When Tansy Curtin first arrived in Bendigo, it was to take up a one-year contract at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
On Friday, after 13 years with the city's art institution, the curatorial manager farewelled the gallery to take the role of curator of international exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Having grown up in South Australia, Tansy said the opportunity to work in her home state and be closer to family was hard to resist.
"The Art Gallery of South Australia is an important and incredible institution," she said. "I did masters there through the gallery and university.
"So I have a great connection to collections and the people (in SA). This is an opportunity that doesn't come up very often."
"But I love Bendigo. It's a beautiful city. I had my son here and it's been a wonderful place to bring him up.
"(The city is full of) lovely people, a great food culture and is a great place to live and Bendigo Art Gallery has given me the opportunity to curate incredible exhibitions have had a meaningful impact on people's lives in the city and outside as well."
Tansy's last exhibition at the gallery, Bessie Davidson & Sally Smart - Two artists and the Parisian avant-garde was set to open on Friday.
"Bessie Davidson was an expatriate Australian artist," Tansy said. "One of the first shows I did (in Bendigo) was called Long Weekend and was about expat artists.
"I developed a passion for her work and have been working with one her descendent, an artists named Sally Smart, who has developed a new body of work in response to Bessie's work. It's a nice bookend to my time in Bendigo.
"A lot of (Bessie's) work is at the Art Gallery of South Australia who has a strong collection of her work.
"I can't wait to share my knowledge with the curator of Australian art there and have loved continuing to fight for female artists who haven't received the recognition they should."
With coronavirus prevention measures forcing the gallery to close, part of the exhibition will be able to be seen online through the gallery's social media pages.
"It's a strange world at the moment but we have got to look out for each other," she said.
"It's nice to see so many galleries and museums putting content online. We need bright moments and to have moments to escape and enjoy art."
Tansy's time with Bendigo Art Gallery has helped exhibitions including Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, The Golden Age of Couture, Grace Kelly: Style Icon and the Marilyn Monroe exhibitions to the city.
"It was a very different world in the gallery and in Bendigo (13 years ago), so much has changed here," she said.
"From working on small touring exhibitions to huge successes like the Golden Age of Couture, Grace Kelly and Marilyn. To have those opportunities to travel internationally and develop relationships to secure items for loan such as (the sculpture) Forever Marilyn has been amazing. Forever Marilyn was a great coup for Bendigo.
"The Tudors to Windsors exhibition was a wonderful exhibition. I really enjoyed that. The core of the exhibition was the National Gallery of London but to augment that and create interest and excitement for the public was a great experience."
In creating those exhibition, Tansy has also had the chance to see first hand behind the scenes of some of the world's most renowned collections.
"Getting to access some of those amazing collection internationally as curator still gets me super excited," she said.
"To say I went behind the scenes at Hampton Court Palace and see what other museums and galleries are doing and learning about their collections is exciting.
"The other really enjoyable exhibition I did was a beautiful show called American Dreams.
"That gave me the chance to travel to Rochester, New York, (and) research in the George Eastman Museum which has one of best photographic collections in world."
As well as the chance to develop her knowledge of the arts, Tansy has also enjoyed seeing Bendigo engage with the gallery and its exhibitions.
"The lovely thing about a regional centre is you see the impacts and see how art increases life enjoyment as well as the economical impact (on the city)," she said.
"I haved loved the way Bendigo businesses get on board and celebrate what the gallery does.
"That's fabric of Bendigo's personality - everyone gets on board."