JESSICA Bridgfoot will take over the directorship at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
The City of Greater Bendigo announced the appointment on Thursday morning, following an extensive search to replace former director Karen Quinlan.
Ms Bridgfoot said she was thrilled to step into the director's role.
"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," she said.
"I am very much looking forward to building on the legacy of Karen Quinlan and Tony Elwood 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."
"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."
City of Greater Bendigo strategy and growth director Bernie O'Sullivan said Ms Bridgfoot 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," he said.
"Jessica's achievements in delivering contemporary and innovative art programming, coupled with her vision to raise the gallery's engagement and visitor experience through digital platforms, diverse programming and education made her a stand-out choice.
Mr O'Sullivan said as a Bendigo local, Jessica 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," he said.
"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 arrived at the Bendigo Art Gallery in 2016 as a curator.
Current exhibition Defining the Australian Ugliness was curated by Ms Bridgfoot and she is the lead curator for the coming Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition.
Outside of curating exhibitions, Ms Bridgfoot has secured funding for a First Nations Curator and managed a major repatriation project with the Dja Dja Wurrung.
Ms Bridgefoot said she would like to see more diversity and interactive experiences at 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," she said.
"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."
Prior to arriving at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Ms Bridgfoot studied visual arts at Monash University and completed a Masters of Arts Management at the University of Melbourne.
She has also run her own gallery, Alluvial Gallery, on View Street, Bendigo, dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in a regional context.
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