Press Release – Auckland Council
Chris Saines, Director of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki since 1996, has been appointed as the new Director of the Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.
Australian born, Chris is a highly skilled and respected gallery director, with 30 years’ experience working in leading public art institutions in Australia and New Zealand. As Director of Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand’s major art museum, he has built very effective relationships within the art world and with donors, government and corporate supporters.
Chris led the major $121 million building development of the Gallery, established a Foundation that contributed $21 million, and managed the project from inception to completion. In 2009, he negotiated and secured the largest ever art gift to an Australasian public gallery, the 15-work Julian and Josie Robertson promised gift, valued at $115 million.
Under Chris’s tenure, the Gallery has also introduced the Auckland Triennial – a multi-venued festival of international art, and driven support of contemporary New Zealand artists through the Walters Prize. Chris was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours for services to the arts.
Chris departs Auckland on 15 March 2013 and takes up his new role on 29 April 2013.
Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) Chairman, Sir Don McKinnon, today congratulated Chris on his new appointment.
“Chris Saines’ contribution to Auckland over the past 17 years has been enormous,” Sir Don said. “The magnificent new Auckland Art Gallery stands as a permanent testament to Chris’ great drive, determination and passion for the arts.”
RFA Deputy Chair and long-time patron of the arts, Dame Jenny Gibbs, echoed Sir Don’s praise.
“Chris Saines has been an inspirational leader of New Zealand’s premier art museum and will be deeply missed by the arts community and gallery staff,” she said. “Chris’s high level skills and expertise will be a major asset for the Queensland Art Gallery and we wish him well in his new role.”
The Mayor, Len Brown, has thanked Chris Saines for his long service to Auckland.
“The wonderful art gallery that Aucklanders can now enjoy is in large part due to the work of Chris and his team.”
Regional Facilities Auckland will shortly begin a recruitment process for a new Auckland Art Gallery director, which it envisages will be wide in its scope.