https://medium.com/colab-dudley/seek-permission-or-ask-for-forgiveness-activating-art-on-the-high-street-bdf74bd66aeb

Kerry O’Coy talks about activating art on Dudley High Street and her experience organising and working with local businesses for Eye Candy Festival.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jul/15/my-best-shot-laura-pannack-black-country-wasteland

Photographer Laura Pannack writes about her year-long project in the Black Country commissioned by Multistory for ‘My Best Shot’ in the Guardian.

Zach Blas, The Doors, 2019. installation view, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany Courtesy of the Artist & Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst.

Zach Blas, The Doors, 2019. installation view, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany Courtesy of the Artist & Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst.

Wolverhampton has been chosen as the first city to host the British Art Show 9, taking place in 2021. The British Art Show is the largest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK, giving people in cities across the country the opportunity to engage with work by the most exciting artists in Britain.

The British Art Show will start its tour from 6 March to 30 May 2021 at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and The University of Wolverhampton School of Art before heading to Aberdeen, Plymouth and Manchester.

British Art Show 9 curators Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar were selected by a panel of curators from the Hayward Gallery and the participating cities. They bring international experience to the role and have both worked on major exhibitions in the UK, Europe, America and Asia.

The exhibition will introduce visitors to over 40 artists practising in Britain over the past five years, providing an insight into contemporary life at an extraordinary period in our history.

Artists include: Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Simeon Barclay, Oliver Beer, Zach Blas, Kathrin Böhm, Maeve Brennan, James Bridle, Helen Cammock, Than Hussein Clark, Cooking Sections (Alon Schwabe & Daniel Fernández Pascual), Jamie Crewe, Oona Doherty, Sean Edwards, Mandy El-Sayegh, Mark Essen, Gaika, Beatrice Gibson, Patrick Goddard, Anne Hardy, Celia Hempton, Andy Holden, Joey Holder, Marguerite Humeau, Lawrence Lek, Ghislaine Leung, Paul Maheke, Elaine Mitchener, Oscar Murillo, Grace Ndiritu, Uriel Orlow, Hardeep Pandhal, Hetain Patel, Florence Peake, Heather Phillipson, Joanna Piotrowska, Abigail Reynolds, Margaret Salmon, Hrair Sarkissian, Katie Schwab, Tai Shani, Marianna Simnett, Victoria Sin, Hanna Tuulikki, Caroline Walker, Alberta Whittle, Rehana Zaman.

Maggie Ayliffe, Head of Wolverhampton School of Art, said:

“We are thrilled to be hosting the first leg of British Art Show 9 in Wolverhampton.

“We are looking forward to welcoming many visitors to the iconic Wolverhampton School of Art. There will be a wealth of opportunities for new audiences, students, school children and the artist community to come and engage with some of the most exciting contemporary art being produced in the UK today.

“It will also be an opportunity to talk to the artists who are creating visuals and giving voice to some of the most pressing concerns of our times. We can’t wait for the conversation to begin in Wolverhampton.”

 

Wolverhampton has been chosen as the first city to host the British Art Show 9, taking place in 2021. The British Art Show is the largest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK, giving people in cities across the country the opportunity to engage with work by the most exciting artists in Britain.

 

Black Country Visual Arts (BCVA) and ReFramed are launching a new project to record Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities experiences of COVID-19 across the Midlands.

‘Digital Diaspora: The Midlands Covid-19 Project’ is led by a team of award-winning photographers and curators who believe that visual arts play a critical role in shaping civic and contemporary attitudes, initiating collaborative conversations, and changing prevailing thoughts about race and our communities.

There is much-documented local racial disparity in terms of wealth, opportunity, social isolation and mental health, yet local BAME communities are underrepresented in the arts. This project will attempt to redress these issues.

Over the next six months, the project will inspire and train local Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities to engage with photography, alongside spoken and written narratives, to enable them to capture and present a greater range of stories than is normally represented of local culture within the Midlands.

