About the Jurors
Sharon Burton, Founder, The Artinista Art Advisory, Washington, D.C
Sharon Burton is a Washington, DC based artist, art advisor and independent curator. She is the founder and Creative Director of SJB Creative Ventures, LLC which consists of two entities: Gemini Visions Art Studio (launched in 2007) which focuses on her own artistic endeavors as a mixed media/collage/assemblage artist and The Artinista Art Advisory (launched in 2012) with the mission to increase number of professional women art collectors to close the gender gap in fine art collecting through a variety of art consultancy services.
Ms. Burton served as the first curator of the Tubman-Mahan Art Gallery which was located within the Center of Green Urbanism in Washington, DC from 2010-2011 which she coordinated a variety of environmentally-themed exhibitions featuring local emerging artists. Between 2006-2010, Sharon served as an art curator, consultant, juror and intern to a variety of organizations and venues in the Washington, DC area including the former Ramee Art Gallery (Washington, DC), Overdue Recognition Art Gallery (Bowie, Maryland), the Millennium Arts Salon (Washington, DC), DC Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art, Liberated Muse Productions (Washington, DC), and Lil So So Productions (Washington, DC).
Sharon has contributed as blogger/arts correspondent highlighting local artists and exhibitions for online websites including the DC Examiner.com (DC Fine Arts Examiner 2010-11), LilSoSo.com (local entertainment website) and the former MahoganyButterfly.com. She is currently contributing as a blogger for a new online lifestyle magazine, Domicilemag.com focusing on highlighting local artists and art galleries in the Metro Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland area.
Robert Devereux, Founder, African Arts Trust and Chairman, Frieze Events & Magazines Ltd, London, England
After graduating from Cambridge University, Robert Devereux worked with Amnesty International and Macmillan Publishers before joining Virgin in 1980 as Richard Branson’s partner. He established the entertainment division of the company of which he was Chairman, which included the creation of Virgin Vision, in its day Europe’s leading film and video producer and distributor, the launching of Virgin Radio, Virgin Net, Virgin Interactive Entertainment and masterminding the purchase of Virgin Cinemas.
In 1996 Robert sold his interests in Virgin in order to concentrate on his family, leisure investments and his charitable activities. He has been Chairman of Soho House plc and The Big Sleep Hotels Ltd.
He is currently the Chairman of New Forest Holdings Ltd, a sustainable and commercial African Forestry company with operations in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Mozambique. He is also Chairman of Frieze Events & Magazines Ltd, the London based art fair & publishing business. He is also a member of the supervisory board of Catalyst Partners, a Nairobi based East African private equity firm.
His non-commercial interests include the Portobello Trust, Save the Rhino International, Westside School and Kuona Trust. He has established The African Arts Trust, which through its grant making will support professional practicing artists trying to make a livelihood out of art in Africa. He is Chairman of the Tate’s African Acquisitions Committee and on the advisory board of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. Robert has recently joined the Global Advidsory Council Board of Ifa Lethu, a Tshware based non-profit foundation. He has been a Governor of The South Bank Centre, a Founding Director of the Central London Training and Enterprise Council and a Founding Director of North Kensington City Challenge.
Robert spends a significant amount of time in East Africa, where he owns a house in Lamu in Northern Kenya, and is involved in a number of community and commercial projects. He is also a passionate collector of modern and contemporary British art and African art and has formed, in partnership with friends, the Daraja collection.
Deana Haggag,Director, The Contemporary (Museum) of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
Deana Haggag has been the Director of The Contemporary since the spring of 2013. Prior to her work with The Contemporary, she was the Curator-in-Residence at Gallery CA, which is also located in Baltimore, MD in the City Arts building — home to over 90 artists. Deana received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Philosophy. In addition to her work at The Contemporary, Deana curates independent exhibitions, consults on various public art initiatives, and contributes to cultural publications. She is on the board of Whoop Dee Doo, Station North Tool Library, and is the Dean of the Baltimore Chapter of the Awesome Foundation. Deana was named “10 People to Watch Under 30” by the Baltimore Sun in 2013.
Makgati Molebatsi, Board Member, Bag Factory Artists Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa
Makgati Molebatsi has extensive experience in marketing and integrated communications (advertising, promotions and public relations). She has over 30 years experience gained from various industries; FMCG, retail and energy and advertising.
After working briefly for the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in a voluntary capacity, her interest in the visual arts was stimulated. The interest has led to establishing meaningful relationships with a large number of artists, curators and art critics locally and internationally. She sits on the board of the Bag Factory Artists Studios in Johannesburg, a visual art organization providing studios for artists and residency programmes for local and international artists; and also serves on the organizations selection committee. She participates in the Business and Art South Africa’s mentorship programme, and is currently mentoring the Director of the Ithuba Art Fund, an initiative which introduces early career artists to the art market.
Myrtis Bedolla, Founding Director, Galerie Myrtis
Myrtis Bedolla is founding director of Galerie Myrtis, a contemporary fine art gallery located in Baltimore, Maryland. She was featured in the October 2013 issue of the Baltimore Style Magazine article “Women in the Arts” which honored women at the helm of the Baltimore art scene.
Myrtis possesses over 20 years of experience as an advisor to private and institutional collectors in the acquisition and sale of fine art; and provides professional curatorial services, lectures and educational programming to corporate, civic and arts organizations. She is the recipient of the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, African Language Institute, Shona Language and Culture, from Michigan State University; holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland, University College, and received her curatorial training at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. As cultural liaison for the embassies of Ghana, Haiti, Mali, Republic of Georgia and Zimbabwe; Ms. Bedolla uses art to encourage cultural exchange and awareness. One of the highlights of her career was an opportunity to participate in a project with the National Museum of Niger, Niamey to research and document the utilitarian and ceremonial art forms created by women of the eight ethnic groups in Niger. The objects collected were featured in the exhibition: The World of Women of Niger mounted at the museum in 2005.
Ms. Bedolla is a contributing writer to The International Review of African American Art and Valentine Magazine; online newsletters: ARTINFO and IRAAA (International Review of African American Art). She serves on the Art Advisory Board, University of Maryland University College, College Park Maryland; Board of Directors for the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Washington, D.C.; and Executive Board for the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Baltimore, Maryland.
Myrtis is a member of ArtTable: a national organization for professional women in the visual arts. And sits on the Practicum Advisory Committee for the Masters in Curatorial Studies for Maryland Institute College of Art; Audience Committee for the Walters Art Museum; Leadership Council Committee for the Open Society Institute of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland; Scholarship Committee for the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington, D.C. and has served on the Art Advisory Committee for the Deutsch Foundation, and is a past Grant Panelist for the District of Columbia Commission for the Arts and Humanities.
Myrtis Bedolla photo credit: Baltimore Style Magazine, Justin Tsucalas, Photographer