Louise Tegart says she hopes to continue the legacy of the Ballarat gallery's founders

A broader vision: AGB director says she hopes to activate the gallery and broaden its vision. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric.
A broader vision: AGB director says she hopes to activate the gallery and broaden its vision. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric.

The Art Gallery of Ballarat’s new director Louise Tegart says she hopes to stay true to the original mandate set by James Oddie when he helped establish the institution in 1890: “inspiring and edifying the people of Ballarat.”

Ms Tegart started her tenure at the gallery this week after being appointed in April. She was previously at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), and says a major difference between the two institutions is the centrality of the gallery here.

“In Darwin we were looking after about seven different properties across the Northern Territory, Ms Tegart says.

“That distributed model is quite challenging... Having one location to look after and one set of staff in one place is great.

Ms Tegart says she is looking forward to the competition of having several regional galleries nearby Ballarat, but the extended vision of MAGNT will serve here too.

“In the Northern Territory MAGNT was basically the cultural institution for the territory and thinking regionally actually meant thinking much more broadly.

“So I was looking towards Indonesia, Timor, northern neighbours, spilling over into Queensland and South Australia and Western Australia. How we think about the term regional and what makes a regional gallery –  bringing some of those ideas here is going to be kind of critical.”