MAXIMA STAFF, BOARD OF DIRECTORS & ADVISORY BOARD

MAXIMA Strives to create meaningful jobs where people feel valued, are recognized as individuals and are given opportunities for their gifts to impact the organization and the lives of others. MAXIMA is strutted under the management of an Executive Director acting with a Board of Directors and Advisory Board and Staff. The Board of Directors meets with founder and executive director, Yossi Govrin, on a bi-annual basis to keep the mission and vision of MAXIMA fresh, innovative and strategically growing in quality and sustainability in the future.

STAFF

 
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Yossi Govrin

Founder, Executive Director

Yossi Govrin is an internationally recognized artist, curator, leader of artists, philanthropist and visionary for the development of the arts with over 35 years in the cultural arts world. His unique ability to foster relationships and collaborations is evident from his scope of interaction with a wide range of high caliber curators from universities, museums, art institutes, public figures, established artists and emerging talent. Govrin developed and cultivated his vision of an arts center to support and promote multi-disciplinary artists with the inclusion of the Santa Monica community and Los Angeles in raising arts awareness, providing artist opportunities and conceiving and establishing an art space for a reputable and professional arts center to thrive from the Santa Monica Fine Arts Studio in 1985 to the Santa Monica Art Studios from 2002 to present and now the establishment of MAXIMA Art Initiative with a strong and diverse staff, Board of Directors and Art Advisors.

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Deb Foster

Assistant Director and Event Manager, Marketing

Ms Foster is responsible for supporting the executive director in management planning scheduling and monitoring progress of established goals and the attainment of objectives.

Ms Foster has been the Assistant Director for the Santa Monica Art Studios for the past three years. She is also an artist and holds an Associates Degree in Contemporary Photography. She has achieved success as a film maker winning several International film festivals for her short film, Leap. She has experienced management skills from producing films acting as an assistant manager in various fields as well as experience with marketing and specializing in promotions and events. Ms Foster is a native of New Zealand.

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Emily Ashenfelter

Fundraising Manager, Website & Social Media Manager

Ms Ashenfelter advocates for the MAXIMA by researching and submitting grant proposals as well as other fundraising activities to support MAXIMA’s artists and programs. Ms Ashenfelter promotes fundraising efforts and is a liason with donors and patrons of MAXIMA. Ms Ashenfelter ensures optimal artist and event representation on website and social media platforms.

Ms Ashenfelter is an arts advocate and media professional with extensive experience working with non profit arts organizations. She received her bachelor’s degree in Media Production and Film from the University of Iowa and her master’s degree in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management from Colorado State University. Over the years, she fulfilled the roles of board member, technical director and festival co-director. Her experience includes researching and securing grant funding, organizing fundraisers, composing press releases, producing commercial spots, and arranging filmmaker interviews. Her experience in festival administration has left her with a solid understanding of arts management and the challenges and rewards of arts fundraising and sponsorship.

 
 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Krista Augius

Krista Augius is MAXIMA Board of Director’s Chair and acts in a supportive role as a point person to organize the Board of Directors, monitor and strengthen programs and services, and monitor follow through of the mission and vision of MAXIMA. Ms Augius is currently helping to develop the Native Arts Program.

Krista Augius is a Los Angeles based multidisciplinary artist showing in national, international art exhibitions as well as international museum galleries. She is involved in visual, audio and the healing arts and devotes her artistic talents to supporting environmental art and various philanthropic causes such as Save the Elephants, the Chiari Project, A Window Between Worlds, Habitat for Humanity, Unicef and Breakthrough. Ms Augius is a Santa Monica resident and has been a Santa Monica Art Studios tenant artist for eight years and has benefitted greatly from Govrin’s art mentorship. Her educational background is in science and she is also a Doctor of Physiotherapy although she comes from a long line of familial artists such as Maironis, Paulius Augius, and Filomena Lipciute. She combines her art with meditation to enhance the healing process as well as to host artistic retreats for personal transformation and empowerment. Her doctoral work is currently involved in pursuing research in neuroscience that is reflected in her artwork and exploration of optical illusions and meditative states.

