Ingrid Swenson has announced that she will leave PEER
after 23 years as its director, stepping down at the end of December 2021.
Since joining PEER in 1998, Ingrid has nurtured and grown what was then a small, independent experimental arts organisation into one that is now nationally and internationally acclaimed, while extending deep roots into the socially, culturally and economically diverse area of Hoxton in East London.
Uncompromisingly true to PEERs core ethos of engaging the widest possible audience by offering the highest quality art as part of daily life, Ingrid has led an exceptionally ambitious programme of projects with many celebrated artists.
She has both recognised talent at a key stage of the artists career and has provided artists with opportunities to explore new ideas in their work. Examples include Martin Creed, Mike Nelson, Bob & Roberta Smith, Anthony McCall, Danh Vo, Fiona Banner, Angela de la Cruz, Chris Ofili, Jonathan Baldock and Emma Hart and, more recently, Jadé Fadojutimi, Samson Kambalu and Lubna Chowdhary.
Alongside steering its exhibitions programme, Ingrid has championed engagement with the local community through public art commissions and participatory programmes. In addition to PEERs acclaimed Ambassador scheme that provides paid work experience for local young people alongside creative and enrichment opportunities, she has established an internship programme for Exhibition Trainees enabling people from underrepresented backgrounds to thrive in the creative industries.
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said, Ingrid Swenson has made PEER far more influential than its small size would normally allow by giving support to artists at a critical moment in their career, whether it be when they are emerging, or when their work has been overlooked for a number of years. But she has also forged connections with the community, completing a capital development that provided simple strong spaces for art that face directly onto the street and reinforce the links with people and organisations in Hoxton. It has been a hard-won achievement and an exemplar to others across the country.