Simon Beckmann is co-founder and director of Joya: arte + ecología / AiR. He is a researcher, activist, artist, designer and ecologist. He grew up in the small industrial town of Glossop in Derbyshire, on the edge of the Peak District National Park in England. He studied Fine Art at Manchester Polytechnic, received his MFA at The Royal Academy Schools in London. Simon lectures throughout Europe, and continues his own practice through the Joya: arte + ecología programme.
Donna Beckmann is co-founder and director of Joya: arte + ecología / AiR. Donna grew up on a fruit farm in the south east of England. She studied Illustration at Bristol School of Art, specialising in food and travel. These interests led her to New Zealand, Australia and south east Asia before settling in India for two years exploring and painting the diverse recipes and food culture of the continent. She now creates info graphic diagrams and grids depicting contour strip cropping, water resources, forgeable food, aromatics and local recipes. She is deeply connected to local, seasonal, sustainable and slow food.
Diederik Leutscher Grew up in the north east of the Netherlands in a family of pianists surrounded by classical music and art. He studied photography in Amsterdam specialised in landscapes and the relation between nature and human interventions. After Amsterdam he finished his BSc in rural development which brought him to Joya for an internship. His love for nature and birdlife got more serious after his studies which led to a bird audit at Joya, counting over thirty different species in the direct vicinity of Cortijada los Gazquez. In his photography, birdlife, nature, landscapes and love for light and beauty all come together. You can see Diederiks photograph of a Hoopoe at Los Gázquez on this website.
Margherita Rossi joined Joya: arte + ecología from London, to work as Project Developer. Margherita grew up in the art world between Venice and Munich, Vicenza and the mountains of South Tyrol. She completed an undergraduate degree in the Economics of Art at the Univeristà Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano. She later worked as a researcher at Sotheby’s in London, and as an organization member at Hauser & Wirth. Most recently, she gained a Post Graduate Diploma in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute.
Rachel Arena joins Joya: arte + ecología / AiR as a web developer after completing her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Film/ Animation/ Video. She grew up in Los Angeles, California where she has worked for arts and education non-profits and animation studios. She is drawn to film as a medium because it communicates in a way that is immediate and immersive. Working experimentally, her films combine digital video with printmaking, painting, and drawing to created multi-layered, tactile imagery. Her current work looks at memory, place, and family archives.
Annika Berry joined Joya: arte + ecología from the US, where she recently completed a BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has worked as an archivist, writing tutor, artist and fabrication assistant, as well as for various arts non-profits. She grew up in Portland, Oregon in a family of writers, cooks and eaters. Seduced—yet sceptical—of the American Cowboy mythology, artistic research practice references the icon as a lens to critique social, cultural, personal and political desires. She hopes to travel to the Tabernas Desert in Andalucia where Sergio Leone shot his famous Spaghetti Westerns.