Neville Wakefield, Curator
Neville Wakefield is a writer and commentator on contemporary art, culture and photography. He recently finished terms as Senior Curatorial Advisor for PS1 MoMA and Curator of Frieze Projects at the Frieze Art Fair. Among many projects, he was Co-Creative Director of Tar Magazine and is a Co-Founder and Co-Producer of Destricted, a series of films that address the issue of sexuality in art. Neville has contributed to W Magazine, ACNE Paper, The Journal, Artforum, among others.
Lisa Dennison is Chairman of Sotheby’s North and South America, focusing on international business development, a role that draws on her considerable strengths as an internationally recognized figure in the fields of Modern and contemporary art.
From 1978 to 2007, Ms. Dennison was on the staff of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, most recently as Director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York and prior to that, as Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Foundation. During this time, Ms. Dennison strengthened the visibility and reputation of the museum, while helping to realize its institutional goals as the flagship of its premier global network of museums in New York, Venice, Bilbao, Berlin, and Las Vegas. Ms. Dennison organized over 35 exhibitions of Modern and contemporary art for major institutions around the world, many based on the museum’s renowned permanent collection, which she was instrumental in developing during her tenure. She is the author of more than 25 catalogue essays, and is a frequent lecturer at venues internationally.
Ms. Dennison earned her B.A. from Wellesley College in art history and French in 1975, and received an M.A. in art history from Brown University in 1978.
Bettina Sulser Bryant, Independant Curator/Collector
Bettina Sulser Bryant is an independent art curator and producer. She is currently the Director of Curatorial Affairs for The Water Tank Project, a landmark public art exhibition slated for the summer of 2014 in New York City. Bettina’s initial training was in classical dance. Selected by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join the American Ballet Theatre at age 17, Bettina toured extensively in the United States and abroad. Performing both classical and modern dance repertoires, she worked directly with legendary choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Sir Kenneth Macmillan, Antony Tudor and Twyla Tharp. PBS Dance in America film credits include: David Gordon’s Murder and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.
Simultaneous to graduating Columbia University with an honors degree in Art History, Bettina danced with the Metropolitan Opera in productions as diverse as Philip Glass’s The Voyage, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, and Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. It was during this time that she migrated towards corporate and private art collection management. For more than a decade she has advised an international roster of collectors on the nuances of art acquisition, management and care in a wide variety of media.
Producing credits include Chiara Clemente’s feature documentary, Our City Dreams, which portrayed the lives of five decades of contemporary women artists, and had its festival premiere in Locarno, Switzerland (2008), its theatrical premiere at New York City’s Film Forum (2009) and television broadcast premiere on the Sundance Channel (2009). She also produced the short film Curiosity for Saatchi and Saatchi and the Global Organization for Leadership and Diversity (2008). Bettina was an advisor to James Crump’s critically acclaimed documentary, Black White + Gray (2007), profiling the photography collector Sam Wagstaff, and was named the Photography Editor of Weegee Stories, a hybrid publication featuring original short stories by the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Robert Olen Butler.
Bettina currently serves on the Board of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE). Along with her husband, Bettina is committed to educational reform and sponsored the Bryant Art Center at Denison University as well as a school in Nepal for Room to Read. Bettina is also the Vice President and Director of Bryant Family Vineyard, a premiere winery in Napa Valley.
Will McDonough, Vice President of Investment Management – Goldman Sachs Partners Coverage Group
Will McDonough (born February 23, 1980) is an American businessman and entrepreneur. Since 2010, he has served as the Vice President of Investment Management at Goldman Sachs Partners Coverage Group, where he manages the private wealth of current and retired partners and handles important relationships for the firm.
In 2002, Will earned a degree in Marketing and Law from Boston College. After graduating he worked for the Kraft Group, owners of the New England Patriots, growing their off-the-field business, negotiating logo rights, licensing deals for the team, and creating brand extensions. In 2004 he started McDonough Management Group, which managed the off-the-field business of many notable athletes and top celebrities/personalities. In 2007, he left the Kraft Group and joined Avenue Capital Group where he launched and grew a $250 million distressed-debt fund.
Will has founded and started several businesses including A2 Entertainment, an animation and cartoon company that has partnerships with AOL, Warren Buffett, Gisele, Martha Stewart, Stan Lee, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to create educational content for children. Will is also a venture partner in RTF Partners with Broadway Ventures and Lorne Michaels and a founder of Bravas Holdings—a middle market offshore technology services and investment group.
Will serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Boys State Foundation, Boston Gives, and is the Co-Chair of the Best Buddies Hyannis Port Challenge with Anthony Kennedy Shriver. An art lover himself, Will also serves as a Special Advisor to Los Angeles and Miami’s OH-WOW Galleries. Most recently, Will has joined the Board of The Water Tank Project, a landmark public art exhibition that will transform the New York City skyline during the summer of 2013 with the aim of drawing attention to the global water crisis. An inimitable roster of artists including Ed Ruscha, Jeff Koons, and Marilyn Minter will convert roof top water tanks in all five boroughs into temporary works of art on the subject of water. This event will reach millions through the super technology of Apps, social networking and multimedia tools.
(born September 14, 1978) is an Estonian supermodel.