As part of the project, they will also run online art classes to enable local people to tell their own stories, showcasing local narratives on this website and awarding bursaries to enable two local artists to produce work. The awards will be £500 each and will be accompanied by support and mentoring.

 

Find out more about the opportunities on the ReFramed website here.

Black Country Visual Arts (BCVA) and ReFramed are launching a new project to record Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities experiences of COVID-19 across the Midlands.

https://www.desiblitz.com/content/creative-black-country-reveals-covid-19-challenges-on-arts

Desiblitz find out how the lockdown has impacted on Creative Black Country’s work.

Keith Piper: Keith Piper: Body Politics. Work from 1982 – 2007, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, installation view, 2019. Photograph: Elona Photography.

Roma Piotrowska (right) with artist Phoebe Cummings during installation of her exhibition, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2020.

We speak to Roma Piotrowska, Curatorial Officer for Arts and Culture at the City of Wolverhampton Council about her role, Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s collection and British Art Show 9.

 

Can you give us a little summary of what your job entails?

I am the Curatorial Officer for Arts and Culture at the City of Wolverhampton Council. My job involves coordinating and shaping the programme of exhibitions and events across Wolverhampton’s cultural sites, including Wolverhampton Art Gallery (where I am based), Wolverhampton City Archives, Bantock House and Bilston Gallery. I spend most of my time working on the Gallery’s exhibition programme.

 

What has it been like working with a collection?

Ikon Gallery (where I worked previously) does not have a collection, so I was keen to gain this kind of experience. I couldn’t have dreamt of a more exciting collection to work with than Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s. Our collection is vast, and part of our strategy is to link it closely to our contemporary programme, which excites me the most. Last year for example, we organised an exhibition of works by Keith Piper, which originated from the fact that we have two of his works in our collection.

In the 1960s the gallery started to amass a significant collection of Pop Art, including work by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Hamilton among others. We now have the largest collection of Pop Art outside of London. This remains a collecting priority. We also have a significant collection of work by Black British artists. Building on the social and political issues inherent in the Pop collection, the gallery chose to focus on art which responded to contemporary society, especially looking at the themes of gender, identity and conflict. All these themes have been important to me in relation to art since I started my first gallery job at Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk, Poland in 2005.

Image: Keith Piper, The Seven Rages of Man (1984), installation view, Keith Piper: Body Politics. Work from 1982-2007, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2019. Photograph: Elona Photography. Courtesy the artist and Museums Sheffield.

Do you have a favourite piece in the collection?

No, I don’t really. It is very difficult for an art professional to have a favourite work of art. There are pieces that I am proud we have in the collection because they are by artists whose practice I follow and admire, for example works by Yinka Shonibare, Richard Billingham, Keith Piper, Gillian Wearing, Larissa Sansour and Siobhan Hapaska.

Sometimes items that may seem to be less interesting, become fascinating in the right context. We have for example a collection of memorabilia connected to Royal Weddings, which normally wouldn’t be of my interest. We wanted to represent different stages of family life in relation to our Wolverhampton and Me exhibition, so we chose objects connected to Royal Weddings, such as stickers, commemorative beer bottles and ‘Charles & Diana’ brick. It was fascinating to learn more about those quirky objects and display them in a completely new context of an exhibition about family ties.

 

What are you working on at the moment? What are you looking forward to in the programme?

Before the Coronavirus outbreak we were working on our immediate programme but since the crisis started, the next few months are very much up in the air for us.

Very exciting and more in the future is British Art Show 9, which is planned to take place in Wolverhampton from February to May 2021. It is the most anticipated exhibition of cutting-edge contemporary art in Britain and it will be exhibited both at the Gallery and University of Wolverhampton. We are anticipating that the show will bring thousands of art-lovers to Wolverhampton from across the UK and beyond, putting our cultural offer firmly in the spotlight.

 

Find out more about Wolverhampton Arts and Culture here.

 

We speak to Roma Piotrowska, Curatorial Officer for Arts and Culture at the City of Wolverhampton Council about her role, Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s collection and British Art Show 9.

