Mar 03 2015

Juliana Engberg Leaves Australia To Take Up New Role In Denmark

by Denise Tsui

Juliana Engberg, the newly appointed program director for the European Capital of Culture, will assume her post in April 2015, leaving her 13-year-tenure at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA). Photo by Emma Sullivan. Courtesy ACCA.

The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne will soon see the departure of artistic director Juliana Engberg, who will be assuming a new role on April 13 as program director for the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) in Aarhus, Denmark. Every year, two European Union countries are appointed to host the ECOC—a year-long series of cultural events—and Aarhus was honored with the 2017 edition, along with Paphos, Cyprus. ACCA chair John Denton made the announcement on March 1, praising the Danish-Australian Engberg for her dedication to ACCA and for her contribution in making the institution “Australia’s most significant contemporary art space.”

Since joining ACCA in 2002, Engberg has lead its artistic program following the completion of the institution’s move to its iconic Southbank premises from the Royal Botanic Gardens. During the time of her tenure she has curated, overseen and commissioned over 120 exhibitions at ACCA.  Among her many notable projects at ACCA is the renowned NEW series, an annual program now in its 13th year, which has successfully generated exposure and advanced the careers of hundreds of emerging Australian artists.

“I will miss working with the ACCA team, executive director and board, who are terrific colleagues, and I will miss Melbourne. I am very proud of what ACCA has achieved during my time as artistic director,” commented Engberg of her imminent departure. She adds, “I am also excited for ACCA, which will embark on a new narrative. I will watch with great interest the work that the next generation of creative leaders make.”

Engberg is one of Australia’s most prominent art-world figures. In 2007, she was the senior curatorial advisor for the Australian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale and most recently was the artistic director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014. Engberg was awarded the Australia Council Visual Arts Laureate Medal in 2013 for her exceptional achievements to the development of the Australian cultural sector.