https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/may/12/tragic-misstep-arts-education-cuts-risk-uk-cultural-leadership-government-told

In a letter organised by the Contemporary Visual Arts Network, arts sector leaders speak out against proposed 50% funding cut for arts subjects at universities in open letter – via The Guardian.

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2021/04/20/new-space-opens-for-city-creatives/

The Quarter Contemporary Arts Space, in Chapel Ash in Wolverhampton will be a hub for local artists in the Black Country to showcase their work – via The Express & Star.

https://www.coventrybiennial.com/2021/04/15/announcing-the-hyper-possible-artist-list/

The full artist list has been announced for the third Coventry Biennial, taking place from 8 October 2021 – 23 January 2022. A third of the artists exhibiting are from the region.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/we-hope-can-survive-digbeth-20264337

Centrala has been a fixture in Digbeth for almost ten years but the pandemic has forced it to run out of cash and face an uncertain future which could see its doors close forever. – via Birmingham Mail

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/mar/23/the-great-british-art-tour-a-changing-work-of-curdled-hopes-and-dreams

With public art collections currently closed The Guardian are exploring highlights and hidden gems from across the country in partnership with Art UK. Emalee Beddoes-Davis, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Birmingham Museums Trust writes about Donald Rodney’s ‘Land of Milk and Honey II’, at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/mar/21/i-know-artists-who-may-never-work-again-cultures-year-of-covid

Insights from across the cultural sector – via The Guardian.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-56251206

A summer of surprises announced – via BBC.

https://inews.co.uk/culture/museums-galleries-reopening-uk-covid-pandemic-royal-academy-889670

The late reopening of the UK’s museums is another blow as they slash budgets and cut staff because of the pandemic. Come 17 May, they will have to do far more, with far less to attract the public back – via i newspaper.

British Art Show 9

British Art Show, the largest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK, will launch in England at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in January 2022.

https://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/3717/plans_revealed_for_empty_city_centre_landmark_building_to_be_transformed_into_new_national_arts_facility

A national Collections Centre could be created through a unique partnership between Coventry City Council, Arts Council England’s Arts Council Collection, Culture Coventry Trust and Coventry University, in collaboration with the Coventry City of Culture Trust. Discussions have been ongoing for some months between the parties.

https://www.theherbert.org/whats_on/1546/dreamerfly_and_other_stories_a_45minute_experimental_live_performance

An immersive 45-minute expanded and experimental live performance combining multi-screen animation, overhead projectors, a small handcrafted installation and contemporary jazz music.

Developed and will be presented by visual artist Shiyi Li, British jazz musicians James Owston and Daniel Kemshell and American percussionists Lindsey Eastham and Gloria Yehilevsky. Part of the Thirteen Ways of Looking exhibition.

https://www.artisessential.art

It is a particularly uncertain time as we continue to understand the long-term effects of the pandemic on our lives, and the impact of Brexit on how we live and work. The #ArtIsEssential campaign has been set up to unite us as one voice. As a sector, we need to come together to be visible throughout 2021 and the run-up to the Government Comprehensive Spending Review.

Whether you are an artist, arts freelancer, arts educator, arts professional, venue, organisation, network or anyone in between – you can make a difference by being part of this campaign. Let us unite to influence policy and decision-makers to do the right thing by our sector.

https://www.theherbert.org/news/207/culture_coventry_awarded_funding_to_support_the_delivery_of_ambitious_uk_city_of_culture_programme

Culture Coventry Trust, which manages the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, has secured grant funding to enable them to capitalise on the opportunity of UK City of Culture and create a legacy that changes the national perception of Coventry as a place of significant visual arts programming.

https://artreview.com/how-artistsupportpledge-took-the-artworld-by-storm-matthew-burrows/

British painter Matthew Burrows on creating an alternative economy for artists under lockdown – via Art Review.

https://artsandculture.google.com/story/LwUB8SzicHFBnQ

Thirteen Ways of Looking now accessible online courtesy of Google Arts & Culture. The exhibition was curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri through a New Art West Midlands and ICF International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in association with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art.

https://www.birmingham2022.com/news/blog/6million-funding-for-birmingham-2022-cultural-festival/

A six month long cultural festival for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from March to September 2022 across the region.

The impact of Brexit on Motionhouse

The impact of Brexit on Leamington Spa-based touring dance-circus company Motionhouse. The failure to include an EU-wide cultural work permit and visa free travel for touring professionals and artists in the deal between the UK and the EU will have a catastrophic effect across all touring art forms – theatre, dance, circus, visual arts and music.

http://www.cvan.art/news/2021/1/21/museums-and-galleries-exhibition-tax-relief-an-open-letter-to-chancellor-rishi-sunak

Letter and evidence about the importance of the Museums and Galleries Exhibitions Tax Relief on the Visual Arts and how to support an art form that plays a central role in the UK’s economy and society.

https://www.frieze.com/article/top-ten-virtual-shows-uk-and-ireland-2021

Harun Morrison exhibition at Eastside Projects named one of the top virtual shows across the UK and Ireland by Frieze.