Grazia Toderi, Orbite Rosse, 2009, installation at The New Art Gallery Walsall. Presented by the Art Fund under Art Fund International for joint ownership by The New Art Gallery Walsall and Birmingham Museums Trust, 2010. Photo: Jonathan Shaw.

Grazia Toderi, Orbite Rosse, 2009, installation at The New Art Gallery Walsall. Presented by the Art Fund under Art Fund International for joint ownership by The New Art Gallery Walsall and Birmingham Museums Trust, 2010. Photo: Jonathan Shaw.

In February The New Art Gallery Walsall celebrates its 20th birthday with a series of exhibitions and celebratory events. Since opening on 20 February 2000 (and officially opened by The Queen on 5 May 2000), the Gallery has welcomed over 3.5 million visitors. 

To mark this special occasion, the Gallery will bring together works of contemporary art collected over the last 20 years, from artists who have featured in their exhibitions and Studio programmes. 20:20 – Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art will reflect overlapping themes such as the changing urban landscape, the Black Country, the impact of globalisation and people and places, and will feature work from a selection of international artists as well as those closer to home. Artists include Mohamed Bourouissa, Romuald Hazoumè, Juneau Projects, Hew Locke, Yinka Shonibare, Dayanita Singh, Bob and Roberta Smith, Soheila Sokhanvari and many others across Floor 3 and throughout the building.

The exhibition will acknowledge significant gifts and schemes such as the Contemporary Art Society’s Special Collection Scheme and Art Fund International as well as the Clive Beardsmore Gift, a collection of 200 modern and contemporary works generously donated to the Gallery in 2014.

Soheila Sokhanvari, Two Serious Ladies, 2015, egg tempera on vellum. The New Art Gallery Walsall Permanent Collection.

Gallery Director Stephen Snoddy has selected a series of works for a special exhibition in the ground floor Community Gallery, representing each individual year of the Gallery’s 20 year history. 20 for 2020 will include works by Gavin Turk, Christopher Le Brun, Soheila Sokhanvari and Jane and Louise Wilson.

The much-loved Garman Ryan Collection will be displayed (almost) in its entirety, complemented by a series of works focusing on the women behind the Collection, Kathleen Garman (widow of Sir Jacob Epstein) and Sally Ryan, created during a residency at the Gallery in 2014 by Birmingham artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood.

20:20 – Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art opens on Thursday 20 February from 6-9pm as part of a special celebratory event with a guest DJ set from Bob and Roberta Smith. This will be followed on Saturday 22 February with Arty Party for all the family featuring music, free workshops, games and of course, birthday cake. Both events are free with no booking required.

20:20 – Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art runs from 21 February – 14 June 2020.

20 for 2020 runs from 25 January – 5 July 2020.

 

 

Next month The New Art Gallery Walsall celebrates its 20th birthday with a series of exhibitions and celebratory events.

https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/news/city-earns-cultural-compact-champion-funding

City of Wolverhampton Council has secured funding from Arts Council England to put in place a Cultural Compact champion to support the further development of the city’s strong cultural offer.

Located in Chapel Ash in Wolverhampton, Asylum Art Gallery was founded in 2014. They are passionate about nurturing art within the community. They provide a space to showcase work, develop new ideas and engage artists in exploration. We speak to Director Hannah Taylor about the gallery and studios, as well as current opportunities.

You are currently offering West Midlands-based artists an exciting residency opportunity which will explore the spaces of Wolverhampton – the Discursive Spaces Residency Programme. Why should artists apply?

This is a paid opportunity for five West Midlands-based artists to engage with local spaces, Wolverhampton City Council and community to develop work that offers a poignant contribution to the commentary around how these structures facilitate growth or restriction. The publication we will produce as a result of the residency will remain a tangible artefact to continue these discussions and hopefully promote cross-city, cross-institutional and cross-sector collaborations. Redefining our perspective of ‘community’ and our common ownership and responsibility of space in this political climate is crucial to regenerating through culture.

