Gabriela Cala-Lesina

Gabriela Cala-Lesina is Special Partnerships Manager at Whitechapel Gallery - one of London’s oldest and most esteemed public institutions known for its pioneering modern and contemporary art programmes in the heart of the East End.

Her main focus is managing the Max Mara Art Prize for Women – set up in 2005 its aim is to promote and support female artists based in the UK. The winning artist is awarded a bespoke six-month artist residency in Italy after which she has an opportunity to realise an ambitious new project presented at both Whitechapel Gallery in London and Collezione Maramotti in Italy.

Before working at Whitechapel Gallery, Gabriela managed and fundraised for artist-run space Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, curated Chelsea Fringe Festival in Nine Elms and for four years ran the studio of Lisson Gallery artist Haroon Mirza.

Gabriela is part of the Women in Arts Leadership steering committee at Courtauld Institute of Art, organising a series of events looking at the question of diversity in leadership in the contemporary art world, and in her spare time mentors several young people who are starting their career in the arts.

Alongside her full-time roles Gabriela has always been committed to championing gender equality particularly in the arts, working with the Fawcett Society’s East London branch and as an independent curator. She has curated numerous performances, film screenings, panel discussions and comedy nights on the topic of art, music and sport across London including at Shoreditch House, Rich Mix and Cremer St Salon.

She completed her BA and MA in Art History at Courtauld Institute of Art.