Daniel Mudie Cunningham announced as Wollongong Art Gallery’s new Director

When Daniel Mudie Cunningham walks through the doors of Wollongong Art Gallery for his first day as director, it will be a homecoming of sorts.

The leading artist, curator, writer and lecturer has long had a connection to the city thanks to having family in the area and, most recently, his recent career survey Are you There? was shown at Wollongong Art Gallery in 2023.

Mr Mudie Cunningham will take on the role of Wollongong Art Gallery Director from 12 August 2024, following the retirement of outgoing director John Monteleone.

It’s a role he is very much looking forward to.

“I’m very excited to be appointed to the role of Director of Wollongong Art Gallery and continue to build its reputation and recognition as one of the country’s leading regional art galleries,” he said.

“Wollongong Art Gallery has a long history and a strong connection to the local community. Along with its expansive collection of art historical and contemporary significance, the diversity of its exhibitions and programs offers unique experiences for the community in its stately civic premises.

“I’m looking forward to steering its growth as we head towards its 50th anniversary in just a few years’ time.”

Mr Mudie Cunningham’s appointment follows an extensive recruitment process. The panel who considered applicants for the next Gallery director included representatives from Wollongong City Council and Museums and Galleries NSW.

“We were really impressed with the calibre of applicants for this essential role that fosters, supports and advocates for the city’s cultural and creative landscape,” Wollongong City Council Director Community Services Kerry Hunt said.

“Wollongong Art Gallery is one of the largest regional art museums in the country and we’re really excited to see what Daniel brings to the role and how the gallery can continue to play a pivotal role in the city’s cultural landscape.”

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said some residents may be familiar with Mr Mudie Cunningham work, particularly those who saw his 2023 exhibition.

“This exhibition spanned his 30 years of creative practice and showcase how his work is influenced by art history, queer politics, pop culture, performance and music,” Cr Bradbery said.

“However, Daniel isn’t just a creative practitioner, he is currently the curator of the Cementa Festival 2024, and has previously been the Co-Artistic Director of Performance Space and Director of Programs at Carriageworks in Sydney. He has also lectured previously at the University of Western Sydney and is currently working as a lecturer at the National Art School. He brings a wide range of experience to the role and I think that’s really exciting.”

Mr Mudie Cunningham will start in the role from 12 August 2024.

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