Natalia Lebedinskaia is the new Director of Public Projects at the Vancouver Biennale. She is responsible for overseeing the realization and installation of Vancouver Biennale’s Open Air Museum.
Born in Moscow, Russia, Natalia held the position of Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba for six years before moving to Vancouver. From 2015 to 2018, Natalia was a lead curator on LandMarks2017, a Canada 150 Signature Project that brought contemporary art to National Parks throughout Canada. In her LandMarks2017 project, Coalescence, she worked with Michael Belmore to realize a three-part stone sculpture spanning two provinces and thousands of miles in a reflection on migration, resilience, and geological time. She holds an MA in Art History and a BFA in Art History & Studio Art from Concordia University.
Contact natalia [at] vancouverbiennale.com
Director of Operations
Sammi Wei is a serial entrepreneur whose career focused on project management and strategic growth in the creative industries. Her commitment to the Vancouver Biennale is to create unforgettable experiences based in art as a legacy for the community.
Having split her childhood between Vancouver and beautiful Yangzhou, China, Sammi is passionate about bridging cultures as she has done with her own cultural identities. Sammi holds a BCom from UBC Sauder School of Business, where she double majored in Finance and Real Estate.
Visual Marketing Specialist
Yadira Stubbs is a Graphic Designer, Marketing Specialist, and Web Developer with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Design (B.A) from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Certificate in Technical Web Development from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), both in Vancouver, BC.
Born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Yadira carries over six (6) years of experience in the Graphic Design industry working alongside various businesses and entrepreneurs to establish their brand. She is extremely passionate about establishing ideal user experiences and joins the Vancouver Biennale team with a strategic focus on Social Media Management and Marketing and Branding strategies.
Contact yadira [at] vancouverbiennale.com
Michael Suh (Duozhuang Su)
Senior Curator for Asia
Michael Suh carries years of experience as Executive Director for the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing. Other prominent positions include founder and director of the vibrARTion Project, Deputy Director for International Coordination, China Sculpture Institute, ISC Member of International Committee, KAO (Kinetic Art Organization) Executive Director for China. Major activities include Beijing Olympic Sculpture Project, Yuzi Paradise International Sculpture Project (one of the first sculpture projects involving international artists to work in China for larger sculpture commissions), NordArt China Pavilion for Chinese Cultural Year in Germany, Forms of the Formless: Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art, A Passage to the Alps: Chinese Artists in St. Urban and “Critical Connections” celebrating the 65th Anniversary of China-Switzerland Partnerships.
Michael Suh is currently Guest Professor at the Guangxi Normal University School of Fine Arts.
BIG IDEAS Coordinator
Jessa Alston-O’Connor is the coordinator of BIG IDEAS, the Vancouver Biennale’s education programs for schools in BC and beyond, and she develops new learning opportunities with other Biennale projects. As an art educator and art historian, she brings over 15 years of experience in developing, facilitating and teaching art history and art education programs in museums and arts organization across Canada including the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her work lies in the gaps between artwork and audience, and her focus is always to help make art engaging and accessible for anyone. She holds an MA in Art History from Concordia University, and is also an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Whether in a university classroom, in a museum, or outdoors with public art, her focus is to create programs and experiences for meaningful connections between art and diverse publics—because art is for everyone.
Contact learning[at] vancouverbiennale.com
Community Outreach Coordinator
Lori Lai is a conceptual artist based in Vancouver, BC. She received her formal education and training at Simon Fraser University, graduating with a BFA in Contemporary and Visual Art.
Lori is always thinking about, and working towards new ways to support the arts, seeking to bring artistic communities together and rethink creative survival in the artistic climate.
As an artist, she is interested in the visceral implications of digital culture on society and dependence on technology as a coping mechanism. She works with bio/materials to create strange sculptures.
Special Project Manager BIKEnnale 2020
Sarah Giacomantonio (she/her) is from Halifax Nova Scotia, with a love of soil, glitter and bikes. After finishing her masters of Environmental Science at the University of Guelph Sarah worked for multiple seasons as an outdoor education teacher and sea kayak guide. She entered the cycling world as a volunteer at local charity events, further growing to love the sport as a multi-day cycle guide throughout Atlantic Canada. Sarah has found herself most interested in engaging with the public on the social and environmental topics she has dedicated her professional and personal life to.
“As a female, cycling has given me my freedom, independence and confidence, something I hope everyone feels in their lifetime.” Sarah is excited to show Vancourverites far and wide that you don’t need to be an athlete to ride a bike and you don’t need to be an artist to enjoy art.
Ammar has been working as the Director of Public Projects at the Vancouver Biennale from 2013 to 2018. Prior to this he worked as a program consultant for the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai from 2011-2013, as part of an international interdisciplinary team. He was also the Education Officer at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, where he developed visitor outreach programming. Ammar studied Anthropology & History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Contact ammar [at] vancouverbiennale.com