John Hansard Gallery and the University of Southampton are happy to announce that Woodrow Kernohan will succeed Professor Stephen Foster as Director of the John Hansard Gallery in 2017.
As Director, Kernohan will take the gallery into an exciting new phase as it relocates to the city centre in Studio 144
, the new £28.5m arts venue which opens in 2017 in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter. The Gallery, which originally opened in1980, has played a dynamic role in the cultural life of Southampton and the region, through its critically-acclaimed curatorial and education programme, central to which is the Gallery's contribution to the world-renowned research culture of the University of Southampton.
"I am thrilled to have been appointed as the new Director of Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery,” says Kernohan. “Growing up in the region, the Gallery was a constant reference point for me and I am delighted to be returning to the area to take up this role and build on Professor Stephen Foster’s legacy. The Gallery’s new location in Studio 144 has been made possible through pioneering partnership and I am looking forward to joining the team and working closely with partners to realise the John Hansard Gallery’s next phase in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter."
Kernohan is currently Director/CEO of EVA International – Ireland’s biennial of contemporary art that takes place in galleries, museums, ex-industrial sites, and public spaces across Limerick City in the west of Ireland. In 2015 he was also the Curator of the Irish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, presenting Sean Lynch’s ‘Adventure: Capital’ in the Arsenale. Previously Kernohan was Co-Director of photography festival Brighton Photo Fringe, Co-Director of experimental exhibition space Permanent Gallery, and Exhibitions Curator at restoration project The Regency Town House, all in Brighton & Hove, Sussex, UK.
Professor Stephen Foster, who has led the John Hansard Gallery for the last thirty years and has been instrumental in the creation of Studio 144, will retire at the end of April 2017 following extraordinary 30 year tenure at the Gallery. During his time, he has helped the Gallery make major impact in the civic and cultural life of the city, as well as the international art world.
“I am delighted that Woodrow Kernohan has been chosen as my successor and I hope that the appointment will bring him at least a portion of the satisfaction, enjoyment and fulfilment that it has brought me over the years,” says Professor Foster. “We were anxious that my successor would be someone who would ‘get it’ in terms of the Gallery’s unique offer and reputation and continue what the gallery has achieved to date, but also to build on it and take it to areas and in directions that we have so far merely imagined. Woodrow is that person.”
Kernohan will take up the post from March 2017.