News that McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery has appointed John Cunningham, current director at the Warrnambool Art Gallery, as their new director. He will take up his new position in July 2015.
Lyn Williams AM, the Chair of McClelland Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of John Cunningham as Director, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery. ‘We are delighted to welcome John to McClelland. His enthusiasm, vision and experience in leading galleries here in Australia and in Ireland, will invigorate McClelland and I believe take McClelland to the next stage, as a major tourist destination,’ says Lyn Williams.
John arrived in Australia in January 2011 to take up the position as Director of the Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG). Over the past 4 years under his guidance, WAG recorded its highest attendances figures in its 128 year history, resulting in a remarkable 73% increase in visitation with a 46% increase in youth participation rates.
John Cunningham – ‘It is a tremendous honour to join the McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery at this moment in its distinguished history. This is a world-class cultural institution, and it is a reflection of its founder Annie May McClelland’s vision and more recently to the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s passion, leadership and deep commitment to the arts. As Director, I hope that we can focus on McClelland’s many strengths to build momentum in connecting with all visitors and I look forward to what we can achieve together.’
His curatorial work has focused primarily on the relationships between science, art and local knowledge, partnering with many international museums, institutions and universities including major public art projects in association with Leonardo/OLATS Arts & Science Foundation, Paris, and NASA.
John was previously Deputy Director and Head of Programming at the award winning Regional Cultural Centre in Ireland: Manager of the Letterkenny Arts Centre, Ireland: Manager of Paul Hughes Fine Art, London: The Hiberno-Leonardo Scholar at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy: and the co-founder / curator of the Artists’ Resource Centre ARC. John is a graduate of Limerick School of Art, the University of Southampton and University College Dublin. In 2014, John was appointed to the Board of the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists.