Blair French Appointed CEO of Sydney’s Carriageworks
By Pamela Wong
On May 23, the board of Sydney’s Carriageworks announced the appointment of Blair French as the art precinct’s new chief executive officer, replacing Lisa Havilah.
French is a New Zealand native, who moved to Australia in the mid-1990s. He has held several curatorial and management roles at cultural institutions across Sydney. From 1996 to ’99, he worked as program manager at the Australian Centre for Photography, and was associate director at Performance Space from 2002 to ’05, before taking the helm of Artspace Visual Arts Centre as executive director for seven years, beginning in 2006. Currently, he is the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia’s curatorial and digital division. In this capacity, he oversees the institution’s artistic and digital programming, and manages its collection.
Sam Mostyn, chairman of Carriageworks, said about French: “Blair has had a distinguished career across the arts sector, having held leadership positions at four of Sydney’s key contemporary arts organisations, playing major roles in the maturing of their business operations, the extension of their national and international reputations through innovative programming and extensive relationship building, and their development of audiences across a wide spectrum of artistic practices. He is passionate about the capacity of creative practices to change the lives of individuals and the vitality of communities.”
Since Havilah’s departure for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in January, Euan Upston has headed up Carriageworks as an interim director. Upston will continue to lead the organization until French takes up his new role in August.
Pamela Wong is assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.
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