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Art Gallery of SA appoints new director

Arts & Culture

Auckland Art Gallery director Rhana Devenport has been appointed as the new director of the Art Gallery of South Australia and will relocate to Adelaide to take up the position in October.

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Devenport has more than 25 years’ experience in developing collections and presenting exhibitions. She replaces former director Nick Mitzevich, who resigned in April to become director of the National Gallery of Australia.

“I’m delighted with Ms Devenport’s appointment and I look forward to seeing the gallery continue to flourish under her directorship,’’ Premier Steven Marshall said in a statement today.

“Ms Devenport brings to Adelaide a wealth of experience, leadership acumen and, significantly, a genuine commitment to and understanding of the important role art can play in people’s lives.”

Devenport will be the first female director of the gallery.

She has been director of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki since 2013, curated the work of Maori artist Lisa Reihana at the New Zealand Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and was this year awarded an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the arts.

Chair of the Art Gallery of South Australia board Tracey Whiting, who led the selection process, said Devenport was an international arts leader with the ability to realise the ambitions of the gallery.

“These ambitions include a new building with a global impact, working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities, and developing and presenting with innovation and verve, a billion-dollar art collection,” Whiting said.

Former director Mitzevich was a driving force for a new Adelaide Contemporary gallery at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site, but those plans have stalled since the change of state government, with Premier Marshall saying his own priority is to build a national Aboriginal arts and culture gallery.

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