IntroductionHi Diego here, and thank you for wanting to hear about my story for Art Hub Manly! In saying that, I could certainly not have done it alone. So I would like to acknowledge the following key individuals whom without, The Art Hub would not be possible:
- Sarah Bennett – Gallery manager, writer, art enthusiast and a great friend. Sarah has an undying commitment to fostering a community of collaboration, in a contemporary setting that is artistically inspired. She takes care of workers, guests, logistics and... well, just about everything!
- Maira Widholzer – Our financial advisor and long-term supporter. Maira is a lover of all things artistic and has a building collection of artworks from the Painters' Gallery!
- Flavio Gerbolini – Our inspired interior architect! Flavio helped us design a space that integrated a very artistic setting to the philosophy of a coworking environment. He is one of the best interior designers and architects from Peru!
- Juan Caranza – Our Specialist Hub Consultant who provided his expertise to help set up The Hub, and deliver more value to the community through unique coworking spaces!
Early LifeDiego's room 1989 I grew up in Peru, and for as long as I can remember my bedroom was always colorful, and personally designed to bring joy and inspiration. My walls were a mosh pit of different colors, shapes, and seemingly 'out of place' objects like a garden swing! And there as I lay back on my bed, I could peek into the night-sky through a hole cut in my ceiling. As I looked deep into the stars, I had a vision to share my art in some shape or form. To create a place that would be a "vehicle for dreamers" just like me.
Sydney AdventuresPut away your fears to let your dreams in Growing up, if I wasn't painting or exploring abstract forms, I would be outdoors surfing. And so having arrived in Sydney in 2001 to study a Masters in Business and Marketing, I was drawn to the Northern Beaches where I could surf almost every day. Having graduated I returned to Peru briefly, and I realized that there could be a market for Peruvian art in Sydney, so I started selling a handful of gorgeous imported paintings. Back in Sydney, I embarked on thorough research in my own time; talking to artists, art buyers and galleries. But that didn't pay the bills of course. So I spent a few years working in the design department of a large marketing and advertising firm. But here's the thing – I couldn't stand it. Whilst the work came to me naturally, and I had large commercial success I felt that something was missing. What happened to "dreams" I had as a child? Why did they only have to exist in my head? It was almost as if the "little boy" Diego had gone to sleep for so many years... I had envisaged creating an enjoyable business that allowed me the freedom to work on my own art projects, to be close to the surf, and to share that with a community of others who wanted the same.
So one day I just decided that enough was enough!I left my job, and worked at a café for a few years to build my dream from scratch! In my spare time I would paint, invest in my personal growth, and well...soon enough I jumped on the opportunity to take full ownership of The Painters' Gallery in Mona Vale! And so after 30 years! The Painters' Gallery was born, and has become a key piece towards piecing my vision for Art Hub Manly.
The Manly HubDiego showing off Manly Hub Over the years, Painters' Gallery had become a strong portal for introducing Art and Culture into the Northern Beaches. I even had the opportunity to collaborate (Head Curator) with Customs House, City of Sydney and the General Consulate of Peru (Sydney) to bring about "Peru Amazónico" (photography exhibition), commemorating 50 years of interaction between Australia and Peru. The cross-cultural sharing of ideas, people and their cultures sparked my inner desire to create a community within Sydney, and to allow people to do the same. It was one that went beyond art and culture. It was a coworking space to facilitate cross-pollination between people of all walks in life.
A Space for Inspiration!Thankfully, a myriad of "coincidences" occurred that allowed me to actualize this vision. From:
- Speaking to my neighbor in a half drowsy state that led me to leasing 44 Market Lane!
- Literally crashing into another surfer who turned out to be one of the top online, conscious business coaches in the world!
- Meeting a coworking space expert whilst taking a dip in the ocean.
- Getting paid substantially for curating an international exhibition with Customs House, City of Sydney and the Peruvian Consulate.