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Meet our distinguished Judges




Barbara Aust-Wegemund, GFAA Judge
Founder and Director at Art History Consulting

Dr. Barbara Aust-Wegemund is the founder and director at Art History Consulting (AHC), based in Hamburg, Germany. She studied Art History at Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany, as well as in Italy at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, and at London’s Guildhall University. In 2002, she earned her Ph.D. from Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel with a Dissertation on the British sculptor Henry Moore. Trained as an art historian, she lectures at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. She is President of the non-profit association Gedok Hamburg, where she conceptualizes and coordinates international cultural events with a focus on championing the work of emerging to mid-career artists. She is a member of the European non - profit organization Sculpture Network and Association of German Art Historians. As an independent art critic, she contributes to exhibition catalogues and has written reviews and features in German, English, French, Italian for publications such as Goethe-Institute Inter Nationes (Munich), Publishing House Umberto Allemandi (Torino), Asia Today (Hong Kong), Sculpture Pacific Magazine (Vancouver). In addition to her educational and editorial work, she manages exhibition projects with a strong emphasis on cultural exchange, and is an art advisor for clients in the US, China and Europe


Dean Phelus, GFAA Judge
Senior Director of Leadership AAM

Dean Phelus is the Senior Director of Leadership Programs at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). In this capacity he oversees a portfolio of programs and activities globally that forge U.S. and international museum partnerships that foster understanding on museum excellence, skills development, and the invaluable contribution museums make to society. Prior to this position, he served for over a decade as director of the AAM annual meeting and professional development where he provided direction and oversight of the AAM annual meeting--the largest museum convening in the world, attracting 5,000-6,000 museum professionals from over 50 countries, and offering multilingual educational content in Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish—and other face-to-face and virtual professional development programs to strengthen core competencies in museum practice. In his tenure he has had extensive exposure to numerous exhibitions in the US and around the world which have informed his critical thinking on exhibition development and design strategies and techniques to enhance the visitor experience. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the American University in Washington, DC.Senior Director of Leadership



Peter Trippi, GFAA Judge
Peter Trippi is Editor-in-Chief of Fine Art Connoisseur

Peter Trippi is Editor-in-Chief of Fine Art Connoisseur, the bimonthly magazine that serves collectors of historical and contemporary representational painting, sculpture, drawings, and prints. He is also president of Projects in 19th-century Art, Inc., the firm he established to pursue a range of research, writing, and curating opportunities. Trippi holds a MA from New York University in Visual Arts Administration, as well as a MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. As director of New York’s Dahesh Museum of Art, Trippi guided its renovation of the former IBM Gallery and presentation of nine exhibitions of 19th-century European art.  In 2002, Phaidon Press published Trippi’s 250-page monograph J W Waterhouse, which reassesses the Victorian painter and Royal Academician best known for his Lady of Shalott at Tate Britain.  Trippi went on to guest-curate the Waterhouse retrospective that appeared at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, London’s Royal Academy of Arts, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. He is now co-curating a touring exhibition about the Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, to open in 2016 at the Fries Museum, in the artist’s Dutch native city, Leeuwarden. In 2013, Trippi completed a two-year term as president of the nonprofit organization Historians of British Art, and then became president of the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art.


Gina Costa, GFAA Judge
Art Historian

Gina Costa is an art historian, museum professional, and independent curator and scholar with nearly thirty years of experience sharing her deep passion with the art world. Gina is a museum professional at The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame.  She has also worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, The Art Institute of Chicago; The Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY; and has taught art history at a variety of universities in the United States. She is an internationally-known, award-winning, published mobile art photographer. Her work has been exhibited in museums and art galleries across the United States and Europe, and has been also featured on a variety of websites and publications. Gina also serves as the Midwest board representative for the marketing and public relations committee of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Raised and educated partially in Europe, Gina speaks many languages and has deep experience working with European curators and art institutions and organizations. She completed her graduate work at the University of Chicago with an MA in Italian Renaissance sculpture, although she now finds herself writing, curating, and teaching contemporary art and photography, as well as 20th century Mexican art.


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