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Christchurch Art Gallery appoints new senior curator

2 July 2014

Christchurch Art Gallery appoints new senior curator

Dr Lara Strongman has been appointed the new senior curator at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.

An accomplished writer, art historian and formerly senior curator/deputy director at City Gallery Wellington, Dr Strongman has more than 20 years’ experience as an art curator in three major New Zealand art institutions, and an extensive range of exhibition projects and publications to her credit.

Christchurch Art Gallery Director Jenny Harper says Dr Strongman’s proven curatorial vision will ensure that the Gallery continues to deliver a high standard of exhibitions that hold wide audience appeal.

“Christchurch Art Gallery is now looking to develop an outstanding programme of exhibitions ready for our much-anticipated re-opening in late 2015. This is a pivotal period in the Gallery’s history, and both a challenging and exciting time for Lara to be joining us. Her appointment heralds the beginning of us strengthening our staff prior to re-opening next year,” she says.

“She brings with her an impressive track record in developing high-quality exhibitions, and an extensive catalogue of published writings on contemporary and modern New Zealand and international art.”

Dr Strongman’s achievements include curating the first major survey exhibition of Shane Cotton’s work, at City Gallery Wellington, which received national critical acclaim and toured to Auckland Art Gallery. She also organised “Art School 125” at Christchurch Art Gallery in 2007, and more recently provided curatorial advice to the large-scale Avon River Art Trail.

Dr Strongman has worked as a curator or curatorial manager on more than 150 exhibitions, including contemporary and historical art projects in New Zealand and internationally.

She takes up her new position in early August, and says she is looking forward to working with Christchurch Art Gallery to bring new and captivating exhibitions to Christchurch.

“Since the earthquakes and despite the ongoing challenges, there has been a marked need for people to engage with fresh, stimulating visual culture in their community,” she says.

“The Gallery continues to play a wonderful role in meeting this need, and I’m thrilled to be joining such an innovative and dedicated team of people at this important time.”


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