Director-designate comes to Ballarat with wide experience around the continent

New director-designate: Louise Tegart comes to the AGB from the museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Picture: MAGNT.
New director-designate: Louise Tegart comes to the AGB from the museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Picture: MAGNT.

Louise Tegart has been appointed as the new director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, and will take up the position in June.

Her appointment as director-designate comes as the impending retirement of incumbent director Gordon Morrison nears, after 14 years in the role.

Ms Tegart was previously the assistant director of content and innovation at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and has an extensive career working as a curator and gallery director, including acting director of the Bendigo and Shepparton art galleries, director of the Latrobe regional gallery and the SH Ervin gallery in Sydney, and manager of exhibitions at the State Library of NSW.

She has curated over 100 exhibitions and published articles extensively in catalogues and journals.

That collection in Ballarat is the beating heart of the city and I’m excited to think on how to activate it and find new ways to interpret it.

Louise Tagert, director-designate of the Art Gallery of Ballart

Ms Tegart says the Ballarat director’s role is one that she had her her eye on.

“I wasn’t really looking for a new job,” she told The Courier.

“But the position at Ballarat had definitely been on my list. That collection in Ballarat is the beating heart of the city and I’m excited to think on how to activate it and find new ways to interpret it.”

As the inaugural manager of exhibitions at the State Library of NSW, Ms Tegart said her role in bringing audiences was a rewarding position.

“I liked being surprising, bringing out parts of the library’s collection that people didn’t expect to see.”

For her time at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), Ms Tegart was part of a time of significant growth in both the collection and the audience, which she was proud to help shape and grow.

“I learned a great amount about Indigenous culture and art, and I’m glad to hear Ballarat has a growing Indigenous art scene, which i want to explore,” Ms Tegart says.

“I think the Ballarat gallery has huge potential for audience growth.”

Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh said Council was delighted to announce Ms Tegart’s appointment. 

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Louise to the city as the new director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat,” Cr McIntosh said. 

“It is an exciting time for the Ballarat arts community and I am sure that this appointment will only help to build on this momentum and really push our visual arts scene even further forward.” 

Chair of the Art Gallery of Ballarat board, Dr Mark Harris, said the appointment was the result of an extensive search, including candidates from across Australia and the world. 

“Louise’s appointment represents an enormously satisfyingly outcome in a long but necessary process to enable our Gallery to continue to honour James Oddie's vision for a great public gallery that actively engages with the Ballarat community,” Dr Harris said. 

“I am sure the local visual arts community and Ballarat district more generally will wholeheartedly welcome Louise to our community.”

Louise Tegart takes up the role of director in June.