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Rhana Devenport to Lead Art Gallery of South Australia

Rhana Devenport has been appointed director of the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) in Adelaide. She will be the first female director to lead the 137-year-old institution and will take up the post on October 22. Devenport succeeds Nick Mitzevich, who departed to take up the helm of the National Gallery of Australia earlier this month.

“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,” Australian premier Steven Marshall said in a statement. “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 comes to the AGSA from Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in New Zealand, where she has served as director since 2013. Previously, she was director of Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth for seven years, manager of public programs at the Biennale of Sydney, and senior project officer at the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Devenport also curated artist Lisa Reihana’s presentation in the New Zealand pavilion at the last edition of the Venice Biennale.

The change in leadership at the AGSA follows the institution’s announcement that Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot have been tapped as the architects of its new building dedicated to contemporary art, Adelaide Contemporary. Championed by Mitzevich, Adelaide Contemporary will be constructed on the former site of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, next to the Adelaide Botanic Garden, on the lands of the Kaurna people. In March, Marshall proposed that the institution should dedicate a section to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.