Academic Advisor

Academic Advisor from France

Tom Masson was born in 1990, he currently lives and works in Paris / Montreuil. After a year of preparatory class in applied arts (specialty engraving) in Paris 11th, Tom Masson began a training at the Beaux-Arts in Rennes, but left to pusue studies in art history and curating. He graduated from the University of Rennes 2 as well as the Ecole du Louvre (Art XX and Research in Museology) where he conducted research on Artists’ Books (under the direction of Didier Schulmann and Camille Morando) and later on the Artist-run spaces (Edited by Francois Mairesse). He participated in events and conferences on this subject (Beaux-Arts de Paris, We-Run the Space conference). Tom Masson is a secretary of Homework-inc, a curatorial association that organizes exhibitions and contemporary art events. He has already participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Rennes and Paris.

Séverine C. Martin-Hartenstein is the director of Columbia Undergraduate Programs in Paris. She earned her BA in Comparative Literature from Barnard College, and her PhD from Columbia University’s French Department.

Lou Mo is from Montreal and graduated from McGill University where she studied biology and art history. She worked in natural history museums in Canada before moving to Paris to earn a M.A. in Asian studies. After some time in an auction house, she is now working in an art gallery. Her interests in art span from ancient to contemporary, and she is always on the lookout for the unfamiliar.

Jean-Pierre Reichenbach received MBA from Columbia’s Graduate School of Business in 1970. A native Parisian, Jean-Pierre enjoys art history (he is an auditor at Ecole du Louvre), baroque music, and horseback riding. His philanthropic interests outside of Columbia include the Société des Amis de Versailles, the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, and the Association des Amis de l’Opera Royal de Versailles.

Academic Advisor from China

Zhen Wei is the Professor of Fine Arts and Associate Dean of School of Arts and Communication, Director of Jingshi Gallery at Beijing Normal University. He is also the Fulbright Visiting Scholar 2017-2018 at School of Visual Art in New York city. He is specialized in oil painting, drawing, ink brush painting and new media. Professor Zhen is the recipient of “Second Prize of National Teaching Achievement”, 2009, China and “Third Prize of the 7th National Outstanding Youth Publication”, National News Publication Bureau, 2001, China. He also had solo and group exhibitions in many cities in China, Germany, Italy, the U.S., the UK, Hungary, Chile, and Peru.

Yu Ding, Professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Doctoral Supervisor, Doctor of Art History, Dean of the School of Art and Education and the School of Sino-French Art and Design, Vice President of the Chinese Art and Education Institute, Vice Director of both the Art Education Committee of China Artists Association and Art Research Professional Committee of China Literature and Art Critics Association. He has been selected by the Ministry of Culture as Chief Expert of “Cross-century Talents Plan”, “Research on Development and Training of Talents in Art Institutes” – a major research project in National Philosophy and Social Sciences, and three national arts fund projects. He has served as the general director of “Happy Spring Festival – Chinese Arts” in New York, and won the first prize on the 8th Chinese Literary Criticism Award. His main research focuses on national arts and cultural policies, curatorial and museum education, art and cultural industries, art history and contemporary art criticism.

He Yunlan, graduating from Central Academy of Fine Arts, China in 1962, is the Director of Children Arts Committee of China Artists Association. She was formerly the art editor of the “Sports Journal” and the Director and Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts at Central Academy of Drama, China. She has participated in dozens of important international and domestic art exhibitions, such as the National Art Exhibition, which was selected for four consecutive years. She has held eight personal art exhibitions in France, the United States, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand, and has conducted investigations and lectures about fine arts. She has won two silver medals, one bronze medal, and several international excellence awards at the National Art Exhibition.

Academic Advisor from Brazil

Roger Mello, Brazilian writer and illustrator. He was born in Brasilia in 1965. Winner of the International Hans Christian Andersen 2014 Award in Illustrator Category. the Prize is awarded by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), considered the Nobel Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature. The patroness of the Prize is Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. In November 2014 Roger received the Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Award as Best Foreign Author in China and the book “The Feather” with Cao WenXuan’s history illustrated by Roger received the award: China’s Most Beautiful Book of the Year. Roger’s exhibition in September / October 2014 at the Seoul Arts Center, Korea’s most prestigious arts center, was a public and critical success with an average of 1,300 visitors per day, more than 100 articles published and around 2,000 blogs created specifically about exposure. The exhibition was considered one of the 10 best exhibitions in Korea by the most widely read newspaper in Seoul, appearing alongside exhibitions such as those of Munch and Van Gogh. He has received numerous awards in Brazil and abroad for his work as an illustrator and writer. It is considered hours concours by the National Foundation of Children and Youth Book that, besides granting him several prizes, nominated him for the International Prize Hans Christian Andersen 2010 and 2012 in the category illustrator, being classified like one of the 5 finalists in 2010 like in 2012 and in 2014, when he won the Prize. From the Brazilian Chamber of Books, Roger was awarded nine times with the Jabuti Prize. He was awarded by the Brazilian Academy of Letters and, in the Brazilian Union of Writers, by the set of his work. He participated in several international book fairs such as Catalonia, Rome, Frankfurt, Bologna, Gothenburg, Brooklyn (Brooklyn Public Library), Sarmede (Le Immagini Della Fantasia), New Dehli, Padova (I Colori del Sacro), Nami Island South), Bogotá, Santo Domingo, Havana. His book “Meninos do Mangue” received the International Best Book of the Year award from Fondation Espace Enfants (Switzerland) in 2002. Together with other Brazilian authors, he was honored at the Escale Brésil of the Montreuil Hall in France in 2005. In the same year, his illustrations on the popular verses of the book “Nau Catarineta” were in itinerant exhibition by the libraries of Paris. Three of his books (The Flower on the Side of It, All Care is Little !, Boys of the Mangue) consisted of the “list of books that every child should read before becoming adult”, published by Folha de S. Paulo in 2007. 

