New director for gallery

Cam McCracken.
Cam McCracken.
The new director of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery says he is looking forward to working with one of New Zealand's best art collections.

Cam McCracken (42) was appointed yesterday. .

Mr McCracken will take up the position in Dunedin in early October, after three and a-half years as the director of the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt.

He will replace Elizabeth Caldwell, who resigned in April after three years in the role, after successfully applying for the directorship of City Gallery Wellington.

Mr McCracken said he was excited to be coming to DPAG.

"It's a very important and great institution, a fantastic building, fantastic location and one of the best collections in the country."

But he would not be rushing to make changes in Dunedin.

Rather, he wanted to get to know the community before he looked at future programmes.

He had collaborated with the gallery, so had some idea of the structure, and was comfortable with how things were working.

While he had worked on some adventurous programming in Lower Hutt, he had seen just as much innovation coming out of DPAG, he said, and was looking forward to continuing that and being part what was a talented team.

Dunedin City Council general manager city strategy and development, Sue Bidrose said Mr McCracken's experience in management and strategic planning of cultural institutions would consolidate the work done by Ms Caldwell.

She said Mr McCracken, one of 16 people who applied for the position, stood out in a field of applicants of an extremely high standard.

"He brings a wealth of experience in this sector and has practical experience in all areas of museum management and the gallery will benefit greatly from his knowledge."

While at the Dowse, Mr McCracken was involved in a large capital project developing an outdoor space for the gallery, as well as continuing a positive momentum during a period of significant change at the gallery, Dr Bidrose said.

He has also been executive director at Auckland's Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, and communications and customer services manager and exhibitions manager at Waikato Museum of Art and History.


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