Art Gallery head

by Anonymous Author

Blair Jackson has been appointed the new Director of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.

He will take over from Jenny Harper, who is stepping down after 11 years, early next month.

Mr Jackson, who was previously the gallery’s deputy director, and curatorial collections and programmes manager, said focus will be on expanding and broadening audiences and exploring new ways of engaging visitors with the gallery’s exhibitions programme.

“Galleries are no longer just showcases that we visit to see the creativity of others,” Mr Jackson said.

“They need to be places that encourage the experiential; a place for us to interact with, take risks and develop our own creativity. The ability to think creatively is, now more than ever, one of the most important human resources.

“I am extremely lucky to have a very talented team. I know them well and love working with them. The gallery is also fortunate to have a fantastic group of supporters and commercial partners.

“It is so good having the gallery open again after being closed for five years, but we’ve only just begun. There’s so much more that we want to do.”

A University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts graduate, Mr Jackson describes himself as “an artist in a previous life”.

He initially worked as a gallery assistant at the Canterbury Society of Arts, now known as CoCA, before being appointed registrar at the Manawatu Art Gallery.

Prior to moving to Christchurch, he was exhibitions manager at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Otago Settlers Museum.