Artist Tanya Chaly explores biodiversity loss through her art in this week’s AWNY Startup Stories

Australian Artist Tanya Chaly discusses the inspiration and challenges of being an artist in New York City.

Why did you come to NYC? 

I moved to NYC in 2006 after living in Dijon, France for 6 1/2 years where I had been teaching at an art school in Chalon-Sur-Saone. My husband’s work brought us to the US but we had been living away from home since 1999, the first move abroad was to the UK.  I feel like I’ve been a gypsy for many years but somehow New York was the first time I moved somewhere and it felt instantly like a home.

What have you been doing since you arrived? As an art business does this pay the way? What else do you do?

No, most artists I know are always cobbling together jobs as a way to earn a living. My first job when I arrived was working as a picture framer doing high end museum work. It was a great group of people to work with in a gorgeous studio overlooking Union Square. I was fortunate to have such a friendly and fun place to work as an introduction to NYC as well seeing all the beautiful work that came through the shop. I also trained and qualified as a fitness instructor and taught bootcamps and classes around the city in between my studio time to supplement my income.

Describe what the start of establishing yourself as an artist was like in NYC.

Hard, exciting and challenging. An artist who had lived here a long time once told me that NYC is like a crucible you either survive the challenges as an artist or you don’t. It definitely was a test of sorts, as you get exposed to so much brilliant, extraordinary work and exhibitions. It’s a great place to tone your work. There is a fierce amount of talent here that I find continuously inspiring. That being said it can be completely overwhelming and you have to learn how to balance it all.  The best advice I got from an artist when I first arrived was don’t expect anything to really happen for at least 5 years. New York is such a competitive and tough place, turned out she was right! I started to get work shown in 2011/2012 and then things just grew from that.

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What has been the highlight of work for you?

Without a doubt my highlight was in 2014, when I received the news that I had been awarded The Explorers Club Artist-in-Exploration-Award (Sponsored by Rolex USA). It’s a $25,000 award for an artist to do a project out in the field. It was an enormous honor and thrill to be selected and it gave me the opportunity to embark on a huge adventure and the most ambitious art project I had ever done. In the summer of 2015 I visited scientists working on restoration project in Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique and then I went on to exhibit the work at the Explorers Club in December 2015. I also gave a lecture there about my travels and research. From this experience I began to embark on more art/ science style collaborations and research projects that have involved travel and speaking engagements. I would also add that being featured in Australian Art Collector this year has been another real thrill, it’s been lovely to have some recognition back at home.

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

I don’t have a mentor as such, lots of artists have inspired me and given great advice especially on how to navigate the art scene. One of the best parts of being based here in NYC is that I have had the chance to travel and attend art conferences/symposiums which has been fantastic for networking and meeting like minded people. It’s allowed me access to the University art scene and academic world which is a good fit for my work as I work from a conceptual base. I have also been on a number or residency Fellowship programs which have been crucial to the development of my work.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business/moving to NY?

Be prepared to work hard and in that process find out what you are made of!  Don’t expect things to happen straight away, learn to adapt and go around obstacles, that’s often where the magic is when you diverge off the main path. And never take for granted what a privilege it is to live in such an amazing city!

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business/work?

I think my love of the natural world came from growing up in Australia.  Somehow the natural world infuses daily life at home unlike NYC which is such an artificial environment. I am always surprised every time I go home how much nature is ever present even in the cities. The way the bush seems to try to engulf the suburbs, the insects and lizards running around the backyards and the cacophony of early morning Currawongs and Butcher Birds I hear at my Mum’s place.

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What are your favorite places in NYC?

The museums and galleries are all incredible but if I had to pick, my favorites are the Frick Collection, The Rubin Museum and The American Museum of Natural History.

I love to go to the Metropolitan Museum on summer Saturday evenings when the Museum stays open till 9pm. The rooftop has the best view of Central Park and the crowds have all disappeared so it’s the perfect time to visit and explore.

What is next for you and your work?

2016 was a really busy year putting together four solo shows and having work in five group shows. Over the last 6 months I have been on a residency at Brooklyn Art Cluster and I have just completed a big solo show there which is up this month that looks at the drivers of biodiversity loss, (habitat loss, invasive species and climate change).

So I looking forward to starting on some new projects that look more at some of these themes and the scientific community that works on theses issues. I hope to be doing some more travel to biodiversity hotspots and seeing what comes out of these experiences and watch how the work evolves.  Other than that I have a one month Fellowship coming up and after that I will probably be looking for a new studio space!

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Tania’s current show ‘Unravel’ is on display until April 1st at The Cluster Gallery.

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View more about Tania’s work at:

Website – http://tanyachaly.com 

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 – https://australianwomeninnewyork.org 

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/AUWomenNYC/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AUWomenNYC 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/auwomennyc/

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@aaanyc.org

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Event: Exclusive Director-Led Tour of the Affordable Art Fair, April 1

This spring, the Affordable Art Fair NYC is welcoming Australian Women in New York for a director-led tour created to make you feel right at home. Join us for an afternoon tour and explore the galleries and artists who are native to or neighbors of the motherland – Australia.