Berenika Boberska

Berenika Boberska serves on MAXIMA’s Board of Directors with a role to enhance the organization's public standing with her knowledge of contemporary art exhibitions and her affiliations with various international galleries and artist residencies, monitoring exhibition quality and progressing the vision for multidisciplinary art to promote cutting edge arts exhibitions with artistic relevance to our cultural times.

Berenika Boberska is a professor of Woodbury University of Architecture, curator of exhibitions and a contemporary artist based in Los Angeles and London. Berenika Boberska is an architect, installation artist and professor at Woodbury University School of Architecture, where she is the founding director of the Hinterlands Institute, a spatial research laboratory which aims to engage with contemporary rural conditions, as well as populations, which have largely been overlooked by the practice of architecture.

After working as a design architect at Gehry Partners for seven years, on the Spruce Tower in Manhattan and the Princeton Science Library amongst other projects, she started her own practice in Los Angeles in 2007. Feral Office, a visionary praxis engaged in architecture, prototypes and experiments, has won an international competition for the Architecture & Design Festival Pavilion in Novosibirsk, Russia, and was nominated for the Iakov Chernikhov Prize in 2010, for most innovative concepts of architecture. Berenika describes her practice as being akin to a laboratory. She is currently collaborating with a scientist on the concept of Solar Baroque – creating prototypes and structures for a more spatial, aesthetic and experiential photovoltaic energy production. Berenika’s design projects and installations have been exhibited and published worldwide, including at the Second Moscow Architecture Biennale, the Graphics Triennale in Jyväskylä, Finland and the University of Wyoming Art Museum. Her publications include Fallow City(For Detroit), Visionary Praxisand Cautionary Tales, and her short stories and drawings were included in the anthology - Storytelling Architecture.

Peter Culley

PeterCulley is on the Board of Directors of MAXIMA and brings his experience of working on cultural projects to progress MAXIMA's mission, vision and programs with effective planning and cross cultural innovation.

Peter is an architect and he collaborates extensively with arts organizations and helps to create art centers nationally and internationally with planning and architecture. He is the creative leader and founder of Spatial Affairs Bureau,an award-winning architecture, design and landscape studio based in Los Angeles, Richmond VA and London.

Central to his work ethos is being open across disciplines and scales, and to rich collaborations. He comes from a background in cultural projects where landscape has sat hand in hand with architecture and believes firmly that one informs the other. Peterhas been ‘Professor of Practice’ in the undergraduate and graduate programs at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture, thesis instructor at USC’s Masters of Landscape Program, Masters instructor at University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, and is a member of the UK’s RIBA Visiting Board for Architecture School Accreditation. His current projects include a 40 000 sq ft arts center in Memphis Tennessee; a 2 mile-long ‘bridgepark’ in Richmond, VA; ongoing remodeling of the TBWA\Chiat\Day offices in Playa Vista; a studio, gallery and residence for London-based artist Rana Begum, and various private homes in Southern California. He is currently developing a new installation, International Midnight Garden, with avant-garde London cellist Oliver Coates.

Keith Flamank

Keith Flamank is on MAXIMA’s Board of Directors and brings his experience as a curator in developing artist diversity, cultivating MAXIMA's national and international reach and supporting the organization of the Board's function and ethical integrity. 

For the past seven years Keith Flamank has served as President of Kiwis in LA, a 501(c)4 organization for New Zealand ex-pats and “friends of New Zealand” in Southern California. In this capacity, he has also organized and curated the annual Air New Zealand Kiwis in LA Art Show and Wine Tasting at Santa Monica Art Studios, one of the largest annual New Zealand events in the United States.

 Flamank has also served on the Arts Council for Long Beach Board of Directors, and curates “Illuminating the Deep,” a 5,000 sq ft art and educational exhibition about the ocean and deep-sea marine life. Illuminating the Deep has been exhibited at the Aquarium of the Pacific in California, Vancouver Aquarium in Canada, and the Stuart Museum in Florida. Keith was born and educated in New Zealand and is now also a citizen of the United States.

  

Kristina Jakstys

Kristina Jakstys is on MAXIMA’s Board of Directors and brings her experience of providing financial oversight for adequate financial resources, coordinating new business development efforts, ensuring relationship management activities, and participating in strategic planning and financial reporting.