 

You’ve just celebrated your first anniversary at your studios. How can artists get involved with/be a part of Asylum?

In terms of the ‘Asylum Art Gallery and Studios’, anyone is welcome to be apart of our collective. We run exhibitions at the gallery regularly and host open studio days, events, workshops and art crits that the public are welcome to attend. You can also join us and use our facilities such as the library, computers, hot-desking facilities, photo studio – work in a creative space that promotes collaboration and supportive discussion.

Everyone is welcome to contact us and see how we can support their ideas through mentoring, portfolio development or connecting with relevant collaborators. We want to be an open space where all creatives feel confident to express and develop. You can contact us through the website and find relevant forms for submitting exhibition proposals.

You can arrange an appointment with us or join our mailing list through: info@theasylumartgallery.com

 

What do you have planned for the future?

Our plan is to develop an educational program that supports the development of high quality contemporary art practice but within a vocational setting, and with a special awareness of facilitating hidden disabilities such as chronic health and mental health issues. Asylum Art Gallery was initially set up by Corin Salter after being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome as a safe space or a place of refuge for anyone to express and create. We believe that there is a gap that needs bridging between education and professional practice, and unfortunately there is still an institutional bias in relation to disclosure and exclusion.

 

The Discursive Spaces Residency Programme offers a paid residency for five West Midlands based artists at any stage of their artistic development to produce a solo show in response to community engagement and research of ‘Heterotopias’. Each successful artist will undertake a one month residency at Asylum Art Gallery & Studios, where their research will inform a solo exhibition. The process, research and outcomes will also be presented as an academic publication – in collaboration with a writer in residence – that encapsulates all five artist’s journeys.

The residency encourages artists who may not have been born in the area, such as international students, asylum seekers, refugees or migrants and BAME communities, to engage in critical discussions about non spaces and transient spaces such as public space, and how it is used or unused in the City of Wolverhampton. 

Deadline: Friday 1 November 2019.

 

We speak to Director Hannah Taylor about the gallery and studios, as well the Discursive Spaces Residency Programme, a paid residency for five West Midlands based artists exploring the spaces of Wolverhampton.

James Maskery, Franklin

This month the International Festival of Glass returns to Stourbridge to celebrate glassmaking, with a wealth of top international artists, fantastic exhibitions, workshops as well as family friendly events and performances.

Headlining the festival is the British Glass Biennale at The Glasshouse Arts Centre. The exhibition features new work by 74 artists based in the UK or UK artists living abroad and includes large installations, interactive artworks, films and exquisite vessels.

The festival will also celebrate Scandinavian glass, with an exhibition from the Swedish Kingdom of Crystal in the Red House Glass Cone, and hot shop demonstrations by the Norwegian hett glass and pâte de verre by Tone Ørvik, whilst Danish artist Steffen Dam, creates a modern cabinet of curiosities.

Kelsey Mayo (K)not

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Placemaking’ with an invitation to reflect on how we make places and places make us. The festival will engage with this theme in the widest sense through technology, science, and art and imagination, encouraging a culture of participation where anyone can join in.

As well as showcasing makers and artists from across the globe, there will be a chance to learn why the glass industry developed in Stourbridge, and hear the ‘Voices of the Cones’, stories and songs inspired by 100 recordings of people who worked in the famous factories that supplied the world with glass.

Free entry to all festival venues (some events are ticketed). There is a free Festival Shuttle Bus from 9.30am – 5.30pm each day running from Stourbridge bus station to all festival venues

The 8th International Glass Festival takes places from 23-26 August 2019 across venues in Stourbridge.

The British Glass Biennale takes place at The Glasshouse Arts Centre, Stourbridge from 23 August – 28 September 2019.

This month the International Festival of Glass returns to Stourbridge to celebrate glassmaking, with a wealth of top international artists, fantastic exhibitions and family friendly events and performances.

https://www.creativeblackcountry.co.uk/blog/2019/8/13/creative-black-country-expands-to-include-dudley

Creative Black Country has been awarded £1,403,154 of National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme (CPP) to expand its current CPP activity to include Dudley, in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service.

