Exhibiting artists, New Art West Midlands 2018

Five artists and alumni of the New Art West Midlands exhibition have been awarded coveted residencies with the National Trust. The winners were announced last night at the preview of the New Art West Midlands 2018 exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

 

 

Exhibiting artists, New Art West Midlands 2018

 

The artists are Theo Ellison, graduate of Coventry University, who heads to Coughton Court in Warwickshire. Birmingham City University graduates Larissa E Shaw, Aileen Doherty and Grace A Williams will head to The Firs (Worcestershire), Attingham Park (Shropshire) and Mr Straw’s House (Nottinghamshire), respectively. Lindy Brett, from Staffordshire University, will be resident at Ilam Park in Derbyshire.

 

In addition, Nicola Arnold (University of Worcester), Jez Dolan (Birmingham City University) and Olivia Peake (Birmingham City University) were awarded £250 of art supplies from Cass Art.

 

Each residency will last for five days and has a bursary value of £1000. The artists will have the opportunity to create new work inspired by their time with National Trust places, and will share their experiences and ideas at a special event in autumn 2018 with other arts professionals.

 

The residencies are part of an ongoing dialogue between the National Trust and New Art West Midlands that aims to support West Midlands’ artists as part of Trust New Art, the National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts.

 

Kate Stoddart, Curator, supporting Trust New Art, commented: “The short residency format is designed to encourage experimentation and foster innovation. These residences offer new ways of working, allowing artists to engage with a place and develop site-specific responses to the stories, collections and landscapes of the National Trust.”

 

Craig Ashley, Director, New Art West Midlands commented: “Artists who are exhibiting in the current New Art West Midlands 2018 exhibition, or who exhibited in previous exhibitions, were eligible to apply for these awards. We’re delighted to be working with the National Trust in this way, offering brilliant opportunities for artists to gain vital experience right at the start of their careers.”

 

The New Art West Midlands exhibition opens today (16 February) at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, with further openings next week at AirSpace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent and The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry. Each of the 28 exhibiting artists has graduated from one of the region’s six art schools within the last three years: Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, Staffordshire University, and Hereford College of Arts. The exhibition, Five Years On, looking at the work of six New Art West Midlands alumni is also open at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Five artists and alumni of the New Art West Midlands exhibition have been awarded coveted residencies with the National Trust, alongside three prizes from Cass Art.

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Our friends at Cass Art interview Birmingham-based artist Barbara Walker about her Drawing Room Bursary Award.

We are delighted that Cass Art, the UK’s leading art supplies retailer sponsored the New Art West Midlands exhibitions this year. As exhibition sponsor, they provided prizes for two awards this year. The Cass Art prizes were awarded to Lorna Brown (Hereford College of Arts) and Damian Massey (Staffordshire University), who were both awarded with £250 of art supplies. Mark Cass, Founder and CEO of Cass Art, answered our questions.

Cass Art’s Birmingham store is relatively new to the city. What prompted the opening?

Birmingham is a real beacon of innovation with a rich cultural heritage, major cultural institutions and a vibrant artist community. It’s a place we’ve wanted to be for a long time so we were thrilled to open our doors on Corporation Street. We’ve already enjoyed a year in the city, time flies when you’re being creative.

The motto outside the store is ‘Let’s fill this town with artists.’ What do you think that artists and the arts can bring to a town or city?

We believe art is beneficial for everyone, and we want everyone to realise they can do it. At Cass Art we speak to hundreds of artists every day, and we’ve seen that the arts have the power to change our society and enrich people’s lives in many ways. From professional artists making ground-breaking works that inspire their community, to the individual who prefers to make work for self-reflection or mindfulness, art gives people the freedom to explore their creativity and brings people together. All of our staff are artists, and they are able to help anyone from beginner to professional with friendly, thoughtful and intelligent advice.

Lorna Brown (Hereford College of Arts) with Sonia Bhamra of Cass Art. Lorna was awarded £250 of art supplies by Cass Art, the principal sponsor of New Art West Midlands 2017. Photo credit: Jas Sansi.

You have sponsored or contributed to a number of different art prizes nationally including New Art West Midlands 2017. What do you feel is the value in this approach?

Being an artist isn’t always easy! They need support, encouragement and of course materials to develop their practice and it’s important for organisations like ourselves to help them to do it. Prizes and awards can make a real difference to someone’s career and can be the kick-start they need to succeed.

The Cass family have supported artists for over a century, in 1905 my great uncle Paul Cassirer hosted the first show of Vincent Van Gogh’s work, at that time there was little interest in the artist. Supporting artists at the start of their career is an essential part of what we do, that still underpins our manifesto today. You can read all about the Cass family history on the Cass Art blog here.

Damian Massey (Staffordshire University) with Sonia Bhamra of Cass Art. Damian was awarded £250 of art supplies by Cass Art, the principal sponsor of New Art West Midlands 2017. Photo credit: Jas Sansi.

In what ways are supporting the practices of art students important to Cass Art?

Students are the lifeblood of Cass Art. Art students need to have the best materials to allow them to experiment. It’s a time for them to explore the kind of work they want to make and the kind of artist they want to become, so we want to help students to do that. Then of course when they graduate, it can be difficult for some artists to continue their practice, so we want to help ensure they have the support they need to realise their ambition.

We offer support in a number of ways, from providing various prizes and awards, to offering free Art Spaces to use for exhibitions and events across the UK. We also offer a 10% discount to students with a Cobalt Blue Student Card, and those who have just graduated can sign up for our Rewards Card for a £10 reward every time they spend £100, plus discounts for exhibitions, museums, art magazines and more.

Visit Cass Art Birmingham at 19 Corporation Street, Birmingham. B2 4LP www.cassart.co.uk

New Art West Midlands 2017 continues at Worcester City Museum & Art Gallery until Saturday 3 June 2017.

We are delighted that Cass Art, the UK’s leading art supplies retailer sponsored the New Art West Midlands exhibitions this year. As well as exhibitions sponsor, they provided prizes to two awards this year. Mark Cass, Founder and CEO of Cass Art, answered our questions.