Kass was born in Tallinn, Estonia and grew up in Mäo village, near Paide, the capital of Järva County. In February 2004, she joined Estonia’s ruling Res Publica Party. Kass ran for the European Parliament after her homeland joined the European Union in May 2004. She won 2315 votes from the Estonian electorate.
Kass moved to Paris at the age of eighteen to pursue a modeling career, and soon received exposure by appearing on the covers of French and American Vogue, Australian Elle, UK Image, Madame Figaro, and French Numéro.
Her career was launched by Anna Wintour and by 1999, Kass was walking the runway for designers such as Shiatzy Chen, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Dolce & Gabbana, and posing in advertisements for designers and brands like Calvin Klein, Chanel, Gucci, Donna Karan, Dsquared2, Versace, Givenchy, Fendi, Max Mara, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, and even General Motors. She also appeared in a Gap denim advertising campaign and was a spokesperson for Revlon cosmetics, Sephora, and the Christian Dior perfume, J’adore. In 2007 alone, Kass booked ten campaigns with notable designers for spring/summer collections. As of 2007, she is the model and spokesperson for Max Factor. She is currently the face of Spanish fashion brand Hoss Intropia for Autum/Winter 2010 and Swedish brand Lindex. Kass was awarded by Vogue as “Model of the Year” at the 2000 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards. She is part owner of her mother agency, Baltic Models.
In 2004, Kass played the female lead in the Estonian murder-mystery film Täna öösel me ei maga (“We Won’t Sleep Tonight”; titled “Set Point” in the international release).
Kass plays chess and was elected president of the Estonian National Chess League in 2004. She ran a campaign for Tallinn to host the 2008 Chess Olympics.
Peeter Maria Laurits (born March 6, 1962) is an Estonian photo-based artist. Educated in Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Tartu, and New York. He has exhibited worldwide since 1989. Co-founder of artistic groups Always Yours, DeStudio and Open Valley Studio. His works are housed in the Estonian Art Museum, the Tartu Art Museum, KIASMA Helsinki, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia Colledge Chicago, Norton Dodge collection New York, and many other public and private collections.
The connecting thread in Laurits’s artistic work is the overlapping and transitions between mythical and everyday worlds and play with viewers sense of reality. His work contains abundant references and citations to various time periods and media.
Laurits has published essays and articles on different social and artistic topics. He has founded the Kütiorg Nature Art Path. Many of his monumental works are installed in public space
Decorated with the IV class Order of the White Star (2005), awarded with Kristjan Raud Prize (2004) and the Annual Prize of Estonian Endowment for the Arts (2002 and 2009).
Peeter Rebane is the Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of BDG Holdings. BDG develops entertainment content across the Baltics and produces major events for superstars such as Madonna, Elton John, and Lady Gaga. He is also a member of the Board of the Solaris Urban Entertainment and Lifestyle Centre.
His creative experience ranges from serving as a Project Manager for the Tallinn City Cultural Heritage Department until 2007 and co-producing the 23rd annual European Film Academy Awards in 2010 and producing the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002.
Karin Laansoo is a curator and Director of the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center. Originally from Estonia, she has been based in New York City since 2006. After receiving her MA in Art History from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2002, she has worked as a producer and Gallery Manager in Tallinn and New York. Since 2008 she has been the Director of PointB – an international artist residency in Williamsburg, New York. She has curated numerous exhibitions and projects in the United States and in Europe. Karin has published the award-winning book 22+ Young Estonian Artists (2005) and one of her upcoming projects is the production of the multidisciplinary festival Bioest in New York.
Maria-Kristiina Soomre is an Estonian art historian, curator and art administrator. She is currently PhD student at Estonian Academy of Arts and Adviser on Visual Arts at the Estonian Ministry of Culture. She has worked as curator of contemporary art at Kumu Art Museum (Art Museum of Estonia) and has been active as an art critic in Estonian cultural press since 2000. Her academic research focuses on exhibition history, institutional art history and curatorial studies on which she has been lecturing also at the Estonian Academy of Arts. In her PhD research she is studying the exhibition canons around Soviet art. In addition to curating exhibitions at Kumu Art Museum, Maria-Kristiina Soomre co-organized also the electronic music festival “Kumu ÖÖ”, as well as a vast program of seminars and conferences in the museum. In 2010 she participated in the apexart residency program in New York. Maria-Kristiina has worked and studied also in contemporary art institutions in Finland (Turku) and Italy (Venice).
Maria Arusoo is a curator and artist based in Tallinn. Arusoo is interested in new conceptual ideas produced by a different relationship between spectator and artwork. In particular, her works make references to the architectonic context and re-route spatial perceptions. As a curator Arusoo has made exhibitions and projects illuminating the relationship between art and power, concentrating on exploitation in art, through art, and around art. Maria was awarded theEstonian Cultural Endowement’s Fine and Applied Arts Foundation`s annual award for her international debut as a curator for her exhibition Continuum the Perception Zone.
She has published critical texts about space and perception in contemporary art and was the presenter for a televised review of the 2011 Tallinn Print Triennial, made for Estonian Public Broadcasting. As an artist, Maria Arusoo works in the field of performance, film and installation where she explores the borders between physicality and perceptions. Since May 2012, she works as curator and executive manager at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Estonia. She is a member of the Henkel Art Award and Sadolin Art Prize panel and is Deputy Commissioner of the Estonian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale.
Reet Haal Art Collector
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Margus Linnamae Art Collector, owner of the company Magnum
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