Kristina Jakstys is a Senior Vice President overseeing Banking and Advisory Services for Financial Sponsors responsible for coordinating new business development efforts and relationship management activities.  Prior to joining Northern in 2013, Kristina was Vice President of U.S. Bank NA’s Chicago Commercial Banking practice leading cross functional teams to deliver enterprise solutions. Kristina’s experience also includes Transaction Services and Business Valuation, working for Trenwith Securities and BDO Seidman on M&A, strategic planning, financial reporting and litigation engagements.   

A Chicago native, Jakstys resides in Santa Monica and enjoys volunteering with a variety of organizations.  Kristina serves on the Chairmen’s Advisory Council of Big Shoulders, Los Angeles Women’s Leadership Council, 100 Women in Finance and RAND.

 

ADVISORY BOARD

K.C. Cole- Physicist, Scientist, Author, Director of Categorical Not 

K.C. Cole is an American science writer, author, radio commentator and professor. She has authored eight non-fiction books notably the bestseller, The Universe and the Teacup: Mathematics of Truth and Beauty and was awarded the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award and has covered science for the Los Angeles Times since 1994.  She is currently a professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and is a resident of Santa Monica.

Kio Griffith- Director of Tokyo + Yokohoma Projects Exchange, Curator

Kio Griffith is a Los Angeles and Japan based interdisciplinary artist working with sound and visuals, independent curator, and writer. He is founder and director at Tokyo+Yokohama Projects Exchange, contributing editor at Fabrik, Artscape and Art Bridge magazines. Griffith recently exhibited at Aichi Trienniale 2016, curated for the 2017 Emerging Curators program at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and currently on research for a public project at Setonaikai, Japan.

Farnaz Harouni- Educator, Fashion Designer, Fine Artist, Interior Designer

Farnaz Harouni is a teacher in design at the Otis College of Art and Design (Otis) for over 14 years.. She won the Thimble Award from Otis for her couture craftsmanship for fashion design for which she has also won numerous local and national design awards and being featured at Saks Fith Avenue and Neiman Marcus. She is also a multi-discipline artist who expresses her creative energy through many channels as she is also a fine artist working with mixed media to bronze sculpture.  She is also an active volunteer for the Children's Action Network and serves on the topic curation committee for Visionary Women. 

Breana Latty- Art advisor, Art Conservationist

 Breana Latty holds a Masters Degree in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in conjunction with Claremont Graduate University. She is currently working as an art advisor at Tappan Collective, an online based art gallery for emerging artists, in the sales department.  She also holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Italian Studies from Smith College and pursued a career in art conservation and has significant experience in the cataloging, digitization, and inventory, and assessment of artworks in a museum setting at LACMA.

William Ransom- Artist, Professor at Claremont University, Los Angeles, CA 

William Ransom received an MFA in Sculpture from Claremont Graduate University in 2008 and a BA in Sculpture and Architecture from Bennington College in 2004. He has shown his work in numerous group exhibitions, including: Arena 1 Gallery, the Torrance Art Museum, Greene Exhibitions and Fellows of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Ogilvy and Mather in New York, Open End Gallery in Chicago, the Albany International Airport and at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota. He has had several solo exhibitions including at Chime and Co in Los Angeles, the Lenzner Family Gallery at Pitzer College and in 2015 Ransom had his second solo show at John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York.

William Ransom was born and raised on a dairy farm in Strafford, Vermont and his work and life continue to be informed by his early material experiences and engagement with the cycles and rhythms of the natural world. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Julie Weiss- Artist, Costume Designer, Teacher

Julie Weiss is a costume designer in the field of theatre, film and television and has served on the faculty of UCLA and Stanford Universities. Weiss has received two Emmy Awards, has been nominated for seven Emmy's, two Academy Awards, and one Tony.  She received the Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild. She recently received The Helen Hayes Award for the Washington D. C. Production of the Los Angeles Latino Theater Company’sproduction of Destiny of Desire. Credits also include the Broadway Production of Elephant Manand the more recent production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Film and television credits include Steel MagnoliasAmerican BeautyFridaBlades of GloryFear and Loathing in Las VegasTwelve MonkeysThe Ring, Honeymoon in VegasThe Freshman, and the soon to released My Dinner with Herve and Greyhound.