nearby restaurant.

Event Details

Date: Saturday March 4, 2017
Time: 11:00am
Address: National Arts Club – 15 Gramercy Park South (between Park and Lex)
Cost: Free to attend, brunch is at your own cost.
RSVP: This event is open to men and women but RSVP is essential by March 1 – please RSVP using the form below:


About the Artist

Libbett Loughnan with some of her work.

Libbett Loughnan with some of her work.

Libbet Loughnan’s paintings explore the fragility and connectedness of humanity. Her work reflects a childhood rich in family warmth under the Australian sun, stories encountered across countries in adult life – particularly in NYC – and a desire for more reflection on the place of humans within nature. Usually working with dark and bright acrylic on wood, Libbet also produces watercolors on paper and sculptures.
Libbett Loughnans "Childhood Baths #4”, 2016, Acrylic on Wood, 9x16 inches framed

Libbet Loughnan’s “Childhood Baths #4”, 2016, Acrylic on Wood, 9×16 inches framed

See more of Libbet’s work

For more background on the artist,  see

Curating art with Gallery Cuevas Tilleard – AWNY Startup Stories chats with Caroline Tilleard


Tell us about you, what made you move to the USA and what inspired you to start the business?

I moved to New York to get my Masters in Art History. Studying here lead to me work at MoMA, for an art advisor, and for an Upper East Side blue-chip gallery.

I saw the art world from many sides. This helped me discover what I really loved was working with artists of my generation – artists who were dealing with issues I was deeply familiar with. This love was shared by my work colleague Anna Maria Cuevas and together we started moonlighting – visiting studios and curating pop-up shows of emerging artists.

This grew into a full time gallery program in 2015, and now we are adding an artist residency program to the mix.

What has been your ‘Ah Ha’ / ‘I’ve made it in the USA moment’

I was thrilled when our exhibition of work by artist Alex Ebstein was reviewed in The New York Times.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

Because art is such a visual medium, instagram is a powerful tool for us. It’s becoming increasingly common for people to buy work they saw an image of on our account.


Do you have any mentors, and how have people been with sharing information and their networks?

I’ve recently been involved in helping to establish Art/Forward a collective of professional women in the arts focused on building relationships all to foster and advance career growth. It’s been great to be part of a group that is actively looking to share their knowledge and networks.

Art Galleries seem to be a seasonal business? What are the challenges associated with seasonality and do you have any coping strategies?

There are definite seasons to the art market. It’s busy in the spring and fall, and quietens down over the summer especially.

We cope with this by focusing our programming on the busy times – making sure we have stellar shows scheduled for March, May, September and November when a lot of collectors come to town for art fairs and auctions.


What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business? 

What worked for us was to start slowly. Cuevas Tilleard came about through a lot of weekend work; we kept our day jobs for a long time, which helped to fund the gallery as we established our reputation. While exhausting, this model certainly lowered the risk of starting a business.

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business.

Anna Maria and I have worked hard to create a gallery that is friendly and open. Unlike a lot of Chelsea or Upper East Side galleries, we didn’t want coming to shows at Cuevas Tilleard to be intimidating, or for anyone to feel ignored. This easy going attitude to me is as Australian as it gets.

What’s next for your business?

We are currently moving gallery spaces in New York – though sticking with our Lower Lower East Side/Chinatown neighborhood.

In late February early March we are participating in the SPRING/BREAK art fair. It’s a curated week-long selling exhibition that features contemporary art. This year it will be held at 4 Times Square, occupying some of the old Vanity Fair offices.

Later in March/April our first artist residency program begins. We are bringing New York artists to Lamu island in Kenya (where I split my time) to live and work. We’ll then be showing their work back in New York and at international art fairs.

Do you have an offer or promo code you would like to share with the AWNY community?

We are participating in the upcoming SPRING/BREAK art fair in New York. The fair runs February 28 – March 6. If anyone would like tickets please write to us at

Follow Cuevas Tilleard on Social Media:

Instagram: @cuevastilleard

Facebook: Cuevas Tilleard Projects

Web: where you can sign up to our emails which let you know about opening receptions, art fairs, and fun.

Love this AWNY Startup Story? Want more?

Register for our monthly newsletter and be kept in the loop for our upcoming Startup Stories event where you can hear more stories like this first hand and meet some of Aussie women entrepreneurs.

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Are you an Australian female who owns a business in New York?

If you do and you want to tell us all about it, email us at



Event Review: Love Salon – a Post-Valentine’s Day discussion on love, sex and romance

Written by Laura O’Loughlin

On Wednesday, February 15, AWNY welcomed Australian philosopher and author, Skye Cleary, and Australian feminist, journalist and author, Rachel Hills, as panelists for a frank and fearless discussion of love, sex and romance in the city that never sleeps commits, or so it might seem.

v-day-event-lolliesModerator Monica McCarthy of Impact Hub tapped into the malaise many of us feel around February 14, kicking off the discussion by asking whether we are happier now that we can choose who we love. Cleary picked up on the necessity of freedom, both to choose a partner and within a relationship, quickly dispelling the idea that a relationship needs to be long to be considered successful. Instead, she argued the need for ‘authentic love’ – a love that encompasses mutual respect for the liberty of the other – is more important than the duration of the partnership.

