Wednesday, 24 June 2020: Today, the Board of Trustees of the MacKenzie Art Gallery announce the departure of Executive Director & CEO Anthony Kiendl effective 31 July 2020. The Gallery has enjoyed over six years of growth and transformation under Kiendl’s leadership.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to congratulate Anthony and thank him for his six years of achievement,” says Nathan Schissel, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “The MacKenzie is in a strong position to sustain our unprecedented growth as we emerge from COVID-19, and continue to realize our mission to foster transformative experiences of the world through art.”
Kiendl has accepted the position of CEO & Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, which he will commence in mid-August.
Under Kiendl’s leadership, a community engagement strategy and patron loyalty initiative saw the Gallery charge admission, while offering increased membership benefits and introducing Rawlco and MacKenzie Art Gallery free days. The result was steadily increasing community access and attendance, until the Gallery temporarily closed its doors on 14 March due to COVID-19. The MacKenzie has more than doubled its revenue in all funds and increased earned revenue by 247%. Attendance has increased by almost 40%, and memberships have more than tripled in the past three years. Much of this success was fueled by a visionary anonymous gift of $25 million and the creation of an endowment for the Gallery.
Kiendl’s tenure was also marked by dramatic growth in the permanent collection, most notably the promised gift of 1,000 works of Indigenous art by collectors Thomas Druyan and Alice Ladner of Edmonton. The acquisition of major works of art also included Anthony McCall’s Line Describing a Cone, Theo Sims’s The Candahar, and Duane Linklater’s Kâkikę / Forever, which graces the Gallery’s façade, with the phrase from Treaty negotiations, “As long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the river flows,” and coincides with the Gallery’s positioning and ongoing development as an international centre for Indigenous art.
Capital renovations included the creation of the Gallery’s Craft Services café, new adjoining program spaces, and a recent renovation of the Gallery’s welcome area and admissions desk. The Gallery also re-branded and overhauled its website in 2019. To keep pace with the Gallery’s expansion, diverse staff were appointed to new key positions at the Gallery including Director of Programs, Assistant Curator, Head of Strategic Initiatives, Head of Program Operations, and Curator of Community Engagement.
“I am humbled to have experienced such a rich and rewarding time in Regina for the past several years. This has been a highlight of my career,” says Kiendl. “I wish to thank the staff, Board, volunteers, and leadership team for their skill, collaboration, and support. I am incredibly proud of what we have all accomplished together, and will cherish these memories and friendships forever. I want to thank all the Gallery’s visitors, supporters, donors, and partners, without whom we could not do what we have achieved.”
The MacKenzie Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of John Hampton to the role of Interim Executive Director & CEO, effective 1 August 2020 while the Gallery conducts a search for Kiendl’s permanent replacement. Hampton is currently the Gallery’s Director of Programs, and is well-positioned to provide continuity to the Gallery’s vision and operations. Hampton joined the Gallery in 2018 as the first Indigenous (Chickasaw) leader of both curatorial and education programs at a major Canadian art institution. He has been instrumental in the advancement of the Gallery’s programs, diversity, and revenue growth, especially through grants and new initiatives such as the Gallery’s new digital media lab, and is co-chair of the board of directors for the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, an Indigenous-run and led non-profit organization that aims to support and connect fellow Indigenous curators, artists, writers, academics, and professionals through various methods of gathering.
The Gallery is preparing to re-open following its temporary closure due to COVID-19. Details will follow in the near future. For further information and online programs, please visit mackenzie.art.
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