New head of Carriageworks named

The international search for the next leader of Carriageworks has ended with the appointment of the Museum of Contemporary Art's Blair French as the inner city arts precinct's new chief executive officer.

French will take up the revamped position in August, replacing former director Lisa Havilah, who left Carriageworks in December to lead the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

The New Zealand-born arts administrator and curator previously held roles at the Australian Centre for Photography as program manager, Performance Space as associate director and Artspace as executive director.

Blair French has been named head of Carriageworks.

At the MCA French has been responsible for the development and delivery of the museum's artistic and digital programs as well as management of its collection. He curated the MCA's component of The National 2017: New Australian Art exhibition.

MCA director Liz Ann Macgregor said she was thrilled for French. ''It's a great step for him into a CEO role. He has made a tremendous contribution to shaping the MCA post-expansion and we will miss him but we look forward to continuing to collaborate with him on initiatives such as The National.''

Chair of Carriageworks Sam Mostyn said she was impressed with French's passion for the capacity of creative practices to ''change the lives of individuals and the vitality of communities''.

''Blair has had a distinguished career across the arts sector, having held leadership positions at four of Sydney’s key contemporary arts organisations, playing major roles in the maturing of their business operations, the extension of their national and international reputations through innovative programming and extensive relationship building, and their development of audiences across a wide spectrum of artistic practices.''

Living close to Carriageworks, French said the art and performance space was ''part of my everyday life, feeds my imagination and acts as a crucial hub in my experience of creative and socially engaged Sydney communities''.

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