There's a man who holds the rather unenviable title of shortest tenure at the National Gallery of Australia. After arriving for work in a new role back in the mid-90s, his employment lasted a measly one day.
Fast forward more than two decades to July 2018, and that same man not only returned to the gallery, he walked in as the new director.
Now just over 18 months into his directorship, Nick Mitzevich says he didn't feel the time was right for his first stint at the gallery.
"I've always been led by my intuition and my passion. And I decided that it wasn't right for me," says Mitzevich.
"More than 25 years later I came back and it's perfect for me. It's always good to listen to your mind and your heart. It didn't scare me away - I always wanted to work here at the National Gallery. But it just took me 25 years to be ready for it and really feeling like it's the right place."
It's an intuition that's served him well over his career, which has included directorships at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, the University of Queensland Art Museum in Brisbane, and most recently, the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide where he led a diverse artistic program and almost doubled visitor numbers.
Like many kids, Mitzevich's own interest in the arts was first sparked by a trip to the Art Gallery of New South Wales on a school excursion as an early teen - he was so taken by what he saw he still has a postcard he bought from the gallery that day.
"I come from a farming family, and art didn't feature in our lives at all," says Mitzevich.
"Growing up I played soccer and rugby league and tennis, so I was involved in sport but I didn't have anything artistic in my life - it kind of found me. My parents always said that I could be anything I wanted to be and they didn't discourage me, even though it was my destiny to carry on like my father and be a farmer.
"I was always a very private, introverted young child, and somehow art gave me the strength and the courage not to be that. And I just felt very alive when I was around art. My parents didn't stifle my creativity, they let me explore it. And I was very lucky and privileged to make my passion my career."
It's been an interesting start to the year at the NGA, which included taking the unprecedented step of closing the gallery doors during Canberra's hazardous smoke haze to protect not only staff and patrons, but also the $6 billion art collection.
One of their next big focuses is Know My Name, which is part of a global movement to increase the prominence of women artists. The NGA itself will host a number of exhibitions celebrating the contributions that Australian women artists have made over the years, and it's a movement that will far exceed the gallery's walls.
Around 1300 prominent billboards and sites across the country will also showcase the works of women artists from the National Gallery collection.
And in Canberra, one of the gallery's newest acquisitions will take to the skies.
A close companion of Patricia Piccinini's popular Skywhale, Skywhalepapa, is set to make its maiden flight in May. The two hot air balloons will fly together for a number of appearances and then tour the country.
Outside of the gallery, Mitzevich says he's adapted well to his new home, and can often be found running or cycling around Lake Burley Griffin, or escaping the city to hike in the national parks. And then there's his other true passion: gardening.
In Adelaide, he lived just out of town in the picturesque Adelaide Hills where he had a five-acre property to satiate his love for gardening. Moving to Canberra he swapped it for city-fringe living in Campbell, although he says he didn't have to sacrifice space too much thanks to the inner north's large block sizes.
"My garden in Adelaide was inspired by an English garden which is very European. And my garden in Canberra is a native garden so it's a great novelty for me to have a new kind of garden and have to learn lots of new things. Because the things that you learn about English and European gardens are so dramatically different to how you manage an Australian native garden," he says.
"I like growing things and I think that comes back to my childhood because I grew up on a farm and I learnt how to grow things. I get excited about watching things come to fruition and that's something that's a great passion of mine outside of work, but also very helpful for my day job."
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