August 31, 2018 - Govett-Brewster Art Gallery - Seeking director
August 31, 2018

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth, Aotearoa New Zealand. Photo: Patrick Reynolds.

Seeking director

Application deadline: September 30, 2018

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Devon Street West and Queen Street
New Plymouth 4342
New Zealand
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We are seeking an inspiring, aspirational and experienced director or visual arts professional to lead the Gallery and Centre’s strategic direction, programme development and delivery, and to grow its impact locally, nationally and internationally.

The city, with the support of foundation trustees, seeks to build on the success of the Gallery’s outstanding new award-winning building and the transformative work of founding directors.

To enhance and advance the Gallery and Centre’s unique role, destination experience and reputation. As New Zealand’s only dedicated museum of contemporary art, the Gallery and Centre have a role to play for both international and national audiences and a responsibility to respond to contemporary life, not only in New Zealand but in the wider Pacific-Rim region. As a museum located in New Plymouth, it also has a role in engaging with many different communities in Taranaki.

To lead development and implementation of a:
–bold, distinctive and compelling programme for local, national and international communities and markets
–highly engaging Len Lye programme and experience in New Plymouth and beyond
–unique 50th anniversary year programme in 2020
–powerful destination museum experience and market growth

And, in alignment, to:
–review and build on the Govett-Brewster Collection
–work to develop public and scholarly interest in the Len Lye Collection  
–build and manage an expert team
–lead stakeholder management and communication
–work with the city, trustees, public and private sector partners and investors to support the direction and programme of the Gallery and Centre for the next period of its growth

The Govett-Brewster is New Zealand’s museum of contemporary art and the world centre for the works, ideas and collection of Len Lye, a New Zealand-born international pioneer of experimental film-making and kinetic art.

The Govett-Brewster is a contemporary art museum of the Pacific Rim, with an international reputation and reach. Located in the coastal city of New Plymouth, New Zealand, our independence from the larger cities sets us apart and provides us a measure of freedom. A freedom and sense of self-determination keenly felt by our founder, New Plymouth-born Monica Brewster, when she dreamed of an art museum for New Zealand.

Founded on a visionary exhibition and collection policy in 1970, we continue to present innovative and provocative work by New Zealand and international artists. The Govett-Brewster looks to encourage, launch and foster the experimental, seek the new and provide a space for engagement and dialogue for people from all walks of life.

In 1980, Len Lye transferred ownership of his works and copyright to the Len Lye Foundation for the people of New Zealand, to be housed and presented at the Govett-Brewster.

In 2015, the city opened the internationally-acclaimed Len Lye Centre. The Centre and the upgrading of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery were generously supported by public and private investors, including Government, to increase access to Lye’s works and extend the overall Govett-Brewster facility and experience.

The Gallery and Centre are valued assets for the city and region. The region performs highly nationally and internationally and is recognised for its leadership in the creative, energy, engineering, dairying and food production sectors and markets.

The Gallery and Centre consistently attracts 55-70% of its audience from outside of the region and is focused on growing its international audience aligned to regional and national visitor strategies. At the same time, there is a significant opportunity to grow meaningful engagement with the many different communities that live and work in New Plymouth and Taranaki.

Governance and management
The New Plymouth District Council own and manage the Gallery and Centre on behalf of the citizens of New Plymouth. The NPDC works in partnership with the Len Lye Foundation who own and govern the Len Lye Collection housed at the Gallery. NPDC also works strategically with the Govett-Brewster Foundation.

Initial expressions of interest from visual arts directors or professionals are invited in confidence to the Chief Executive, New Plymouth District Council, Private Bag, New Plymouth, by September 30. Please include: a letter highlighting your interest, proposed contribution to the leadership, direction, programme and impact for the Gallery and Centre, including a full professional experience summary and two referees backing your expression of interest.
NPDC is seeking to make the new director appointment by December 2018 leading to taking up the position in early 2019. A copy of Govett-Brewster’s published story, programme and history from 1970–2010 is available on request.

Please address questions during this EOI period to

–John Leuthart, who is managing this process for the city, john [​at​] / T +64 21371384 or

–Teresa Turner, Manager of Recreation & Culture, for questions relating to NPDC, teresa.turner [​at​]

This is an exceptional opportunity for the right professional at this time in his or her career to make their mark on the Gallery and Centre’s legacy and future. A competitive package will be offered.

Taranaki New Zealand offers a unique environment and quality of living within an international community of professionals and families. The region is poised to grow its national and international attraction and impact. The Gallery and Centre and surrounding West End Precinct has a major role to play in this future. 

We look forward to your expression of interest.

Craig Stevenson, Chief Executive, New Plymouth District Council

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
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