The discussion moved to sexual liberation and sexual attractiveness. Hills quoted Dan Savage as she unpacked the conflicting expectations on women to be simultaneously moral and ‘good, giving and game’. She emphasized that while sexism towards sexually liberated women still exists, the research shows that, to a large extent, men and women want the same things in the bedroom.

The panel also explored the idea of dating in New York, particularly the challenges that come with creating, building and maintaining relationships in a city where the pace of life and sheer number of options can shorten our attention spans. When we can simply ‘swipe right’ and move to the next face we may overlook the work required to take a relationship from casual to committed. Dating today has its own set of rules which are also culturally specific – learning to navigate these can be challenging, especially for Australians where our cultural differences can add a layer of complexity.

v-day-event-shoesThe audience had plenty of questions, such as:

Does a relationship need to last a long time to be successful? Is it really all about compatibility? Are we spoiled for choice in New York? Does polyamory favor men? And, where did Skye get those shoes (pictured right)?

In summary, both panelists emphasized the need to elevate the importance of other forms of love, such as love for our self, children, friends, even pets. They argue that by rejecting Hollywood’s idealization of romantic love as the ‘best’ form of love, we are more likely to find happiness.

The event was a great chance to catch up in the middle of the New York winter. Thanks to all who took part and we look forward to seeing you in the Spring!


Selling Vintage Jewelry with Hester Fleming Vintage from Sydney / London / New York – AWNY Startup Stories

Hester Fleming turned a love of Vintage Jewelry into a thriving online business. Read about her journey from London to New York and back to Sydney.



Tell us about yourself and your business, particularly what inspired you to begin.

I started buying and selling genuine vintage jewelry and Accessories in 2010, when I was living in London. I loved spending the weekend exploring the markets of Bermondsey, Camden Passage, Spitalfields and the large collector fairs around regional England. To help sharpen my buying eye, I gravitated to reference books to help distinguish particular styles with eras, and back my investment!  I knew there was a strong market of clients interested in vintage, however they lacked the time to source pieces at a reasonable cost, so this is where I could come in.

Once I built up a large enough collection, I rented a showcase at Grey’s Antique Market Mews in Mayfair, London.  However, it was a challenging time in London to start a business. The economy had gone into shock and people weren’t shopping the way they used to. Lack of foot traffic and sluggish sales in the antique centre, led me to develop my own website.  I had been working for a digital publishing company, so I felt I had the skills to experiment with an ecommerce platform, and implement an integrated marketing plan.

To measure interest online, I sold a few test pieces through my Facebook profile. The result was really positive, so I launched my own site with an email newsletter over a few weeks.  Towards the end of 18months in business, my husband, James, and I were asked to move to New York at the end of 2011!  I was excited to explore what the New York vintage scene was all about but slightly daunted by how my business could work in a city where I knew no one.


What steps did you take to launch your business in a new country?

When I arrived in New York, I spent a lot of time investigating local markets and talking to the traders. Most weekends, I would get up early, coffee in hand and visit markets all over Manhattan and Brooklyn.   I quickly realized 20th century signed Vintage Jewelry and Accessories was very accessible at a reasonable cost.  I eventually developed a great rapport with a few traders, which enabled me to put together a collection that was far more in tune with the New York customer.   I also worked on upgrading my website, organized a photoshoot for rebranding purposes (I’m still in love with the result), attended a few digital marketing workshops and conferences, continued to collect as many potential client email addresses as possible and had a baby!  Once I was back on my feet, I decided for more momentum, I would participate in the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Shows and the Williamsburg Artist and Fleas market. Both were great for expanding my audience and feeling a part of the fashion fabric of New York.  I can now say my customer base in New York includes stylists, fashion bloggers, jewelers, avid collectors of historical costume jewelry and the every day style conscious elite! I also met some wonderful friends in the trade who I will always treasure.

What has been your ‘Ah Ha’ / I’ve made it in the USA moment.

As we all know, New York is tough. I was shocked when I observed how quickly customers browsed and purchased at vintage events. I wondered how I would ever make an impact. It was when customers started to email me last year, to check on my attendance at upcoming vintage events, that I knew I’d made an impact.

What have been the hardest lessons in starting a business in New York and how do you think it differs from doing so in Australia?

The key lesson theme for me, has been confidence. New York is so loud. However, I have learnt you can still make a significant impact by being true to yourself and what you’re offering the world.  I’m currently in the process of setting up my business in Australia, so it will be interesting to see how the Sydney customer responds to my concept and whether it will need altering, like it did when I moved across from London to New York.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

I’ve found the best way to market my business has been by talking about it (with a constant stream of business cards), participating in events, and being consistent with email newsletters.  Over summer last year, I wrote an ebook about vintage buying in New York, which created some buzz. I also had a great Instagram campaign running, which definitely helped with exposure and revenue.

Do you have any mentors, and how have people been sharing information and their networks? 

