Lisa Russell was born in the small border town of Nogales, Arizona and raised in Beverly Hills, California. She grew up surrounded by beautiful things as her mother was an interior designer, her father an art collector, and her grandmother was an artist which fueled her keen eye for fine art. From the time she was a young child, Lisa has had an entrepreneurial spirit which she pursued academically as she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Business at Colby Sawyer College and completed her MBA at Arizona State University. After moving to Austin in 2002 with her husband and noticing Austin’s need for museum-quality art, she found the perfect alliance in business and art when she decided to open Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery with the help of an art mentor. In 2003, New York Times called the Russell Collection “Austin’s most exclusive gallery” which has featured works by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, and many more. In the last ten years, the Russell Collection has been featuring more and more contemporary artists such as Hunt Slonem, Daniel Maltzman, Ash Almonte, Gil Bruvel, and more. Now as the brand transitions to West Chelsea Contemporary featuring exclusively contemporary works from the likes of KAWS, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Shepard Fairey and more, Lisa continues to build upon the legacy she’s created for art in Austin. When Lisa isn’t running the day to day operations of the gallery, she’s spending time with her husband and two children. Lisa has been honored as a finalist in Austin Business Journal’s Women of Influence in the 17th Annual Central Texas Profiles in Power.
Meet Our Art World Experts
Allee Beatty | Assistant Gallery Director: _
Allee Beatty received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Following her four year degree, she continued with her academic career and earned her Masters in American Studies with a concentration in Museums and Communities from Trinity College. Allee past roles include roles Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks as a gallery assistant as well as a curatorial support at institutions such as the New Britain Museum of American Art, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. When she’s not immersing herself in the world of fine art, she is a yoga teacher and a master indoor cycling instructor.
Zaira Duarte | Art Consultant: _
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Zaira Duarte received her education from the University of Houston. Her role at West Chelsea Contemporary is an Art Consultant where she helps facilitate sales and support for clients in finding pieces that inspire them. Before her role at the West Chelsea Contemporary, she was Store Manager of The Year at Ashley Homestore for two consecutive years and led a team of twenty sales experts. She has a specialty in design and has maintained a keen eye for detail. Zaira finds joy in making genuine connections with people around her and enjoys reading, dancing, and spending time with the ones she loves.
Cori Teague | Art Consultant: _
Growing up Laguna Beach, California and being surrounded by art was just the start of Cori Teague’s career. In college she discovered her passion in painting where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Art History from Baylor University. She also pursued and completed her Associates of Arts degree in Visual Communication from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Following her academic career, Cori interned at Revolver Gallery, a Warhol Gallery in Beverly Hills, California and was the assistant gallery director for The Signature Gallery in Laguna Beach for three years. Cori is currently an art consultant for West Chelsea Contemporary in which she fosters trusted relationships with incoming and ongoing collectors and clients, educating individuals with knowledge of the industry, growing collectors’ inventory and design. When she’s not in the gallery she’s painting or enjoying the outdoors with her pug, and fur-baby, Kiwi.
Irfan Ishaq | Art Consultant: _
Irfan Ishaq grew up in neighboring Houston, Texas where at a young age fell in love with visual and musical arts. Growing up through the 80s, 90s and 2000s, Irfan had first hand experience on how the art world in general developed into the vast realm it is today. With experiencing such multifaceted decades of art, and the genres within them, helped shape and honed his own interest in visual arts. Leading him to pursue interior designs as well as music while attending Houston Baptist University. Irfan’s love of the visual arts then became the compass of things to come. In early 2021 he received “a golden opportunity to relocate to amazing Austin and join the team at West Chelsea Contemporary, which goes without saying was a move he didn’t hesitate making”, his own words. Apart from being an art consultant at the WCC, Irfan loves painting, traveling and experiencing new cultures and food and of course making music with his multiple projects in his studio in Houston, Texas.
Derek Boone | Art Consultant: _
Derek Boone was born in Austin, TX native and grew up in the neighboring city of Pflugerville, TX . Growing up in Austin was a major advantage for Derek, where the prominent art, music, and fashion scene allowed him to develop an appreciation for unique artwork and the people who make it. Derek received his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas, where he held multiple leadership roles including his position as President and Secretary for the club Merchandising Inc. He found his passion for interior detailing and design during his visual merchandising internship in Dallas, TX. After completion, Derek helped his clients furnish their homes and closets with beautiful handbags, fine jewelry, and furniture from Louis Vuitton. This love of fashion and art has led Derek to West Chelsea Contemporary. Here, he combines his passion for fine art and individual expression to assist with the acquisition of beautiful, museum-grade fine art. With it, he can help his clients display their personalities and interests in their homes for the special people in their lives to enjoy. In his free time, Derek enjoys writing poetry, playing tennis, and taking naps with his lovely pug, Emma, and kitten Peanut.
Lindsay Hamm | Curator: _
Lindsay Hamm was born in Hartford, Connecticut and grew up in the heart of Texas in Austin. She was always drawn to contemporary art and sought ways to work with pieces hands-on and the proof is in her experience; what began as a passion in art conservation has grown into an extensive background and specialized knowledge in international art markets which came from stints at prestigious establishments such as Christie’s Auction House in New York City, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Bonhams Auctioneers and Frieze London. Her academic accomplishments include a Bachelor of Arts in Art Conservation from the University of Richmond and a Masters from the University College London in the Institute of Archaeology with a focus in Contemporary Art. Her duties at West Chelsea Contemporary include marketing, art market research, retail relationships and inventory, and social media management. When Lindsay isn’t making sure projects are going smoothly, she’s traveling — she’s lived in London for two years and Seoul for six months.
Ignacio Guerrero | Logistics Manager: _
Born in Jerez de la Frontera, a city in southwestern Spain, Ignacio Guerrero has always been attracted to the arts. He moved to Texas at the age of three and was raised in San Antonio, where he received his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas of San Antonio. At West Chelsea Contemporary his role as the In-House Art Handler and Shipping Coordinator is filled with important tasks vital for the gallery — he is responsible for installing art in the gallery and in clients’ homes, inspecting and intaking new artwork, and coordinating framing deliveries. Aside from his duties at West Chelsea Contemporary he loves to read and garden. He is also an active musician with his own personal projects and helps produce and contribute to other musicians’ projects. Before the pandemic of COVID-19 he would tour across the U.S. and Europe.
Noni Culotta| E-Commerce and Digital Content Manager: _
Noni Culotta was born in Houston and moved to NYC to earn a degree in the performing arts at New York University. Having pounded the pavement as an independent artist in her early career, Noni is motivated by the opportunities that technology presents to connect people with the art they love more easily than ever before. A lover of all things art and tech, Noni has led creative at startups, worked on production teams in film and television, and most recently co-founded an online marketplace supporting independent career artists. She is excited to bring her passion for the arts and her vision for a more connected global art world to West Chelsea Contemporary.