Chief Curators

Viviana Checchia (1982) She worked as assistant curator for Eastside Projects, not for profit space based in Birmingham (UK)where she researched and assisted in curating the shows Abstract Cabinet Show(26 September to 8 November 2009); Liam Gillick Two Short Plays. Her projects as an independent curator include Back to Rome,solo show by Angelo Castucci (2010);There’s something to this (but I don’t know what it is) a solo show by Helen Brown at Nitra Gallery- Slovakia(2010)and Twist, curatorial project co-curated with Eleonora Farina at uqbar, 91mQ, Golden Parachutes and Hungarian Institute of Culture (2011) among others; she organized a serie of talks and screenings dedicated to art and social change as well as art in Eastern European countries. She took part of the European Course for Contemporary Art Curators in Milan arranged by the Province of Milan and the Fondazione Antonio Ratti (2009), as well as to the AICA International Summer Seminar Program of Art (2009) and the Gwangju Foundation Course for International Curators (2010).

Anna Santomauro (1983) lives and works as curator between Bari and Bologna. During the last years she has been collaborating with neon>campobase, a non profit association devoted to contemporary art. She has been curating mainly video projects (Playlist, neon>focus on video artists and, together with Vincenzo Estremo, neon>video selection). In 2009 she has started cooperating with Viviana Checchia within the projects: 1h art, Festa del Migrante and Green Days. Together with Vincenzo Estremo she is carrying out an indipendent research focused on the social changes connected to new mobility phenomenon and on the concept of identity and community. She writes on Arte & Critica magazine. She has founded, together with Viviana Checchia, vessel, non profit art space.

Nicoletta Daldanise (1980) is an art writer and curator. During the last years she contributes to several shows and events both for public and private spaces (Museo di Capodimonte, Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Terme di Diocleziano, Galleria Umberto Di Marino, Galleria Artiaco, M HKA di Anversa, Museo Apparente, Pasajist Istanbul, Castel Sant’Elmo, Castello di Rivoli, Opere scelte). Moreover, she collaborated as press office to some art fairs. Her articles were published on Arte e Critica, Flash Art, Artribune, Teknemedia and Rijksakademie blog, catalogues of several monographic shows. Since 2009 she is interested in the independent art scene and collaborated to several non profit organizations as project manager. At the moment she studies new models of informal education and participatory reserach with Vessel. As co-founder of Impasse cultural association, instead, she searches for the extending contexts of contemporary art and its public / political dimension.


Giulia Palomba (1988, Cagliari, Italy) is a free-lance curator. She currently lives in Turin where she collaborates with the Cultural Non-for-profit Kaninchen-Haus for the project Viadellafucina16 Condominium-Museum. In 2017 she co-curated CampoSud. A visionary camp in Cagliari and was a research fellow of the research platform School of Redistribution in Athens, organized by Future Climates.
She previously worked as assistant to the artistic director of Cagliari Italian Capital of Culture 2015 for the public program Space is the Place; for the Contemporary Art Museum Castello di Rivara (Turin) and WhiteBox (New York).
 She holds a BA in Multimedia Art and a MA in Cinema and Video from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. In the last year she was guest auditor of the Curatorial/Knowledge program directed by Irit Rogoff at the Goldsmiths College of London and she co-founded the Cultural Cooperative Network, presented with a dedicated paper session at Participatory Governance in Culture International Conference in Rijeka by Kultura Nova Foundation and at Future Climates #2 Graduating of Numbers Conference at KADIST Foundation, Paris.

Project Management

Sara Valente (1982, Bari, Italy) works in the field of management and communication of cultural projects. Graduated in History of Contemporary Art and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage, she has a Master degree in Art and Culture Management from the Trentino School of Management and Mart_Museum of modern and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto. After an internship in the communication office of PAV_Parco Arte Vivente in Turin, in 2010 she began to collaborate with the Apulia Film Commission Foundation as account manager and web editor for Circuito d’Autore, a five-year project dedicated to the dissemination and promotion of the video art and arthouse cinema. At the same time she collaborates with the University of Basilicata as tutor of the design workshop of History of Contemporary Architecture at the Faculty of Engineering. Since 2016 she has worked as a freelancer collaborating with different organizations, institutions (Apulia Region, City of Bari), companies (Aeroporti di Puglia, C.I.Bi) in the production and/or communication of trade fairs (BuyPuglia 2017, Fiera del Levante, Sana Bologna, Biofach Nuremberg), festivals (BAM_Black American Music festival, BIG_Bari International Gender film festival) exhibitions and cultural events.  She’s co-founder of Cook Your Movie, a project of film tourism in Puglia.


