Gillian Grove will be heading to Sydney for the NSW Business Chamber awards as a finalist, representing the Northern Rivers in the Excellence in Micro Business category. This follows Grove’s business, Artable receiving the Excellence in Micro Business award at the regional award ceremony in the Northern Rivers.

While Grove is grateful for the recognition, she is focused on the impact this award can have on the arts community.  “The award means less to me than my ability to shine a light on the arts in general, especially arts at a community level.” Grove finds passion in speaking boldly about the issues that affect women and creatives, following her own experiences as a female business owner.

Grove worked hard to establish Artable, particularly due to a lack of respect for art businesses, which are not taken seriously in business. For this reason, when Grove accepted her award at the regional ceremony, she started with: Well, this shows that you really can make money in the arts.” Grove recalls that her landlord on the Gold Coast gave her lease to a medical practice when he believed the business couldn’t grow further. Artable was seeing close to 200 students a week and had a thriving arts supplies store. Grove disagreed and has since quietly worked toward growing her business.

She moved on to build 2 art schools that see close to 400 students a week. The studios adhere to the motto: “anyone could learn to draw and paint with the right teaching and tools.” Artable flies small groups of creatives around the world on painting holidays and brings some of the largest names in International art to the Northern Rivers to share their skills in workshops. Grove even spent 3 weeks as the private art teacher to both Johnny and Amber Heard at their house in Coomera in 2015.

Grove has recently turned towards helping other artists, stepping into the role of Event Director of the Darcy Doyle landscape prize. “I absolutely believe that we need to be working together as much as possible and that the high tide floats all boats. When someone wins an arts prize, starts teaching, sells an artwork or gets a write up, the entire art community benefits.”

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