AWITA membership has grown steadily and represents a cross-section of females in the art world: gallerists, collectors, auction house representatives, arts journalists, museum and public sector professionals, art fair representatives/directors, academics, family offices, art advisors, academics and dealers.
Born in Moscow, Maria Baibakova earned her BA summa cum laude in Art History from Barnard College, MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art, and MBA from Harvard Business School. In 2008, Baibakova founded Baibakov Art Projects in Moscow, New York, and London - an organization that is committed to the support of contemporary art. Initially founded as an exhibition platform in Moscow, Baibakov Art Projects organized nine critically acclaimed exhibitions in Moscow featuring over seventy artists, as well as produced numerous educational events and publications under Baibakova’s leadership as Director and Chief Curator between 2008 and 2011. Currently, Baibakov Art Projects is a multi-vertical organization that engages in curatorial and editorial work, philanthropy, and strategic consulting projects with organizations and individuals in the arts in support of its mission, including past clients such as Sotheby’s and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts as well as startups such as Artspace.com and ARTA. Baibakova actively supports women in the creative industries through a variety of projects, including via her role as a trustee of Barnard College where she established a scholarship for women pursuing the study of art history. She is also the founder of the Artemis Council for women artists at the New Museum (New York) and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Women in the Arts (London). In 2009 and 2014, Baibakova was named one of the 100 most influential people in the art world by Art+Auction magazine. Baibakova is also a recognized collector and has been annually included in ARTNews’ Top 200 Collectors list from 2009 to 2013. Baibakova was named one of the "100 Most Powerful Women in the Art World" by Artnet in 2014.
DR. ANNE LAURE BANDLE
Anne Laure is an associate at the lawfirm Borel & Barbey in Geneva as part of its art law practice group. She advises individuals and corporations in all aspects of art law, copyright, contract law and commercial law. She also practices law in matters related to private clients and foundations. Moreover, Anne Laure is the director of the Art Law Foundation, a Foundation based in Geneva which aims at supporting teaching and research in art law by means of several events per year and publications dedicated to the various facets of art and cultural heritage law.
Anne Laure teaches copyright and art law at the University of Fribourg and art and cultural heritage law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She holds a PhD in law from the University of Geneva. Her PhD deals with the misattribution of art at auction and is published with Edward Elgar Publishing.
Elizabeth Brooks' professional life spanned twenty years working in the communications industry, in public relations, advertising and fashion magazine publishing in Boston, New York and London.
She has a keen interest in modern and contemporary art and is a Patron of a number of arts organisations including Roche Court Educational Trust, the Art Fund, Artangel, Turner Contemporary, The Showroom and the Unseen Photography Circle in Amsterdam. She is a member of the Directors Council of The Photographers Gallery and serves on Tate’s Photography Acquisition Committee. She was the Chair of the Tate Patrons Executive Committee from 2011-14. The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Foundation funds The Brooks International Fellowship Programme at Tate. Now in its third year, the programme enables three curators, researchers or art historians from beyond Europe and North America, to develop their research around a specific theme at Tate, over a 12-week period.
Elizabeth is a trustee of P3, People, Potential and Possibilities, the social exclusion charity, and is a member of the Fundraising Steering Group of The Rugby Portobello Trust, a charity which supports disadvantaged young people in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Foundation funds The Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College at The University of Manchester, providing opportunities for up to 100 early career researchers of international development, addressing global inequalities.
She is married to Dr. Rory Brooks CBE, founder partner of MML Capital Partners, and they live in West London with their two children.
May has spent 10 years working in arts development and has held posts at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Tate before founding May Calil Consultants in 2014. With her years of experience working in and with institutions both as a fundraiser and donor, May offers clients a unique perspective. Recent clients include The Chisenhale, The Showroom, Cass Sculpture Foundation and Bold Tendencies. May is also the Development adviser to Brunswick Arts.
May is Chair of the Young Patrons of the Royal Academy and Chair of Chisenhale’s Development Board. She sits on a number of other boards including The Delfina Foundation’s Strategic Advisory Board, the Editorial Board for the Royal Academy of Arts Magazine and the Olswang Art Prize Panel. She previously sat on the Board of Trustees of Auto Italia and The Chinati Contemporary Council. She is an avid collector of contemporary art and has strong relationships with young artists and galleries.