Bruno Assami, Executive Director of Unibes Cultural. Mr. Bruno Assami is responsible for the planning, structuring and implementing projects like Unibes Cultural where th São Paulo leg of the No-Boundaries Art Project will be exhibited.. Acting in both strategy and business operations management, he has a large expertise in cultural affairs and in the nonprofit sector. He has occupied key positions in institutions such as São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), Tomie Ohtake Institute, Itaú Cultural Institute and Brazilian Graphic Designers Association (ADG). With a Bachelor degree in Public Relations and a Master degree in Technology for Education, Bruno is currently the Executive Director of Unibes Cultural, the Director of Barretos’ Cultural Arena for Cancer Prevention (under implementation) and the Cultural Consultant for The Portuguese Consulate-General in the City of São Paulo. He also represents The PROA Foundation in Brazil, in charge of a series of international activities.

Vik Muniz, Brazilian artist and photographer. Initially a sculptor, Muniz grew interested with the photographic representations of his work, eventually focusing completely on photography. Primarily working in series, Muniz incorporates the use of quotidian objects such as diamonds, sugar, thread, chocolate syrup and garbage in his practice to create bold, ironic and often deceiving imagery, gleaned from the pages of pop culture and art history. His work has been met with both commercial success and critical acclaim, and has been exhibited worldwide. In 2010, Muniz was featured in the documentary film Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker, which featured Muniz’s work on one of the world’s largest garbage dumps, Jardim Gramacho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The film was nominated to the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 83rd Academy Awards.

Jaider Esbell, Artist, writer and indigenous cultural producer of the Makuxi ethnic group. Esbell was born in Normandia, state of Roraima, in the northwest of Brazil and Amazon Forest. Before being an artist, a skill discovered in childhood, Esbell left his parents’ house in Roraima to finish school. Like all indigenous adolescents, he was then in contact with towns, cities and villages. Esbell worked to survive in the city for 8 months and would study at night in the public library to run for public calls from the federal office as an electrician. As an employee of Eletrobras (Federal Company of Energy), he is in contact with several activities beyond his functions like projects environmental education, socio-cultural activities, researches, as well as lead bilateral contacts between the Company and Indigenous Communities. At Eletrobras he reaches the top of his career for his role, receives several awards and makes a positive story in the entire state’s network. In 2010 Esbell decides to apply for a fellowship from the Ministry of Culture and he writes his first book. He starts to paint and since then, has traveled the world showcasing his art.

Tonia Casarin, Entrepreneur, Teacher, TC alumna, Lemann Fellow. Tonia Casarin holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from PUC-Rio and a Masters degree in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University in New York, USA. She has worked in the public sector (government of the city and State of Rio de Janeiro) and private. She is currently a postgraduate professor at the Singularities Institute of São Paulo, a consultant in the education field and works in partnership with Stanford University in projects at FabLearn Lab in Rio de Janeiro. Passionate about children and emotions, Tonia focused her studies on emotional and social intelligence, and how to develop it in adults, adolescents and children. During her research, she learned that the first step in developing 21st century skills is knowing how to identify feelings. In this context, Tonia wrote the book “I Have Monsters in my Belly”, a tool for children to learn to identify their own emotions. The success of the book led to the idea of creating an app, soon to be released by the educator. Tonia is also transforming her book into a social-emotional learning system for early childhood, such as teacher training, teaching materials and information and coaching for parents.  The artist collaborates with works and testimonies of collective experiences with contemporary indigenous art held in Roraima. Esbell runs a Contemporary Indigenous Art Gallery, opened to the community where he develops projects with the Xirixana people, inhabitants of the Yanomami Indigenous Reserve, Amazon forest region as well as various activities with the indigenous peoples of the savannah and mountains.  In 2016, he was nominated for the PIPA Award, the highest prize in contemporary Brazilian art.

Brenda Valensi, Creator and President of ArtRio. Vanansi studied art at EAV School of Visual Arts at Parque Lage and art history at PUC-RJ. She founded CRANIO, an innovative space for art and culture.  Brenda is the president of ArtRio, which is in its seventh edition confirming the fair as one of the most important on the world art scene. The fair welcomed 52,000 visitors to view works shown by 50 galleries at Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro.  ArtRio is more than an art fair; it is a unique event where visitors can view art work by the great masters along side works by up-and-coming artists. ArtRio is active on the art scene throughout the year promoting new artists and galleries by supporting exhibitions and study opportunities. The event is creating an artistic legacy for the Brazilian people who, eager consumers of art and culture, visit the fair in large numbers. 

Ninfa Parreiras, Author, psychoanalyst.  Ninfa Parreiras was born in Itaúna, Minas Gerais, and has lived in Rio de Janeiro for more than 15 years. She is the author of children’s literature: With the tide and the dream; The old lady of the coconuts; A sea of people; Things that come, things that go away; A roof of heaven and The enchanted hill. Master in Comparative Literature by the University of São Paulo – USP (2006), with the research: “Psychoanalysis of Toy in Literature for Children”. Graduated in Letters (1988) and in Psychology (1997), by Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC) – Rio de Janeiro. She is a Psychoanalyst of the Society of Psychoanalysis Iracy Doyle, Rio de Janeiro. Ninfa works in two different areas, marked by the presence of the word and subjectivity – Literature and Psychoanalysis; as a specialist in the National Foundation for Children and Youth Book (FNLIJ), since 1987. She is a teacher at Estação das Letras, RJ (since 2003) and is psychoanalyst at a clinic for children and adults. She is member of Letra Falante, a research group in children’s literature. She is the mother of three children.

The advisors are listed in no particular order.