Shonagh Manson, director of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, is leaving the organisation after “eight fantastic and enormously fond years” as its head. She steps down in early October to take up a new role with the Greater London Authority and Mayor of London as assistant director, culture and creative industries.

In a statement on the foundation’s website, Manson, who became director in April 2009, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking all I’ve had the privilege of learning at Jerwood Charitable Foundation and turning it to the huge cultural challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for London, a city I’m so passionate about.

“It will be a real wrench to leave the team and our work, but I know they’ll benefit enormously from the new perspective, contacts and ideas of my successor.”

Based at Jerwood Space in London, the Jerwood Charitable Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation and registered charity. Among the projects it supports is Jerwood Visual Arts, a national programme which includes Jerwood Makers Open (currently on show at Jerwood Space), Jerwood Open Forest, the Jerwood/FVU Awards, Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, and the Jerwood Drawing Prize.

Describing her time at the foundation, Manson added: “It has been an immense pleasure and privilege to have worked with the people and projects that I have been able to during my time here and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to our goals and impact to date.

“This is quite simply one of the best jobs there is, in an organisation that starts and ends with artists and their potential, and is positive, ambitious and genuinely unique.”

It has also been announced that Jon Opie, formerly the foundation’s general manager, has taken up the new role of deputy director.

The search for a new director has already begun and it is hoped that the successful applicant will be in place by early 2018.

Shonagh Manson, director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation, speaking at the launch of Exhibition Payment: The a-n/AIR Paying Artists Guide, October 2016. Photo: Kirstin Sinclair

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