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MAMA Announces new CEO

Blair French
Murray Art Museum Albury

Albury City Council, together with MAMA Ltd, are pleased to announce the appointment of Blair French to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Murray Art Museum Albury.

Mr French comes to the Museum with extensive leadership experience within the not-for-profit arts and cultural sector, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Carriageworks, Sydney (2019-2023).

Prior roles include Director, Curatorial and Digital at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2013-2019); Executive Director, Artspace Visual Arts Centre (2006-2013); Associate Director, Performance Space (2002-2005); and Program Manager (1996-1999) and Acting Director (1998-1999) at the Australian Centre for Photography.

AlburyCity Chief Executive Officer, Frank Zaknich, announced the appointment after a nationwide search for the Museum’s next leader.

“AlburyCity is confident that Blair will be a great asset for the Museum, and for the region more broadly. We look forward to welcoming Blair to the city and supporting him as he leads the next, significant chapter of the Museum’s life,” Mr Zaknich said.

The Museum’s independent Board, MAMA Ltd, is thrilled with the appointment.

Chairperson Janet Osborne commented: “Blair is a highly accomplished arts leader and we are really excited to have him accept this position as MAMA moves towards becoming an independent entity. Blair brings with him a wealth of knowledge, skills and understanding about leading a modern arts organisation and the Museum will benefit greatly from his vision and understanding.”

As an experienced curator and writer with a longstanding engagement with Australian photography, Blair French has been following the work of the Museum for many years.

“MAMA has continually challenged the notion of a regional art museum. It has been ambitious and intelligent in its artistic choices. It works closely with local communities whilst participating in global conversations. It demonstrates care and intelligence in the way in which it works with First Nations artists. It continues to interrogate its reason for existing and responds to that cultural responsibility in ways that make it an exemplary model for art museums nationally. It is dynamic, certainly never complacent. I’ve found it always fascinating to visit and exciting to partner with. It will be privilege to lead MAMA through the next stages of its evolution.”

Mr French will commence in January 2024 and looks forward to his regional move.

“I’m looking forward to the move and to connecting with the region and its people more closely,” he said. “I know the Museum has a strong team and a great program planned for 2024, including the National Photography Prize in March, so it’s a wonderful time to be coming on board.”

Murray Art Museum Albury is now one of the most visited art museums in the state, and has earned a reputation for its original, innovative programming, ambitious artwork commissions, and an increasingly significant permanent collection.

‘This is the vision we had for the Museum when we underwent the redevelopment in 2015’ continued Zaknich. ‘To be one of the leading arts and cultural institutions in Australia, to be progressive in our approach, and to find expanded ways to stimulate and energise the cultural life of the region. The Board and AlburyCity together look forward to the contribution that Blair will make to the ongoing work of the Museum.’

Media Contacts:

Available for Media Interview:

  • Blair French
  • Frank Zaknich

Please contact Annie Falcke to arrange interviews.
Annie Falcke
0438 509 942
Acting Director

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