A VISIT to Orange for the first time in January, was the catalyst for Lisa Loader to apply for the position of director of Orange Regional Gallery.
Ms Loader is taking on the role following the untimely death of former director Alan Sisley in early February and she takes up her appointment on August 1.
She comes to the position with many credentials including her last role as project manager of exhibitions at the State Library of NSW.
“I came here for a wedding and was just so impressed with the city - I visited wineries and of course the gallery.
“At the time there were exhibitions at the gallery by a number of local artists and I was impressed with the depth of the work,” she said.
In welcoming Ms Loader to the job, mayor of Orange John Davis says the new director has considerable experience engaging with the community in a leading regional gallery in Rockhampton in Queensland.
“She comes to the job with a strong background in the visual arts and a wealth of experience in staging major exhibitions at a high-profile venue in Sydney,” Cr Davis said.
“I am really looking forward to coming to the gallery in Orange because it is a great gallery with three excellent spaces,” Ms Loader said.
“I think the removable wall panel system at the gallery gives scope for great flexibility in staging exhibitions,” she said.
While not a devotee of any particular artist or period style, Ms Loader said instead she is drawn to individual works.
“I have quite eclectic tastes and I respond more to individual works rather than a particular artist or period,” she said.
Ms Loader said one of her goals in her new role in Orange will be to collaborate with the community in staging exhibitions of works currently held in private collections.
“I think it would be wonderful to share these with the wider community in an exhibition at the gallery,” she said.
The arrangement between the gallery and the Orange Health Service she says too is something she would like to see put forward as a model for other cities.
“The way the artworks from the gallery are on show at the hospital rather than being stored is absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“People in hospitals are under a great deal of stress and pressure and the idea they can look at an artwork that has been carefully chosen to be placed there in a particular space is absolutely fantastic,” she said.
Orange City Council spokesman Allan Reeder said Ms Loader was chosen by an interviewing panel comprising senior council staff, an independent community member and a representative from a NSW government agency.
President of Friends of the Orange Regional Gallery Ros Kemp said she is looking forward to meeting the new gallery director.
“We are absolutely thrilled at the new appointment and of course delighted we have our first female gallery director,” she said.
Gallery acting director Brenda Gray will revert to her position as assistant director.