Anthony Kiendl is the new CEO and director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. A release issued today stated Kiendl will begin his tenure in Vancouver in mid-August 2020. Currently, he is executive director and CEO of the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina.
Kiendl succeeds Daina Augaitis, who served as interim director of the Vancouver Art Gallery since May 2019, when Kathleen Bartels exited the top post there after 18 year at the helm. (Bartels is now executive director and CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto.)
“I have long admired the achievements of the Vancouver Art Gallery and its outstanding program and crucial role in exhibiting Indigenous and local artists,” Kiendl said in a release. He also indicated he is committed to seeing through plans for a new building that have been in the works for many years: “I am particularly excited about plans for an incredible new gallery and working with government and community stakeholders to move this shovel-ready project forward.”
In the past six years, during Kiendl’s time at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, “revenue in all funds has over doubled, in the past three years attendance increased by almost 40 per cent; membership tripled; and earned revenue grew by 247 per cent,” says the release.
“There was a world-wide response to the Gallery’s leadership position, and we wanted to be sure to consider a broad pool of candidates,” said artist Dana Claxton, search committee member, in the release. “Anthony stood out because of his impressive expertise in the organizational development of several Canadian institutions. In addition, his international work with the Tate Modern and the Museum Leadership Institute demonstrates an engagement with global discourses. He has the ability to make an institution relevant in a particular place at a particular time and is especially cognizant of an art museum’s relationship to power, relevance and diversity.”
Kiendl’s appointment follows a year-long international search conducted by Odgers Berndtson with the Gallery’s search committee: board chair David Calabrigo, artist and gallery trustee Hank Bull, collector and gallery trustee Jane Irwin, artist and University of British Columbia Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory head Dana Claxton, and interim director Daina Augaitis.