Maria Gracia de Pedro (1990, Zaragoza, Spain) has a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from University of Zaragoza and a Master Degree in the Art Market from the UDIMA-CEF University (Madrid). After her academic studies Maria obtained an executive certificate in International Leadership in Visual Arts Management from Deusto Business School, Guggenheim and NYU University.  Since 2012 she has been liaising with artists for their production of artworks and as advisor for them. She has been working in commercial galleries such as Francesco Pantaleone Arte Contemporanea (Palermo), waterside contemporary (London) and Aldama Fabre (Bilbao). Currently, Maria is the director of JosédelaFuente art gallery, a PhD candidate at Granada University researching on a topic focused on the emerging artists and their development in the art market nowadays. Likewise, giving sporadically lectures about the contemporary art market.


Andrea Vara (1982) is a fundraiser specialized in the nonprofit sector. He was responsible for the environmental and cultural projects Back to Rome (Naples, 2010). He is currently working as fundraiser for vessel and he is promoter for a project focused on supporting the integration of refugees.

Former collaborators

Rachel Pafe is a senior art history and art studio undergraduate student at University of Maryland, College Park. She has a strong interest in curatorial and theoretical approaches in contemporary art. She is currently completing her honors research thesis on the evolving methodology and necessity of institutional critique. She additionally works with p.h. Balanced Films, a Washington, D.C, activist film company, responsible for writing both blog articles and grants. Formerly vessel intern, she had been in constant contact with the team since vessel project started its actvities.

Claudia Balocchini is a lawyer admitted to the Florence’s Bar since 2007. She is specialized in corporate law, no-profit law, tax law, copyright, authors right and the protection of cultural and creative works as well as the protection of inventions in general. She serves as a companies and no-profit organizations consultant in establishment matters, start-up, statutory changes, governance, tax planning, asset protection, fundraising and project managing. After a master’s degree in tax law in Florence and an advanced training course in cultural management at the LUISS University in Rome, she applies also their skills to the contemporary cultural context.

Fabio Gnali (1981) lives and works in Brescia (Italy). After the M.A. degree in Communication Sciences at Università di Trieste (Italy), he attended a master in art and culture management (mac) at tsm (Trento, Italy). He worked for goodwill where he was involved in elaborating communication strategies for cultural events and istitutions, such as museums, art galleries, territorial administrations, and he was web communication manager for the 3rd edition of the festival of Contemporary art of Faenza. Currently he is communication manager for vessel and copyrighter and communication strategist for a web agency.

Vincenzo Estremo (1980) has got a degree in Cultural Heritage at the Faculty of Arts, University of Urbino, he has subsequently achieved a degree in History of Contemporary Art at the same university. After working on the study of management and the art market, he has worked for two years at the headquarters of San Marco in Venice Auction House SPA. He has been  awarded at the festival Iceberg 2009 as young writer and he has won with a collection of short stories: Homer and other famous men, published by Pendragon. After a period of residence at Città dell’arte Pistoletto Foundation has started to work as responsible for cultural planning for contemporary art and documentary filmmaking. He collaborates with neon>campobase (Bologna) and vessel (Bari) writes for the Italian portal Tafter.

Vlad Morariu (1983) is a theoretician and art critic educated in philosophy. He is currently a PhD researcher at Loughborough University School of the Arts where he is a member of the Politicized Practice Research Group. His thesis explores the present conditions and possibilities of critical art practices, with a particular focus on institutional critique. In different contexts he worked as curator and cultural organizer. He translated Arthur Danto’s Transfiguration of the Commonplace in Romanian, and published texts and interviews in collective editions (Public Art Bucharest 2007, Idea, 2007; Atlas of Transformation, JRP-Ringier 2010; Romanian Cultural Resolution, Hatje Kantz, 2011) and in art magazines and journals such as Vector. Art and culture in context and Idea. Art + Society.

Francesco Scasciamacchia(Italy, 1982) is a researcher and art writer based in London. He is currently a PhD candidate at Queen Mary University of London with a project on: “The Return of the Political in Europe: how to react to ‘post-political’ scenarios through artistic, curatorial and activist practices”. He worked during these years for public and private art institutions such as, DOCVA-Viafarini, Milan; MART-Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rovereto (ITA) and Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation, Milan. Recently he worked as news editor for the contemporary art magazine, Flash Art. He is a Critical Studies Fellow for the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York (2013-2014). Francesco co-curates vessel alongside Viviana Checchia, Anna Santomauro and Vlad Morariu.

