Karen Mackinnon. Photo: Polly Thomas.

Artes Mundi Director Karen Mackinnon Steps Down

Artes Mundi, the arts organization based in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, has announced that director and curator Karen MacKinnon is stepping down to join the team at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. During her tenure, MacKinnon oversaw three cycles of Artes Mundi’s biennial prize and exhibition; expanded its program by securing partnerships with Tate Plus and Chapter Arts Centre, among other organizations; and raised its international profile.

“We warmly congratulate Karen on her appointment at Glynn Vivian and are of course deeply sad to see her go,” Mathew Prichard, chairman of Artes Mundi, said in a statement. “In the past six years, Karen has driven Artes Mundi from success to success and her artist and audience-focused approach and enduring enthusiasm leaves a legacy to be very proud of.”

MacKinnon returns to the public gallery in the county of Swansea in South Wales to succeed the recently retired Jenni Spencer-Davies. She will take up the post on April 1. With over twenty-five years of experience in the cultural sector, MacKinnon said that she looks forward to working with the gallery’s team to “further explore how art questions, inspires, connects, and transforms our lives—and how the things it teaches us reverberate and are useful way beyond the walls of the gallery.”

Established in 2002, Artes Mundi works to support international contemporary visual artists whose work engages with social reality and lived experience. The Artes Mundi 8 Prize was recently awarded to Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and the Artes Mundi 8 exhibition featuring his work alongside that of nominated artists Trevor Paglen, Bouchra Khalili, Otobong Nkanga, and Anna Boghiguian is currently on view at the National Museum Cardiff until February 24.