Blue Oyster Arts Trust is delighted to announce writer and curator Simon Palenski as our incoming Director.

Originally from Ōtautahi, Simon joins Blue Oyster fresh from Dunedin Public Art Gallery, where he is currently the 2022 Ihupukutaka Kairauhī Curatorial Intern. Prior to this, he was Co-director of Paludal art space (with Zina Swanson & James Oram), and worked as a Visitor Host & Exhibitions Technician at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

His writing has been published widely across Aotearoa, most recently in Art News New Zealand, Circuit Artist Moving Image Aotearoa New Zealand, HAMSTER, The Pantograph Punch and Vernacular.

Simon has an honours degree in History, focusing on Aotearoa history, from the University of Canterbury, and studied creative writing with the Iowa Workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka. He is also a graduate of Ako Tuatahi and Ako Tuarua te reo Māori taught at Hagley College.

“Blue Oyster is a brilliant and unique art space, with a rich history of supporting and advocating for artists," says Simon. "I’m excited to get to know Ōtepoti and the arts communities here and further afield over the next three years.”

Simon looks forward to taking up the role of Blue Oyster Director in early January.