The South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has announced that Rhana Devenport will be the new director of the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA). Devenport will take up the position in October 2018.
Devenport is an Australian, but she will relocate to Adelaide from New Zealand where she has been the director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki since 2013. Prior to her role in Auckland she was director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, NZ. She was recently honoured with an ONZM (Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit) for her services to the arts.
Before moving to New Zealand, Devenport worked for many years in Brisbane on the Asia Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Gallery of Art. She has also worked with the Sydney Festival and the Sydney Biennale.
“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,” Devenport said. “I am thrilled to be leading this strong and innovative cultural organisation into the future. 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.”
In his announcement Marshall acknowledged that Devenport will be the first woman to lead the AGSA.
“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,” he said. “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 legacy.”
Devenport is filling the vacancy left by Nick Mitzevich who became the new director of the National Gallery of Australia earlier this month.