So many wonderful people have helped me along the way.  Vintage traders who have been on the scene for decades are fantastic at imparting their knowledge.  The organizers of vintage events have been so supportive once I’ve pitched my concept to them.  For an extra push, last summer I  joined Lucy Shahjahan’s Momentum Circle program. I loved connecting with like minded individuals, in a fun and productive environment.  The process helped sharpen my brand, increase revenue and move forward with new ideas.

What advice would give someone thinking about starting a business?

For everything I have invested in my business, there has always been a return one way or another. Don’t have any expectations.  Build a business concept that you are genuinely excited about. It’s what you learn and the community you build with it, that adds so much value into your life.

What is next for your business?

My husband, daughter and I have recently relocated to Sydney, so I’m in the process of setting up my business here.  Selling to Australians in New York has given me the confidence there is a market ready for me here.

Special Offer

For all AWNY members I’d like to offer free worldwide shipping.  Please use code AWNY during checkout.  All product pricing reflects $AUD


Follow Hester Fleming Vintage at:



Instagram: @hesterflemingvintage

Love this AWNY Startup Story? Want more?

Register for our monthly newsletter and be kept in the loop for our upcoming Startup Stories event where you can hear more stories like this first hand and meet some of Aussie women entrepreneurs.

Blog – 

Facebook – 

Twitter – 

Instagram –

Are you an Australian female who owns a business in New York?

If you do and you want to tell us all about it, email us at



AWNY Online Art Auction – extended to February 22, 2017 – Buy Aussie Art and Raise Funds for The Dwelling Place Charity

This year we have two very special Australian artists donating their work for auction to raise money for the 2016/7 AWNY charity The Dwelling Place, a transitional residence for women experiencing homelessness in New York City. All proceeds from this online art auction will be donated to The Dwelling Place.

There are two paintings on offer – “Rainbow Lorikeet” by Jacinta Stewart and “Lime Kiln Bay” by Trish Callaghan. You have from now to Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at midnight EST (New York time) to place your bid.

International shipping is included and residents of any country are encouraged to bid.

How to bid:

Bids are made in the comments section of the Facebook event page and must indicate bidding amount, and the painting being bidded on – “Rainbow Lorikeet” or “Lime Kiln Bay”. Please disregard the end date on the Facebook event page – the auction will end at midnight on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

AWNY online art auction Facebook event page

About the artists:

Jacinta Stewart

Jacinta is an Australian artist from Brisbane who has made New York her home for the past 12 years. During the last decade her works reflects her nostalgia for, and love of, her homeland. Her most recent series include “Australian Seascapes” – a study of the effect of light on water at different times of the day, inspired by the memory of childhood vacations of the Aussie shoreline; “Ancient Land” which includes representational and abstract pieces inspired by her first trip to the heart of Australia – Uluru – in 2015; and the current “Australian Birdlife” series, celebrating the amazing chorus of birdsong at dawn and dusk that sweeps her off her feet each and every time she ventures home.

The painting featured in this auction pictured below, is “Rainbow Lorikeet” (11″x14″ acrylic on birchwood). The winning bidder may choose this piece or commission his or her own favorite bird (11″x14”).



Trish Callaghan

Trish is a Sydney based abstract artist who studied at UNSQ (COFA) College of Fine Arts, graduating in 2000. Her inspiration comes from the everyday – the unique Australian bushland around her home, everyday objects and images, experiences and unconscious imagery. “I’m drawn to working experimentally and love the fresh results and new experiences gained from this approach. When I’m painting I’m truly living in the moment. This painting began by instinctive marks made on the canvas. For me this is a way of transcribing the imagery of my unconscious mind as well as defining a starting point for many of my paintings. From those initial marks, this painting has evolved through a process of contemplation, through adding and removing layers of paint, and by engaging my artistic sensibilities in order to discover the essence of the work, the integrity, the drama, the aesthetic”.

The winner of the auction may choose this piece pictured below “Lime Kiln Bay” (20″x20” oil on quality canvas stretcher) or commission a different 20″x20″ piece by Trish Callaghan.


Auction Rules of Play

You are bidding separately for one of two paintings “Rainbow Lorikeet” by Jacinta Stewart or “Lime Kiln Bay” by Trish Callaghan. You are most welcome to bid on both paintings but please make each bid separately.

The highest bid for each painting at the close of the auction has purchased the painting and will need to make payment to the American Australian Association with a credit card via phone or email. We will provide further payment details to the winning bidders. Remember that all proceeds go directly to our chosen charity for the year – The Dwelling Place – a transitional residence for women on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

International shipping is included and residents of any country are encouraged to bid. 

Bids are made in the comments section of the Facebook event page and must indicate bidding amount, and the painting being bidded on – “Rainbow Lorikeet” or “Lime Kiln Bay”. Please disregard the end date on the Facebook event page – the auction will end at midnight on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

Bid here: AWNY online art auction Facebook event page

You may use the comments to ask questions of the artists or AWNY.

Good luck and thanks for participating to raise funds for The Dwelling Place!