May studied History of Art at Cambridge University (King’s College) and has Masters in Islamic Art and Architecture from SOAS.
Kate Gordon is the founder and CEO of London Art Studies. Having produced arts programming for CNN and Carlton, she decided to launch London Art Studies in 2011 which provides educational courses on art for individuals and for corporate events. Kate previously headed up Sotheby’s Public Programmes department. Educated at St Paul’s Girls' School, Amherst College USA and University of Moscow, she has worked in the art world for over 20 years. Kate is a co-founder of Women in the Arts, writes about Contemporary Art for London’s Evening Standard newspaper, and is an Ambassador for Arts Alliance.
Sigrid Kirk is co-founder of Arts Co, a cultural production agency that creates content, advises on strategy, and produces events across fashion, art, design, film and theatre. A New Zealander, with an MA (Hons) in Art History Kirk, moved to the UK 18 years ago to pursue a career in contemporary art.
She currently curates Bloomberg’s ‘Waste Not Want It’, an environmental initiative that over the last 5 years has commissioned 40 projects by 37 artists and designers. She is a Trustee of The Drawing Room, on the Development Board of the V&A Museum and the Ikon London Advisory Board.
Julie Lomax is the Director of Development at Liverpool Biennial. She is responsible for developing partnerships, and raising funds to support Liverpool Biennial, from a wide range of organisations and individuals, both commercial and public.
Julie Lomax joined Liverpool Biennial after working as the Director of Visual Arts for the Australia Council for the Arts, where she was responsible for visual arts policy and investment. Julie ran the International Studio programme and worked on Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale in 2013 and 2015.
Julie previously worked at Arts Council England as the Director of Visual Arts for London. In this role she was responsible for a client portfolio of 67 organisations and over £40m investment in the arts in London.
In London, Julie was a commissioner for the Fourth Plinth contemporary art project in Trafalgar Square, sat on the commissioning panel for artworks in the 2012 Olympic Park, and was an advisory group member for Art on the Underground.
Julie currently holds a Board position at The Showroom, London and was previously on the Board of Artes Mundi, Cardiff. In 2010 the Times Newspaper nominated Julie as one of the 30 most powerful people in the art world on their Art Power list, and Julie appeared on Australian Art Life Power List in 2014 and 2015.
Julie originally trained as an artist, graduating from Chelsea School of Art with a degree in Fine Art.
Aurore serves as Director of Art at The Arts Club on Dover Street and as a Consultant for Roberta Moore Contemporary, based in London. She is responsible for curating the Club’s art events programme – speakers include Frances Morris, Don McCullin, Cornelia Parker and Theaster Gates - in addition to overseeing all other art partnerships, serving as the face of ‘Art’ at The Arts Club.
For art consultancy Roberta Moore Contemporary she primarily facilitates the signing of new artists, in addition to offering strategic advice. Aurore is also an Ambassador for the Tate Young Patrons. Previously she worked as a Director at Hiltzik Strategies New York, specializing in strategic communications for high profile individuals and companies, in the fields of media, entertainment and philanthropy, including Katie Couric, Alec Baldwin, Dreamworks and The Weinstein Company. Prior to that Aurore worked for three years on CNN New York’s Breaking News Desk where she produced packages for CNN’s domestic daily shows including Anderson Cooper and American Morning. Aurore graduated from University College London with a B.A. Honours degree in History of Art and a minor in Anthropology. Born and raised in London, she speaks fluent Swedish and Spanish.
Nazy Vassegh has over 25 years’ experience in the art world, spanning auction, advisory and art fairs. At Sotheby’s she was a Senior Director of the Company and Managing Director of the Impressionist and Modern art division. Whilst there, she held a variety of senior management roles in the worldwide divisions of Contemporary Art, Jewels and launched ‘Sotheby’s Preferred’ in Europe.
In 2013 she joined Masterpiece Fair as Chief Executive Officer. She was instrumental in raising the profile of the Fair in the international art world by carefully curating the exhibitor profile to focus on world-class art, design and classical art. She set up and developed the Masterpiece Patron programme, forged structured partnerships with leading companies from the world of finance, art, travel and luxury; and significantly increased company profit and visitor numbers.
Nazy is an independent art advisor and strategic consultant for a select number of private and corporate clients. She is based in London and travels frequently working across art, design and luxury.