Karl Chitham has been announced as the new director for the Tauranga Art Gallery.

Mr Chitham is currently curator at the Rotorua Museum, takes up his role as gallery director on July 27.

Tauranga Art Gallery Trust chairperson Peter Anderson said: "Karl is a dynamic, very articulate art's professional with a strong and mature presence and the Trust is delighted to have him as the new gallery director.''

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More than 20 people from throughout New Zealand, as well as art professionals from Argentina, Australia, Germany and Italy applied for the role.

"That is testimony to the quality and professional standard of Toi Tauranga's art exhibitions and activities and the Gallery's emerging presence as one of New Zealand's leading regional art galleries," Mr Anderson said.

Last year nearly 70,000 people visited the Tauranga Art Gallery and 9000 young children and students attended Gallery learning programmes.

"The Bay of Plenty is a fantastic place to live, it is experiencing solid economic growth and local residents and families relocating to the region expect to see a vibrant and diverse art world - and that is now emerging with exciting new initiatives underway," Mr Anderson said.

Mr Chitham has worked in Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty in a variety of curatorial, management, academic and research roles in leading institutions .

He has experience and involvement with Artist Alliance and mentoring programmes and he is a selection panel member, advisor, award's judge and curator advisor within the New Zealand arts community.

Mr Chitham is well published with numerous essays and articles, and his professional opportunities have enabled him to expand his international networks to Australia, the Asia Pacific region and into Europe.

He holds a Master of Fine Art from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, a Diploma in Secondary Teaching, Auckland College of Education and a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Manukau Institute of Technology.