Veteran art director and curator Nick Mitzevich unlocked a Key to the City of Newcastle during an intimate ceremony at the Newcastle Art Gallery yesterday.
The Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Mr Mitzevich began his career in Newcastle, studying a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle and gaining Graduate Diplomas in Education and Fine Art.
He then served as the Director of Newcastle Art Gallery for six years.
During his tenure, Mr Mitzevich brought community engagement, programming, marketing and collection development to the fore, which boldly transformed the gallery.
Today, he remains a passionate advocate and supporter of the proposed $35.6 million Newcastle Art Gallery Expansion, touting Newcastle as a creative arts hub that fosters creativity and produces world-class talent.
Upon receiving his key, Mr Mitzevich acknowledged his role as a former Novocastrian in proudly promoting the city.
“It is an honour and a privilege to receive a Key to the City of Newcastle, my hometown which represents a significant chapter in my life and my career,” he said.
“In upholding the values of the Ambassador Program as the City’s newest inductee, this award reaffirms my continued commitment to Newcastle and its rich arts scene.”
Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton praised Mr Mitzevich’s incredible work.
“It is wonderful to see my professional colleague and dear friend Nick Mitzevich, former Director of our beautiful gallery and now the Director of the National Gallery of Australia, receive this prestigious honour,” she said.
“Nick continues to be a proud advocate and supporter of Newcastle’s much-loved Art Gallery and it is a pleasure to be hosting his Ambassadorship ceremony here.”
Mr Mitzevich is the eighth individual or organisation to receive a Key to the City of Newcastle since the program’s inception in 2017.
He joins the ranks with Naval Officer Anita Sellick, former University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen, Breast Cancer Trials, Newcastle Eye Hospital Foundation, The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG, Youth With a Mission medical vessel The Ruach, and businesswoman and media personality Jackie Gillies.