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Art Gallery of South Australia announces new Board Chair
Jason Karas is an experienced lawyer and commercial adviser.

ADELAIDE.- The Government of South Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia announced that Mr Jason Karas has been appointed as the incoming Chair of the Art Gallery Board. Karas, who currently sits on AGSA’s board, will take the place of Tracey Whiting AM.

Premier Steven Marshall and South Australia’s Minister for the Arts said Tracey Whiting’s contribution to the Art Gallery Board, along with her wider contribution to the state’s arts and culture sectors, has been greatly appreciated.

‘Tracey’s outstanding contribution to South Australia’s cultural landscape has been immense, and her being awarded Member of the Order of Australia earlier this year is testament to her energy and passion for the arts, I would like to thank Tracey sincerely for her service to the Board, and the state, and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.’ said Premier Marshall.

‘I would also like to congratulate Jason Karas on his appointment as new Chair of the Board – I look forward to working with him as we continue to cement the Art Gallery of South Australia as one of the country’s foremost cultural institutions.’

Jason Karas is an experienced lawyer and commercial adviser. He co-founded Lipman Karas, an international law firm founded in Adelaide that specialises in dispute resolution. Lipman Karas has been a strong supporter of AGSA including the highly successful national tour of the Quilty exhibition and the Ramsay Art Prize through the Lipman Karas People’s Choice Award. Jason has been a long-term supporter of the Gallery and is an active participant in the Contemporary Collectors group. He is deeply committed to the cultural and economic development of South Australia and the role of art in the advancement of society.

Jason Karas says, ‘AGSA holds one of Australia's finest collections of traditional and contemporary art and consistently curates internationally renowned exhibitions. The Gallery plays a vital role in the creative, social and economic life of our State and beyond. It reflects our collective past, present and future. I look forward to working closely with our Director, Board, Minister, Partners and all Stakeholders, through the next phase of AGSA's evolution as a progressive, diverse and inclusive public institution.’

‘It is essential that we are ambitious and innovative in pursuing our purpose. This will benefit all members of our community and advance the status and prosperity of South Australia. On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our deep gratitude to outgoing Chair Tracey Whiting AM, for her inspiring leadership, work ethic and generosity,’ Karas adds.

This appointment follows the successful tenure of Tracey Whiting AM as Chair from August 2014 until August 2020. During this time the Gallery has grown its collections of works of art with some 4000 acquisitions bringing the number to more than 45,000 works of art with a collection of major national and international standing. Audience visitation has grown exponentially with AGSA now the most visited Australian state art museum per capita. Exhibition highlights include the Gallery’s most visited exhibition, Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay in 2018, the influential and impactful Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art since 2015, and the biennial Ramsay Art Prize, one of Australia’s most generous art prizes since 2017 and the only prize dedicated to artists under 40. Her expertise in marketing is evidenced in the successful rebranding of AGSA in 2018. Tracey played an active role in the establishment of two major philanthropic support groups for AGSA, the Contemporary Collectors group from 2003 which has supported the acquisition of over 500 works of art into the collection, and the Biennial Ambassadors from 2014.

Tracey Whiting AM says, ‘It has been an honour to steer one of South Australia’s most loved institutions, and a hugely rewarding experience to work with such a passionate and professional board and management team who are making such valuable contributions to art and culture in South Australia.’

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