Press Release - Founding Artistic Director to leave Artes Mundi

Date posted: November 16, 2009

Tessa Jackson, founding Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Artes Mundi, Wales International Visual Art Exhibition and Prize, will leave the organisation after leading its current programme of activity Artes Mundi 4, including its major exhibition (11 March – 6 June) at National Museum Cardiff. She has been appointed as Chief Executive of Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London.

As an international contemporary visual arts initiative, Artes Mundi is committed to recognising exciting artists from around the world and has established a reputation for showing artists who discuss the human condition and add to our understanding of humanity. Its current two year cycle of activity is now underway and will culminate in the Exhibition. Artes Mundi’s Chairman William Wilkins CBE admitted “ We shall be sad to see Tessa leave but we are delighted that she will continue to lead us through Artes Mundi 4, and has given

Artes Mundi the opportunity to plan for its next phase of development. We have been on an extraordinary journey together over the last eight years making so many different countries aware of the cultural strength of Wales, and introducing so many exciting artists to the UK.”

Tessa Jackson added “It has been a huge privilege to instigate such an initiative and to be supported by such an able and enthusiastic board and team. It is always hard to leave something one is closely identified with and has put so much energy into. I feel that the organisation can now make the most of the Arts Council of Wales’s Investment Review, appoint a new leader in plenty of time for Artes Mundi 5 and ensure we take all our supporters with us.”

Artes Mundi was founded by William Wilkins and Michael Nixon in 2002. It has grown into a cultural programme which includes the Exhibition, the awarding of the Artes Mundi Prize (£40,000), Education, Public and Community activities as well as the purchasing of artwork with funds from the Derek Williams Trust for the national collections of Wales. Established with the support of the Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff Council, Arts Council of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales, who all of who remain as key partners.

For further information please contact Carl Grainger at Artes Mundi
+44 2920 555 300

Notes for Editors


Artes Mundi

Artes Mundi has recently announced the Shortlist of artists for Artes Mundi 4. The intensive selection process involved Artes Mundi in receiving over 480 international nominations from more than 80 countries, with the shortlist being chosen by two appointed curators ‐ independent curator and art critic Viktor Misiano, formerly curator at The Pushkin State Museum and Director of the Contemporary Art Center (CAC) in Moscow, and Levent Çalikoğlu, Chief Curator at Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.

The shortlisted artists will each show a body of work in a major exhibition at National Museum Cardiff from 11 March – 6 June 2010. A separate, independent panel of five judges will award the Artes Mundi Prize to one of the artists in May 2010. Their decision will be based upon work of the last 5 – 8 years. The Derek William Trust purchase will be made on the advice of a further independent panel.

Artes Mundi is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, City and County of Cardiff, Arts Council of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. Artes Mundi Prize Limited is an independent charitable trust and a company limited by guarantee.

For further information


Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)

Iniva engages with new ideas and emerging debates in the contemporary visual arts, reflecting in particular the cultural diversity of contemporary society. Iniva works with artists, curators, creative producers, writers and the public to explore the vitality of visual culture.

Iniva ’s new home at Rivington Place, a RIBA award winning building in Shoreditch, provides a public space for its dynamic programme. Tessa Jackson will lead Iniva into the next phase of its development as it engages with new ideas and emerging debates in the contemporary visual arts, reflecting the cultural diversity of contemporary society.

Further information is available at

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