After three years as Director of Tauranga Art Gallery, Karl Chitham has resigned to take up a new position as Director Museums at Hutt City Council. Chitham will remain in his current position until December 21, before beginning his new role in the new year.
During his time as Director, Chitham has grown the Tauranga Art Gallery’s visitation to over 80,000 annually, reaching nearly 100,000 in the 2017/18 financial year when you include visitation to offsite exhibitions. The 2017/18 signature show, Art Loves You, generated over 40,000 visitors alone.
Chitham has extended The Gallery’s reach beyond its four walls by collaborating with other arts and cultural organisations, including the very popular The Rooms installation currently on show at The Elms historic mission house and library.
“Karl has made a very significant contribution to Tauranga Art Gallery; growing it’s visitation and furthering its reputation both locally and nationally. We will miss his expertise and passion, but his new role is a wonderful opportunity and we wish him the very best!” said Peter Anderson, the Chair of Tauranga Art Gallery Trust.
Tauranga Art Gallery, as a Council Controlled Organisation, has a close working relationship with Tauranga City Council. Deputy Mayor and Councillor, Kelvin Clout, has worked with Chitham during his tenure at The Gallery. “It’s been a pleasure working with Karl, he has ensured a close-working relationship between The Gallery and TCC. We are also very pleased with the great results he and the team produced since he joined the gallery in July 2015.”
Chitham will be leaving The Gallery with a full complement of staff and has already planned activities for 2019, including a partnership with the 2019 Tauranga Arts Festival as confirmed by festival director, Jo Bond. “Karl and I have already begun work on a great collaboration for next year. I will miss working with him but look forward to continuing our relationship with The Gallery”.
Karl Chatham’s vision, drive and dedication to creating exceptional art experiences has not gone unnoticed by his new employers. Hutt City Council General Manager, City and Community Services, Matt Reid said they were impressed by his leadership achievements and vision for the future. “Karl is keen to ensure the arts can positively influence everyone’s lives and wants to create accessible and high quality museum, arts and cultural experiences for everyone.”
Recruitment for a new Tauranga Art Gallery Director will begin in October.