Vancouver Art Gallery taps Anthony Kiendl as CEO

Anothony Kiendl | submitted

What happened: Vancouver Art Gallery appoints new boss

Why it matters: The gallery had been without a permanent director for more than a year

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) has tapped a new leader following a yearlong-plus vacancy at the helm.

Anthony Kiendl is set to assume the role of CEO and director of the VAG beginning mid-August.

The June 24 announcement comes after the sudden departure of Kathleen Bartels in May 2019.

She had served as the gallery’s executive director for the preceding 18 years and remained on board as a special adviser to interim director Daina Augaitis and board chairman David Calbrigo.

Dana Claxton, a member of the VAG’s executive search committee, said the gallery received an international response after the opening of the position was made public.

“We wanted to be sure to consider a broad pool of candidates,” she said in a statement.

Prior to being tapped to lead the VAG, Kiendl was CEO and executive director of Saskatchewan’s largest gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery.

He led the gallery in Regina since 2014, and was previously the executive and artistic director of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg.

“I know how focused [Kiendl] is on continuing and building the gallery’s commitment to Indigenous art and artists, profiling the activities of the Institute of Asian Art, and furthering its local, national and international reputation,” Calbrigo said in a statement.

Kiendl will find himself assisting the VAG amid a fundraising campaign to finance a new site in downtown Vancouver, a few blocks east of its long-time home on West Georgia Street.

That project is estimated to require $300 million worth of fundraising plus $50 million for an endowment fund, although those figures have not been adjusted for inflation in the last decade.

—With files from Glen Korstrom