02 Apr 2024

Art gallery announce string of leadership appointments

Ikon leaders.jpg

Public art gallery Ikon has announced the new leadership team taking the gallery forward in its 60th year.

The Board of Trustees have made permanent appointments for Ian Hyde, chief executive officer; Melanie Pocock, artistic director (Exhibitions); and Linzi Stauvers, artistic director (Education).

The trio said in a joint statement: “To be appointed as Ikon’s leadership team during the gallery’s 60th anniversary is very special.

“Through this new collaborative structure, covering commercial enterprise, exhibition curation and education practice, we are excited to oversee the future development of Ikon in showcasing the visual arts regionally and internationally.

“From our gallery in Birmingham, a city built on enlightenment principles, we will forge new cultural, industrial and communal partnerships."

Ian Hyde has an overview of the whole organisation, having joined Ikon in 2016 as deputy director and later becoming chief operating officer.

Hyde has a particular focus on Ikon’s business operations, with financial knowledge across all areas, managing engagement with key funders and stakeholders while leading the team to explore new revenue streams and strategic relationships.

He is also company secretary and facilitates the charity’s Board of Trustees.

Melanie Pocock, artistic director (Exhibitions) leads on Ikon’s exhibition programme, publications, and, with the wider team, off-site projects.

Melanie Pocock joined Ikon in 2020 and has curated exhibitions including a major presentation of performance art by Indonesian artist Melati Suryodarmo (2023); Horror in the Modernist Block, an exhibition of work by 20 UK and international contemporary artists exploring the relationship between architectural modernism and horror (2022-23); and off-site projects including artist Hew Locke’s city-centre installation Foreign Exchange, presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Pocock moved to Ikon from her previous position as assistant curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICA), prior to which she held curatorial positions at Modern Art Oxford and Art Scene China.

Linzi Stauvers, artistic director (Education) leads on Ikon’s education programmes with university, school, charity and criminal justice partners.

Working with teaching staff at Wolverhampton School of Art, she co-produced Ikon’s current exhibition Start the Press! (2024), which brings printmaking to life around an antique printing press in the gallery.

She also co-curated the exhibition Imposter Syndrome (2023), the culmination of Dean’s Kelland’s four-year artist residency at HMP Grendon, with community members at the Category B prison.

Having joined Ikon in 2017, she leads on long-term projects including Art at HMP Grendon, funded by the Marie Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust, and Ikon Youth Programme on Slow Boat, funded by Freelands Foundation.

With a PhD in History of Art from University College London, Stauvers has worked in education departments at the National Portrait Gallery, Milton Keynes Gallery and The Hepworth Wakefield.

Professor Helen Higson OBE DL, chair of Ikon Board of Trustees said: “On behalf of Ikon's Board of Trustees, I would like to express how delighted we are to appoint the gallery's new leadership team.

“We have been on a thorough and considered journey to reach this point, taking time to consult with sector colleagues, supporters and artists and working with a specialist recruitment agency to reach the best possible outcome.

“Ian Hyde, Melanie Pocock and Linzi Stauvers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, both local and international, and the new style of leadership we were looking for.

“We are excited to work with them and the gallery's wider team to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for new and challenging experiences of art, to remain a key component in the region's cultural landscape and to realise this new phase in Ikon's history."

Pictured from left to right: Melanie Pocock, artistic director (Exhibitions), Linzi Stauvers, artistic director (Education) and Ian Hyde, Chief Executive Officer.  

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