New director at RWA as it hopes to ‘enrich lives through visual arts’

The newly appointed director of the Royal West of England Academy says that she is “driven by the conviction that art has the capacity to empower, connect and enrich individuals and communities”.

Ren Renwick will begin her new job at the historic Clifton gallery in July, taking over from outgoing director Alison Bevan.

Bristol’s first elected mayor, George Ferguson, will also be joining the RWA as its new chair of trustees

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Renwick is currently chief executive officer of the Pituitary Foundation, a charity supporting people living with or affected by a pituitary condition.

She has previously been CEO of the Association of Illustrators, arts manager at Wandsworth Council in south London and a researcher at the BBC, and is also on the board of Bristol Museums Development Trust.

Ferguson said: “The RWA holds a very special place in Bristol’s cultural landscape and has been ever present in my life.

“I very much look forward to collaborating with the board, staff, and artists to further its mission of fostering creativity and enriching lives through the visual arts.

“Together, we shall build on the great work that has been done over the last few years and continue to strengthen the RWA’s position as a leading cultural institution in the South West and beyond.”

The RWA in Bristol is the UK’s only Royal Academy of Art housed in its own, original, purpose-built gallery. – photo: RWA

Bevan, who has been director of the RWA since 2013 and led it through its biggest physical change in more than a century, added: “I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be at the helm of this extraordinary organisation through this period of change and want to pay tribute to the amazing team of colleagues, volunteers and stakeholders who have made it all happen, and to the generosity of the RWA’s patrons, friends, benefactors and funders who have provided essential support.

“I’m excited for the RWA’s future under its brilliant new director, Ren Renwick, and chair of trustees, George Ferguson, and look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength.”

Main photo: RWA

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