Event Details

Date: Saturday 1 April 2017, 3-4pm
Cost: $30 per person
Venue: Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Ave)

Buy tickets

 

About the Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair NYC returns for the Spring 2017 edition showcasing local, national and international galleries that will exhibit a plethora of contemporary art produced by household names and emerging artists alike.

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The Affordable Art Fair NYC is one of the leading and most popular contemporary art fairs in the world. In 2013 alone, our fairs welcomed 210,000 visitors globally, who met 1,1150 galleries, leading to $48 million of art sales – and when you consider the price ceiling on artwork sold ($10,000), that’s a lot of art going home to happy collectors.

For more information on the fair, please visit: http://affordableartfair.com/newyork/visit/

Buy tickets

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”).

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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.

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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!

AWNY Startup Stories: Natchie

New York-based Australian Nadia Ackerman started Natchie after 2 years on the flea market circuit in NYC. Now she owns and runs a store in DUMBO as well as ger growing online store. She talks to AWNY about how it began, her lessons, and shares her top Startup tips.

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

My name is Nadia Ackerman. I am an Australian singer/songwriter. I moved to NYC from the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia in 1998.

After many years pounding the pavement as a professional singer I hit a wall and had an emotional breakdown. I was introduced to EMDR therapy and not only did it save my life but also opened up my mind to illustration and songwriting. I took art in high school but in no way did I ever consider myself an artist! 4 years ago after working hard in therapy I started to see my songs as drawings. It seemed odd to me but the images were powerful and fully formed in my mind. All I had to do was buy paper and pencils and get started. I began with one of my albums, “The Ocean Master” and started drawing every song on the album. I then came up with the idea of selling the images as greeting cards and prints. Each image would have the lyrics on the back and a free download code so you could own the song. Thus…Natchie was born! After two years on the NYC flea market circuit I opened my own brick and mortar store in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY.

How long did you have the idea for your business?

There wasn’t really anytime between the idea and bringing it to life. It happened almost immediately.

Why did you decided to set up a store, and what made you choose DUMBO?

I really believe in connecting with my customers so the idea of just an online store didn’t interest me at all. I want to meet people, see their reaction to my work, and get to know them. Dumbo came about because I used to sell my greeting cards down here in a store. Every time I dropped off an order I would be like…hmmmm…this is a GREAT area!

As a very talented and creative person, what tips or tricks do you have for people like you, that might need to focus their efforts to achieve something big, instead of trying to do ‘everything’?

I think the best advice I can give is to have a GREAT idea and just jump in with both feet. Don’t overthink it or you will never get anywhere. As soon as you begin with your idea it will guide you to what you need to do and when.

What steps did you go through to launch your business? (logistics, marketing etc)

I secured the store in Dumbo, set it up, painted the walls, the floor everything! EXHAUSTING. I set everything up and just opened. I’m a big believer in Instagram as a marketing tool (@natchieart has over 11.8k Instagram followers at the time of publishing). Then pretty much all of the opportunities that have come my way simply walked in the door by chance.

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

Maybe singing at Carnegie Hall for Sting and Trudie’s Rainforest Benefit Concert? I am actually doing that again this year on December 14th with Sting, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and many more special guests yet to be announced.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

Instagram and word of mouth!

Do you have any mentors or groups that have been instrumental in their support, and how have people been with sharing information and their networks?

Yes, there is a fantastic blog in Spain called http://www.solaennuevayork.com/guia-personalizada/. The author, Bianca, stumbled across me at a market a few years ago and held onto my business card. A few years later she tracked me down in NYC and we have been working together ever since. She sends a lot of fabulous Spanish tourists my way and I just love it.

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

Make sure you have a product that is unique and something that people will want to buy. The best research I did was the markets around NYC for 2 years. That enabled me to fine tune my product until I felt confident enough to open an entire store. And don’t think too much – just go ahead!

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business, and why – or if not, also, why?

A lot of my drawings have the ocean in them and headlands! It was not intentional – it’s in my blood and comes out unconsciously in my work.

What is next for your business?

Christmas! And preparing for Japan again (earlier this year I was picked up by an incredible Japanese Department store called “Loft.” They flew me over to launch my product in 10 of their stores throughout Japan. It was a great success and looks like it will happen again next year).

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

Yes! Use the Online shop code AWNY for free shipping.

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Natchie’s SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

http://www.natchieart.com

http://www.facebook.com/natchieart

http://www.instagram.com/natchieart

http://www.twitter.com/natchieart

 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 – https://australianwomeninnewyork.org 
Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/AUWomenNYC/ 
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AUWomenNYC 
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/auwomennyc/

Are you an Australian female who owns a business in New York? If you are and you want to tell us all about it, email us at awny@aaanyc.org