American Australian Association Announces Lauren O’Neill-Butler as the Recipient of the Second Annual Beverley Art Writers Travel Grant to Australia




New York, NY, July 18, 2023 –– The American Australian Association is pleased to announce Lauren O’Neill-Butler as the 2023 recipient of The Beverley Art Writers Travel Grant to Australia (The Beverley). The Beverley is the result of a partnership between the Association and Australian expatriate John Melick, founder of Blue Medium, a New York-based art and design public relations firm.

The Beverley is administered by the American Australian Association. The 2023 grant selection  committee—comprised of art world professionals with a working or personal connection to the visual  arts community in Australia—included: Nicholas Baume, Artistic and Executive Director of The Public Art Fund (New York, NY); Anne Ellegood, Good Works Executive Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA); Ben Hartley, Executive Director of Silkroad Boston (Boston, MA); Mark Hughes, Founder of  Mark Hughes Art Advisory (Sydney, Australia); Elizabeth Ann Macgregor AM OBE, Former Director of  MCA Australia (Australia), and Trevor Smith, Associate Director of The Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA).

After a detailed review of all applicants, the committee selected Lauren O’Neill-Butler to receive the 2023 Beverley Art Writers Travel Grant.

Lauren O’Neill-Butler is a New York-based writer whose book, Let’s Have a Talk: Conversations with Women on Art and Culture (Karma, 2021), brings together nearly ninety interviews. A cofounder of the nonprofit magazine November and a former Senior Editor of Artforum magazine, she has also contributed to ApertureArt JournalBookforum, and The New York Times. In 2020, she received a Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant.

O’Neill-Butler holds graduate degrees in art history and philosophy, and has been a visiting critic at Cooper Union, Stony Brook University, USC, Rutgers, Yale, and the University of Chicago. She is currently a part-time faculty member at Hunter College and the New School and has previously taught courses at the School of Visual Arts and RISD. She is an alumna of New College of Florida, where she first learned how to think critically. As a freelance editor and writer, O’Neill-Butler has worked with galleries, museums, and artists for over fifteen years.

While in Australia, O’Neill-Butler plans to engage with Australian institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Centre for Contemporary Photography, and the Melbourne Museum. She also plans to spend time with select artists and write about their distinct practices. O’Neill-Butler hopes to add dimensions to her understanding of what makes Australia’s diverse art communities unique from the rest of the world.

“Travel is one of the essential ways we learn and refresh our understanding of the world”, explained John Berry, President of the American Australian Association. “By traveling to Australia, our arts journalists here in the United States can help spread the rich culture of Australian fine art and culture to wider audiences.”

The name of the grant is in honor of the grant founder’s mother, Beverley Joan Melick (née van Eerde), who currently resides in New South Wales, Australia. According to John Melick, “as a painter and designer, my mother has inspired me to pursue a career in promoting the visual arts in the US and globally. As a public relations professional, I’ve witnessed a reduction in media travel budgets that has also led to less cultural exchange and coverage of my home country’s art. This is a small way to have a positive impact on free, independent, and exceptional art journalism from the US while also benefiting Australia more broadly.”

To learn more about The Beverley, please visit here.


The American Australian Association is the leading privately funded nonprofit organization dedicated to deepening and strengthening cooperation and understanding between the institutions and people of the United States and Australia. Since 2002, the Association’s philanthropic scholarship and grant programs have awarded over US$15 million to more than 1,000 graduates, veterans, and artists. This investment has contributed to further advancing the careers of the next generation of leaders, developing international networks, and generating solutions that address the global issues of our time.

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Media Contacts
For additional information on the American Australian Association please contact:
Libbi Swan, Chief Operating Officer 
+1.212.338.6862For additional information or to request an interview please contact:
Max Kruger-Dull, Blue Medium, Inc.