IT'S the start of a new era for Tamworth's Weswal Gallery, with a familiar face to come on board as director.
The driving force and gallery's owner for the past seven years, Sandra McMahon, has decided to move on, with respected gallery manager Kate Hofman to take over ownership.
"I just felt the time was right for me, I've got an elderly mother in Canberra and I just need to spend a bit more time with her," Ms McMahon told the Leader.
"I had been thinking about selling the business for a little while now and because Kate has been working with me for so long, I gave her the first option.
"Kate has decided to take it over, which is terrific for me and terrific for the arts community. Kate has been working in the arts for a long time and has a great reputation within the community."
Prior to owning Weswal, Ms McMahon was the director of Tamworth Regional Art Gallery and has a long and extensive career in the arts as a registered art valuer.
The changeover will be a natural progression, with the pair having worked closely together since 2009, at both the Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, and after Ms Hofman stepped in as manager of Wewal Gallery a number of years ago.
Ms Hofman said she has lots of fresh new ideas for the gallery and is excited for the future.
"The time is right for her to move on because she has other family obligations and my children are both at school now, so the time is right for me to be doing more," she said.
"I'm looking forward to the chance to sink my teeth into this role more. Sandra has been an excellent mentor over the years, a true professional, so knowledgeable.
"I've absorbed as much as I possibly can and I hope to bring those qualities to the gallery going forward, but then to be able to create it under my own vision which is a really exciting opportunity."
Ms Hofman will begin the new role on September 1.
To keep up to date with events, workshops, and view local art visit Weswal Gallery's website www.weswalgallery.com.au
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