Blast! is a new festival from Multistory made with and for the people of Sandwell which runs from Friday 24 May to Saturday 29 June.

The festival has invited 40 artists, photographers and curators to showcase work, develop projects and collaborate with communities to present stories about everyday life. With exhibitions, film screenings, events, talks and walks across Sandwell, Blast! will be presented on the streets, the Metro line, in shops, libraries and pubs, on historic buildings and in the community halls and venues of Sandwell.

The festival takes place over six weeks in each of Sandwell’s six distinct towns: West Bromwich, Tipton, Rowley Regis, Oldbury, Smethwick and Wednesbury.

Highlights include:

The Caravan Gallery / Sandwell Pride of Place Project
24 May – 29 June 2019. Open: 11am – 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday.
Former Poundland, Unit 3, Kings Square Shopping Centre, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 7NW

Photographers Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale of The Caravan Gallery will turn the former Poundland shop (next to West Bromwich bus station) into an exhibition space and alternative ‘Visitor Information Centre’ for the duration of the Festival. The Sandwell Pride of Place Project is a dynamic, diverse and creative celebration of Sandwell and its communities, evolving daily as visitors add to the artwork on display, share stories and make their mark on ‘The People’s Map of Sandwell’. The Caravan Gallery will exhibit their own photographs of Sandwell and publish a set of unofficial visitor guides to the six towns, inspired by people’s responses to their Sandwell Surveys.

 

© Janine Wiedel

Black Country Living
24 May – 29 June. Public locations across Sandwell throughout the festival.

Black Country Living revisits the work of two photographers renowned for their portrayal of the industrial landscape in the West Midlands during the 70s and 80s. Presented across the six towns of Sandwell, the photography of John Myers and Janine Wiedel reflects a rich social history at a time of significant change and upheaval. As a divided Britain contemplates a future outside the EU, how will the changes brought about by Brexit impact on Sandwell, here at the heart of the nation? Curated by New Art West Midlands Director, Craig Ashley.

 

© Jocelyn Allen

Girl Gaze: Journeys Through the Punjab & The Black Country, UK 
24 May – 29 June 2019. Opening times: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am-4pm.
The British Muslim School, Latifiah Fultali Complex, Lodge Road, West Bromwich, B70 8NX

Girl Gaze is a photographic exploration of the Punjab and diaspora communities in the West Midlands through the voices of young girls and women. Bringing together newly-commissioned work by four women artists: Jocelyn Allen (UK), Jennifer Pattison (UK), Andrea Fernandes (India) and Uzma Mohsin (India), the exhibition explores diverse themes regarding gender, identity, patriarchy, tradition, culture, memory, place and the differences that shape the lives of women in both countries.

 

© Erik Kessels

Erik Kessels: Comeback
24 May – 29 June 2019.
West Bromwich Town Hall, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8DY. Open: Thursday: 1- 6pm, Friday: 10am – 6pm.
West Bromwich Indoor Market, Kings Square Shopping Centre, West Bromwich, B70 7NW. Open: Monday, Wednesday – Saturday: 9am – 5pm, Tuesday: 9am – 4pm.

Comeback is a two-part project by Dutch artist, Erik Kessels, which reappropriates photographic archives found through meeting community groups in the Sandwell area. Tipton Carnival Queens Shine Again will present images of former carnival beauty queens in an installation at West Bromwich Town Hall. Market Hall Turns Into Gallery presents images from Kessels’ own photographic collection placed onto the blinds of the West Bromwich Indoor Market; each image responds to the type of goods being sold in the market stall.

