South Australian Premier Steven Marshall today announced the appointment of Rhana Devenport as the new Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. The appointment of a woman to the role of Director is a historic first for the State.
Ms Devenport, who was born in Brisbane, played a critical role in Queensland Art Gallery’s flagship Asia Pacific Triennial before heading to New Zealand in 2006. There she was the Director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth for more than seven years, before being appointed Director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. In 2017 she curated the work of Lisa Reihana for the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Premier Marshall welcomed Ms Devenport’s appointment, saying it ‘comes at an important time for South Australia in forging a new future. Rhana Devenport brings to Adelaide consummate leadership skills and a genuine commitment to the role that art can play in people’s lives’.
‘South Australia has a proud history of championing the role and contribution of women across all sectors of our community – from politics and Indigenous affairs to science and the arts – and this appointment continues that commitment,’ Mr Marshall said.
Just this year Ms Devenport was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the arts. She returns to Australia with a commitment to art’s civic importance, reflected in her recent statement that ‘Great art museums are the heart of great cities and reflect how a city considers itself in the world and how it contributes to self-discovery, empathy and shared knowledge.’
Ms Devenport also says, ‘I am deeply honoured by this appointment, the Art Gallery of South Australia has forged an excellent reputation for its ambition, its outstanding collection, and a dynamic exhibitions program. I am thrilled to be leading this strong and innovative cultural organisation into the future.’
Ms Devenport will relocate to Adelaide with her husband, multimedia artist Tim Gruchy, and will commence at the Gallery in October.