The City of Greater Bendigo is delighted to announce Jessica Bridgfoot has been appointed Bendigo Art Gallery Director.
Ms Bridgfoot is currently a curator at Bendigo Art Gallery, having joined the Gallery in 2016.
Her major achievements over this time include securing funding for a First Nations Curator and managing a major repatriation project with the Dja Dja Wurrung, successfully
co-curating a range of innovative exhibitions including New Histories and Gothic Beauty: Victorian Notions of Love, Loss and Mourning, and project curating Myuran Sukamaran: Another Day in Paradise.
Ms Bridgfoot has curated the current exhibition Defining the Australian Ugliness and is the lead curator for the upcoming Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition. She is also responsible for program development and maintaining strong working relationships with reputable national and international arts organisations.
City of Greater Bendigo Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan congratulated Ms Bridgfoot and said she would make a terrific Director.
“After an extensive search, the City is very pleased to appoint Jessica to this important leadership role within our organisation, the Greater Bendigo community and the Australian arts industry,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“Jessica’s achievements in delivering contemporary and innovative art programing, coupled with her vision to raise the Gallery’s engagement and visitor experience through digital platforms, diverse programing and education made her a stand-out choice.
“Jessica is a Bendigo local and over her career has watched the Gallery transform into a critical cultural institution. As a current staff member she understands the importance of the gallery to the Bendigo community and also its position as one of Australia’s leading regional galleries.
“The Gallery has a great history of promoting from within and growing the leadership, creativity and management skills of its staff. We look forward to watching Jessica’s unique contribution to the history of the Gallery unfold.”
Ms Bridgfoot said she was thrilled to take on this new challenge.
“I am beyond excited to step into the role of Director. After almost three years as a Curator at Bendigo Art Gallery, I am so looking forward to leading one of Australia’s most loved and successful regional galleries and maintaining its important role in supporting the regional tourism and creative economies,” Ms Bridgfoot said.
“Together with the exceptional Gallery team, I look forward to building on the successes of the past, including delivering blockbuster exhibitions focusing on fashion, celebrity and design, while growing our fantastic contemporary and historic shows.
“I’m from a contemporary background and I would like to see more diversity and interactive experiences in the Gallery. We have great exhibition spaces and the team will be working with new artists, artists from Australia and beyond to ramp up our program of curated contemporary exhibitions.
“Long term, the gallery will need further development to house our growing collection, exhibition and learning spaces, deliver dedicated First Nations programs and provide new interactive spaces.
“I am very much looking forward to building on the legacy of Karen Quinlan and Tony Ellwood before me and working with our fantastic Board, the City of Greater Bendigo and the arts community to chart this exciting future together and deliver contemporary experiences for our community and audiences.”
Ms Bridgfoot studied Visual Arts (Painting) at Monash University and completed a Masters of Arts Management at the University of Melbourne, and has enjoyed an extensive career across the public and private sector, including time working overseas.
Her major achievements include working as a project manager for a contemporary performance organisation in Glasgow, Scotland, running her own gallery, Alluvial Gallery, on View Street, Bendigo dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in a regional context, and establishing The Substation as a premier destination for contemporary art in Melbourne, where she was responsible for the planning, funding, curation and delivery of the visual arts program.
Ms Bridgfoot has also held a number of professional appointments, including currently serving on the Curatorial Selection Panel for the Macfarlane Fund.
Ms Bridgfoot will commence in the Director role from Thursday June 20.