Accomplished medalist and professor, João Duarte (b. 1952). is the founder and Director of the group Volte Face. Other founding members are Assistant Professor Rui Vasquez and students Amilcar Soares, Maria João Ferreira, Patrícia Bilé, José Viriato Bernardo, Jorge Batista, Patrício Oliveira, Nuno Carvalho, Davina de Brito, and Olga Neves.
The mission of the Volte Face is to distinguish contemporary medallic sculpture from the traditional numismatic format of medal art, as the conventional obverse/reverse becomes more three- dimensional. After mastering traditional medallic art techniques, and respecting the medium, contemporary medalists can freely create a new vision and expression.
In 2001, Volte Face – Medalha Contemporânea became an officially recognized organization at the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade de Lisboa.