Shortlist announced: Award for Civic Arts Organisations

Birmingham-based Friction Arts are amongst those shortlisted for The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s new award celebrating the civic role of arts organisations in society during the pandemic.

https://static.a-n.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Artists-Newsletter-Issue-1-The-1980s-Black-Hole-Club__.pdf

The first of four new publications celebrating 40 years of a-n, guest edited by Birmingham-based Black Hole Club.

Masterclass with 2020 Turner Prize bursary recipient Shawanda Corbett

Wednesday 20 January 2021, 5.30-7pm. Free

On Wednesday 20 January the AD:Vantage Leadership programme in partnership with New Art West Midlands host an online masterclass with esteemed artist Shawanda Corbett. Her deeply personal and visceral work won her one of the ten Turner Prize bursaries selected by judges after the 2020 Prize was cancelled. The ten artists were chosen for their significant contributions to new developments in British contemporary art.

In this masterclass Shawanda will share her personal experience to illustrate the qualities required to hold a leadership position or be a cultural leader, but not necessarily the leader of a cultural institution. The session will explore her leadership journey, skills, response to challenges, changes and insights. An informal and in-depth talk, it is a fantastic opportunity to hear experiences first hand.

The free online masterclass is open to all and is part of the AD:Vantage Leadership programme, a development opportunity for d/Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent people who work in arts, culture or heritage. The programme is produced by Lara Ratnaraja and Helga Henry, funded by Coventry City Council and in partnership with New Art West Midlands, Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art and Warwick University. 

The event will take place via Zoom, will be recorded and will later be posted online. Places are free but limited, and can be booked HERE. The event will be followed by an audience Q & A.

On Wednesday 20 January the AD:Vantage Leadership programme in partnership with New Art West Midlands host an online masterclass with esteemed artist Shawanda Corbett. Her deeply personal and visceral work won her one of the ten Turner Prize bursaries selected by judges after the 2020 Prize was cancelled.

Today, Monday 21 December, cultural organisations across the region will showcase a collection of 60 second digital commissions. Marking the Winter Solstice (the shortest day / longest night of the year), It Gets Lighter From Here aims to provide moments of happiness and hope before the days do, quite literally, start to get lighter. To date, the project, the brainchild of The West Midlands Culture Response Unit (WMCRU), has raised £34,050 for commissions, providing vital financial support for the region’s freelancers and community members who have been left unsupported through the pandemic, with a lack of job security and stable, regular income.

47 organisations from a huge cross-section of artists and artforms, have agreed to provide 179 commissions in total, including commitments from BOM, Creative Black Country, Friction Arts, Meadow Arts, Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Severn Arts, University of Worcester, Vivid Projects, and Warwick Arts Centre. Involving a huge cross-section of artists and art-forms, substantial audiences and networks will be reached across the region and beyond, creating a wide celebration of hope, optimism and possibility for the future.

The micro commissions will be searchable on social media through the hashtag #ItGetsLighterFromHere. There will also be a ‘thunderclap’ moment at sunset (around 3.55pm) as all commissioning partners and artists will post content simultaneously, marking the darkest moment of 2020.

James Yarker from Stans Cafe said: “The #ItGetsLighterFromHere one-minute rule will prove a great creative challenge for artists young and old. I can’t wait to see all the inventive solutions they come up with. Audiences will find these snack size art works ‘more-ish’. There will be all sorts of flavours and we can enjoy getting a taste of everything, even those art forms we’ve never experienced before or think we don’t like. It will be for trying everything out because ’something else will be along in a minute’ – literally! 

There is no ‘official programme’ for #ItGetsLighterFromHere, so no one is saying what you can and can’t watch. Experienced and new artists are all in the mix together. It’s an evening for making new discoveries and because it’s all on social media you can share the things you like with all your family, friends and followers.

On the shortest day of the year #ItGetsLighterFromHere will share the brightest West Midlands artistic talent with the world.” 

More information can be found here.

 

On Monday 21 December, cultural organisations across the region will showcase a collection of 60 second digital commissions. Marking the Winter Solstice, It Gets Lighter From Here aims to provide moments of happiness and hope before the days do, quite literally, start to get lighter.

On Monday 14 December, the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), of which we are part, along with the UK think-tank Policy Connect, and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Design & Innovation launched a report outlining key recommendations for the Visual Art sector beyond COVID-19.