Rachel Paarman in 2010 completed her B.A. degree in art history at the University of California, Irvine. Her special interests include female artists of the Surrealist movement, Post-Impressionism, the Baroque movement and the court of Louis XIV. Shortly after graduating, Rachel served as an intern in the Collections Department of the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, California. She currently resides in Irvine where she works as a barista and plans to pursue a M.A. degree in art history and museum studies.

Sarah Bufano is an undergraduate at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. She is an International Economics major with strong involvement in many university organizations. She has a strong background in advertising, fundraising, marketing, and has served as treasurer for more than one organization. In Spring 2011 she studied abroad at Bocconi University in Milano where she continued her business and economics coursework. Her interests in art, history, and politics led her to vessel.


Chiara Ianeselli (Trento 1989) is an independent curator based in Trento. Graduated in Cultural Heritage with a research thesis on Roberto Crippa, among recent activities, with the role of curatorial assistant, she has worked with Marcos Lutyens and Raimundas Malašauskas for the Hypnotic Show in dOCUMENTA (13), where she also assisted Tue Greenfort for The Worldly House. In the latest edition of Artissima in Turin she held the position of assistant to Francesca Bertolotti, head of curatorial projects. Involved in the organization of exhibitions in various galleries and institutions, including the Arte Boccanera and the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa she recently has worked as assistant curator to the Lithuanian Cypriot Pavillion for the 55. edition of the Venice Biennale. For this edition she also co-curated Fielding States: Depth Projection at the Maldives Pavilion.

Berçin Damgacı was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey where she completed her B.A. degree in Interior Architecture and Environmental Design at Bilkent University in 2008.  Shortly after the graduation, she moved abroad to study M.A. in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, Italy. Her interest in relationship among art space, art piece and society led her to investigate for the graduation thesis “Beyond the White Cube”Alteration of Exhibition Spaces under the supervision of Mauruzio Bortolotti. In 2010 September, she moved to Berlin, Germany to be the assistant of Italian artist Patrick Tuttofuoco who is also a teaching professor at NABA. During the experience, she involved in every stage; from the very beginning till the exhibition day of the artistic project in Peres Project Gallery, Berlin. Between 2010 and 2012, she also took part in varied occasions and projects: as the freelance apprentice for Forniture Pallotta (Berlin) which is a culinary project by Alessandra Pallotta, Babylon Kulturelle Ubersetzungsburo (U-Bahn Stations, Berlin) as an “agent” for the art project of Bernardine Carroll and she was a participant of the group-solo exhibition Odds and Ends (Isola Art Center Libreria Puerto de Libros, Milan) under the supervision of Andrea Sala and Bert Theis. Currently, Berçin Damgacı lives in Berlin, Germany and Ankara, Turkey looking for new and challenging ways to make the best of her current skills and knowledge as well as seeking methods to develop further in order to refine them to be more appropriate to work in art world.

Tiziana Talocci graduated in History of Contemporay Art at the University of Bologna, and works as Assistant Curator in Contemporary Art projects. She has collaborated with the Gallery Sala1 of Rome, Galleria Uno of Rome and at the Romanian Academy in Rome. It was the first trainee and then Assistant Curator in the event 20eventi di Arte Contemporanea in Sabina for editions 2009 and 2010, mainly dealing with an intermediary between artists and the people, institutions and local cultural realities. Between 2007 and 2008 he spent time in Germany, in Berlin, where she served an internship at a private gallery in the Project Leonardo, and where she carried out the research for the dissertation, devoted to the phenomenology of the voids in Berlin and the urban art forms connected with them.

Borbála Szalai (1983) graduated at the Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest – Department of Art history. Until 2012 she was the executive director of the Studio of Young Artists’ Association, a non-profit gallery space and association in Budapest (HU). As an independent curator she curated several group exhibitions involving artists from East-Europe; for example Afterimage (Meet Factory Gallery, Prague) State of Affairs (AMT Project, Bratislava), Flashbulb Memory (Studio Gallery, Budapest; Institut Hongrois, Paris). Currently she is a PhD researcher at the Eotvos Lorand University – Philosophy Doctoral School – Aesthetics Program, and works as a freelance curator.