Anthony Kiendl has been appointed as the new CEO and director of the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG), following a year-long international search for a new leader.
The gallery’s board of trustees announced today Kiendl was chosen for his 25-year experience in the arts at a provincial, national, and international level as an arts administrator and curator.
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“Anthony’s ability to work collaboratively, to be an agent of change and to build organizations strategically will ensure the Gallery’s continued success in its mission to connect, inspire and empower British Columbians and visitors from across Canada and around the world through art,” said David Calabrigo, chair of the VAG board, in a statement.
“I know how focused he is on continuing and building the Gallery’s commitment to Indigenous art and artists, profiling the activities of the Institute of Asian Art, and furthering its local, national and international reputation.”
He is currently the executive director and CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, and he previously held the position of executive director of the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg. He also has experience with Tate Modern and the Museum Leadership Institute.
Prior to the pandemic, the gallery was solely focused on its plan to relocate to a new purpose-built home across from Queen Elizabeth Theatre, but with the impacts of COVID-19, another impetus is the recovery of VAG’s attendance and developing innovative ways to welcome all visitors.
“I have long admired the achievements of the Vancouver Art Gallery and its outstanding program and crucial role in exhibiting Indigenous and local artists. I am excited to work with the strong management team, staff, Board, volunteers and community stakeholders to address all the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Kiendl.
“I am particularly excited about plans for an incredible new gallery and working with government and community stakeholders to move this shovel-ready project forward. Our new gallery will be an accessible, cultural hub where ideas are shared by everyone, but it will also demonstrate the importance that our institution can have in helping to support economic growth.”
Kiendl replaces Daina Augaitis, who served as interim director since May 2019, when Kathleen Bartels left the position after 18 years.
Following a prolonged closure, the gallery reopened its doors to visitors on June 15.