NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES ASSOCIATION STEPS DOWN
Alex Marsden, the director of the national peak body for museums and galleries, the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA), will be stepping down from her role.
AMaGA president, Dr Robin Hirst, said: ‘Alex has made an extraordinary contribution to AMaGA and put her heart and soul into the welfare of our members and advocacy for all. Over the last five and a half years, as the national director there have been many accomplishments – the First Peoples 10-year Roadmap, the establishment of the GLAM Peak coalition to focus on national digital access to collections, the strategic review and subsequent refocusing and rebranding of our association, and AMaGA’s national professional development program, to name just a few.’
He added: ‘The impact of COVID-19 has shown the value and effectiveness of AMaGA as a strong national membership-focused organisation as well as a peak advocacy and industry body. We have Alex to thank in leading the organisation with skill and compassion in these troubled times.
‘Alex will be greatly missed by all at AMaGA and her colleagues and collaborators throughout the cultural sector, and we wish her every future success as she embarks on new ventures,’ Hirst said.
Marsden said: ‘It has been a joy and a privilege to work with and represent our wonderful range of individual and organisational members, and especially with those who volunteer for our national council, state and territory branch committees, and national networks.
‘It’s a time of reflection for many leaders at the moment, recognising what we set out to achieve, and now giving other people opportunities and our organisations new leadership. I have great confidence in AMaGA’s future,’ she said.
AMaGA will soon be advertising this rare opportunity to take up the national leadership role and has accepted Marsden’s offer to continue as national director while recruitment is underway, so that there is no gap in the relevant activities, projects and advocacy.
WRITERS VICTORIA APPOINTS NEW CEO
Lucy Hamilton has been announced as the new CEO of Writers Victoria.
Hamilton is currently the General Manager and CEO of Express Media, where she has served for the past three years. She was previously the Partnerships Coordinator at Regional Arts Victoria.
Hamilton has held voluntary roles with Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, and worked as a stage manager and production manager in the United Kingdom. She holds a Master of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oxford.
Chair of the Writers Victoria Board, Noe Harsel, said: ‘Lucy Hamilton was chosen from a field of outstanding candidates, and Writers Victoria would like to thank all applicants for their time and interest in the role. Lucy has an impressive history in the arts, and we’re looking forward to the vision and experience she brings to our organisation.’
Hamilton takes the reigns from Angela Savage (who has been appointed CEO of Public Libraries Victoria after three years at Writers Victoria) and will officially commence in her new role on 12 October 2020.
ART GALLERY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES NEW CHAIR
The Government of South Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) have announced the appointment of Mr Jason Karas as the incoming Chair of the Art Gallery Board, effective Thursday 17 September.
Karas, who currently sits on AGSA’s board, will take the place of Tracey Whiting AM, who served as Chair from August 2014 until August 2020.
Mr Steven Marshall, Premier and Minister for the Arts, said Whiting’s contribution to the Art Gallery Board, along with her wider contribution to the state’s arts and culture sectors, has been greatly appreciated.
‘Tracey’s outstanding contribution to South Australia’s cultural landscape has been immense, and her being awarded Member of the Order of Australia earlier this year is testament to her energy and passion for the arts. I would like to thank Tracey sincerely for her service to the Board, and the state, and wish her all the best for her future endeavours,’ Marshall said.
‘I would also like to congratulate Jason Karas on his appointment as new Chair of the Board – I look forward to working with him as we continue to cement the Art Gallery of South Australia as one of the country’s foremost cultural institutions.’
Karas is an experienced lawyer and commercial adviser, and co-founder of Lipman Karas, an international law firm founded in Adelaide that specialises in dispute resolution. Lipman Karas has been a strong supporter of AGSA including the highly successful national tour of the Quilty exhibition and the Ramsay Art Prize through the Lipman Karas People’s Choice Award. He has been a long-term supporter of the Gallery and is an active participant in the Contemporary Collectors group. Karas is deeply committed to the cultural and economic development of South Australia and the role of art in the advancement of society.
‘AGSA holds one of Australia’s finest collections of traditional and contemporary art and consistently curates internationally renowned exhibitions,’ Karas said in a statement.
‘The Gallery plays a vital role in the creative, social and economic life of our State and beyond. It reflects our collective past, present and future. I look forward to working closely with our Director, Board, Minister, Partners and all Stakeholders, through the next phase of AGSA’s evolution as a progressive, diverse and inclusive public institution.
‘It is essential that we are ambitious and innovative in pursuing our purpose. This will benefit all members of our community and advance the status and prosperity of South Australia. On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our deep gratitude to outgoing Chair Tracey Whiting AM, for her inspiring leadership, work ethic and generosity,’ Karas added.
During Whiting’s tenure as Chair, AGSA added some 4000 acquisitions to its collection, bringing the number to more than 45,000 works of art; a collection of major national and international standing. Audience visitation has grown exponentially with AGSA now the most visited Australian state art museum per capita. Exhibition highlights include the Gallery’s most visited exhibition, Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay in 2018, the influential and impactful Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art since 2015, and the biennial Ramsay Art Prize, one of Australia’s most generous art prizes since 2017 and the only prize dedicated to artists under 40.
Whiting’s expertise in marketing is evidenced in the successful rebranding of AGSA in 2018. She also played an active role in the establishment of two major philanthropic support groups for AGSA, the Contemporary Collectors group from 2003 which has supported the acquisition of over 500 works of art into the collection, and the Biennial Ambassadors from 2014.
Tracey Whiting AM said: ‘It has been an honour to steer one of South Australia’s most loved institutions, and a hugely rewarding experience to work with such a passionate and professional board and management team who are making such valuable contributions to art and culture in South Australia.’