 

© Jon Tonks

Jon Tonks: Stories of Home
24 May – 29 June 2019. Open: Wednesday – Saturday: 11am – 6pm.
Former Poundland shop, Unit 3, Kings Square Shopping Centre, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 7NN
Jon Tonks’ exhibition is a portrait of the Central and Eastern European communities living in Sandwell, home to the biggest Polish population in the UK. The photographs were taken during a two-year period against a 3 of 8 backdrop of divisive geopolitical rhetoric following the 2016 EU referendum. Thanks to their generosity, the project also reveals much about the cultural identity and hopes and fears for the future of each subject. The series explores a question that reaches beyond borders: what binds a community to make a place home?

Artist Talk & Film: Janine Wiedel
Friday 21 June, 1-3pm. Booking essential. £3 per person.
Former Poundland, West Bromwich. B70 7NN

A screening of Camera in the Streets, a documentary about Janine Wiedel’s work photographing industries in the West Midlands, followed by a discussion between Janine Wiedel and curator, Craig Ashley, as part of the Black Country Living exhibition.

The full festival programme can be viewed here.

Blast! is a new festival from Multistory made with and for the people of Sandwell which runs from Friday 24 May to Saturday 29 June.

The festival has invited 40 outstanding artists, photographers and curators to showcase work, develop projects and collaborate with communities to present stories about everyday life. With exhibitions, film screenings, events, talks and walks across Sandwell, Blast! will be presented on the streets, the Metro line, in shops, libraries and pubs, on historic buildings and in the community halls and venues of Sandwell.

http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/13173/Wolverhampton-selected-to-host-prestigious-art-show

Wolverhampton has been selected as one of four cities to be part of the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK. British Art Show 9 will exhibit at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and University of Wolverhampton School of Art between February and May 2021.

URGENT: #SaveLightHouse Appeal is launched

Wolverhampton’s Light House Cinema & Cafe Bar is currently under threat of closure. The Black Country’s only independent cinema and community venue, the space supports local artists and has also launched many careers in the arts.

100 Masters, a landmark campaign from Creative Black Country, the organisation behind the much celebrated Desi Pubs project, is looking to identify and profile the best contemporary craftspeople, makers and thinkers from the Black Country area. Anneka French caught up with Creative Producer, Liam Smyth, to find out more.

Working with public nominations from across the Black Country, the 100 Masters project will culminate in an expo at Starworks in Wolverhampton in November this year. It includes presentations from the individuals selected, as well as the results of a series of artist commissions.

Nominations so far include Sandwell-born artist Gillian Wearing, Walsall’s Paralympic swimming champion Ellie Simmonds OBE, Wolverhampton journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera and David Pearce, the Walsall schoolboy who designed the new £1 coin emblem. The full list of nominations will be reviewed by representatives from the community, with the selected masters revealed in July.

A number of artists have also been commissioned to make work in response to the project’s nominated masters and the context of the project more widely. Artists include photographer Laura Dicken, performer and video artist Amelia Beavis-Harrison, digital hackerspace Urban Hax and Juneau Projects, who bring a wealth of experience working with multi-disciplinary projects to 100 Master. As lead artists, Juneau Projects, will use augmented reality animations to bring the project to life. A special collaboration with the Express and Star newspaper, for example,  is providing an interactive platform that will raise the profile of the project, particularly with audiences who are less familiar with creative and visual arts projects.

100 Masters aims to be a celebration of the excellence of creative work already happening within the Black Country and hopes to be a driver for the future development and retention of creative talent.

Liam Smyth, Creative Producer at Creative Black Country, said:

“We are looking to increase aspirations in the local area through 100 Masters. We would like to grow the number of master makers and thinkers within the Black Country. It’s an industrial area of course and there is a lot of attention paid to its design and manufacturing heritage but there is less focus upon current creative practice. We want to acknowledge this and unearth the secrets of creativity and making that are happening today, to show people that the Black Country is an ideal place to live and create amazing work.”

Applications to nominate a ‘master’ from the Black Country are open until 30 June: http://www.100masters.co.uk/nominate-a-master/

 

100 Masters, a landmark campaign from Creative Black Country, is looking to profile the best contemporary craftspeople, makers and thinkers from the Black Country. We speak to Creative Producer, Liam Smyth.