PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston March 2021

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Page 107 of 123

I first heard Libby Tilley's name from Cynthia Toles, who is one of my favorite collector-pals in the Texas art world. Cynthia has served on most of the major art boards in Houston and San Antonio, so when she mentioned her art soul sister, I paid attention: that would be Libby Tilley. Tilley, like Toles, has a career that intersects multiple Texas cities. The Fort Worth native's power-packed résumé includes, most recently, serving as the fund-raising force that made the Amon Carter Museum of American Art's epic 2018-2019 renovation possible, and directing external affairs for Artpace in San Antonio. Post Artpace, Tilley headed to Austin, tapped as consultant on the 2011 merger of the Austin Museum of Art with Arthouse. Lottie Mae Is Born Always seated at the table, Tilley is pretty much up for anything, be it collecting or the business of art, especially raising funds, guiding nonprofits, and supporting artists. In a Zoom call — our first in-depth meeting — it was immediately apparent that this was a high-energy woman equally adept at speaking with sponsor-types in suits as she is with basking in the bohemian glow HOW LOTTIE MAE of the art-world community that is her truest passion. Cue Tilley's Fort Worth chapter, where Lottie Mae Lounge was born. Romance bloomed, and she moved back home from Austin four years ago; she also needed to help care for her mom, who had Alzheimer's. After her mother's passing in 2019, Tilley was ready to consider an endeavor that had been lodged in her mind for years: Lottie Mae, an idea hatched during a 2010 jaunt to Marfa with San Antonio artist/bestie Chuck Ramirez. "We were camping at El Cosmico for the Marfa International Film Festival. We rented a trailer for the weekend. Chuck said, 'Isn't this great?' and I replied, 'Yeah, wouldn't it be great to do a gallery [together] in an Airstream,'" says Tilley. The pair never had a chance to collaborate, as Ramirez passed away that fall in a bicycle accident, then life intervened for Tilley. Flash forward to 2019. When energy, budget, and headspace aligned, it was time for Tilley's Airstream dreams. "I bought an Airstream sight unseen," she says. "I met this guy in San Antonio — his name is Larry Williams with Go Vintage Trailers. I had seen some of his work. He had made personal trailers for a couple of my friends in Austin, for their ranch or farms. Larry said, 'I have one available,' and I was, like, 'Great! Let me wire transfer you some money.' I told him what my idea was, and we gutted her when we rebuilt her. I finally went One woman's vintage '79 Airstream — as you read this, on the road to Round Top — contains a museum-level micro art gallery, and a collection of exquisite century-old Japanese kimonos, alongside beautiful oddities culled from an artist's cabinet of curiosities titled Museum of Wonder. Meet Texas art patron Libby Tilley, who sets up the ultimate art caravan, Lottie Mae Lounge, at Round Top's newest venue, The Halles, March 27 through April 3. By Catherine D. Anspon. Lottie Mae Lounge will set up art shop at The Halles, Round Top. Libby Tilley BRIAN HUTSON (Continued on page 108) 106

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