Commissioned by CVAN, and in partnership support with a-n, the Artist Information Company, the report is the first step in formalising the sector’s positioning with our Government by providing them with a clear set of recommendations on how to ensure that the visual arts are properly presented, measured, and which barriers should be removed to ensure a diverse and healthy sector.

Moving into next year, the visual arts will play an integral part in building back the health and wealth of the country, with the measurable impact of the economic and wellbeing contributions it makes within our communities regionally and nationally.

The report, that was released today, calls for five key recommendations; to establish a visual arts baseline, to set social and economic growth targets at a national and local level, to extend and simplify tax incentives to support growth, to remove barriers to talent from abroad, and to strengthen networks to deliver social inclusion and diversity.

The report was launched at a sold out online event with attendees from both the parliament and the visual art sector. Hosted by former Arts Minister, Lord Ed Vaizey, the event included an address by Sarah Munro, Director of BALTIC, and Chair of CVAN as well as Sonia Boyce OBE RA, Professor of Black Art and Design, University of the Arts London and British representative at the 2021 Venice Biennial.

Speaking of the launch event and report, Director of CVAN Paula Orrell says:

“Today marks a really important and significant step forward in formalising our relationship with the Government, something that has been a long time in the making.  We are pleased to be in a position to be able to make these recommendations on behalf of our sector. We believe that the visual arts will play a pivotal role in this next, crucial, rebuilding phase. 

We are committed to ensuring that we are around the table, having the right discussions with decision makers to ensure that our sector is receiving the best possible support beyond the pandemic.  We were encouraged by the demand for this report, and were delighted to see so many attend the launch event, both MPs and arts professionals, showing a real need for this level of conversation.  This is an exciting day for our sector, we are thankful for the contribution and support of our colleagues at a-n, and for the expertise of our partners at Policy Connect and APDIG for making this happen, this certainly is just the beginning of what we see as being a long lasting relationship with our government.” 

Jack Tindale, Policy Manager for Design & Innovation at Policy Connect and report author expressed that:

“It has been an honour to work with CVAN and the visual arts sector on this report. After one of the most disruptive years in modern history, access to culture is more important than ever for our social and economic well-being. The recommendations we have set out in the report are ambitious, but necessary, and provide a clear roadmap for how artists can contribute to the economic recovery over the coming years.”

In coming together and making these recommendations publicly to the government, the visual arts are demonstrating its regional and national strength as the beating heart and soul of building back better.

You can read the full report on the CVAN website here.

CVAN would like to thank a-n The Artist Information Company for their contribution, as well as APDIG and Policy Connect in making this happen.

On Monday 14 December, the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), of which we are part, along with the UK think-tank Policy Connect, and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Design & Innovation launched a report outlining key recommendations for the Visual Art sector beyond COVID-19.

https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news/culture-recovery-fund-more-support-arts-and-culture

Compton Verney, The Courtyard, Ikon Gallery, Mac Birmingham, Warwick Arts Centre and Wolverhampton Art Gallery amongst those awarded Cultural Recovery funding.

In February Laura Dicken was selected as the successful recipient of an International Bursary offered jointly by New Art West Midlands and GRAIN Projects and developed in partnership with Aarhus Billedkunstcenter / Aarhus Center for Visual Art (AaBKC) and Galleri Image.

Due to the pandemic, Laura was unfortunately unable to travel to Aarhus, Denmark to undertake the period of research supported by the bursary. However, we are pleased to be able to share an update on the opportunity:

You Are Another Me is an inclusive, socially engaged arts project which explores the experiences of women (and female identifying individuals) from a variety of backgrounds who have, for different reasons, migrated alone. Laura has developed this project with the support of the bursary award. She took an extended amount of time for research and development over the Summer to radically adjust her practice so that she can still co-author and co-create with participants in a meaningful way under the new remote circumstances brought on by Covid restrictions. This has been achieved by embracing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, email and WhatsApp. Working closely with the Aarhus Billedkunstcenter Project Manager, the artist has made connections with local organisations in Aarhus who support migrant women and has invited potential participants to take part in the project. Laura will still collaborate with participants through conversations, shared images and storytelling, but will now do so digitally rather than through in person workshops.

Laura was awarded the International Bursary 2020, to make work in collaboration with women in Aarhus, Denmark, to undertake a period of research supported by the bursary and to travel and meet with participants. Instead of being able to travel this year she has found creative solutions to continue working on her proposal remotely. As an artist who works almost exclusively with analogue techniques the digital shifts will significantly affect Laura’s output; instead of a series of analogue social documentary portraits, a multi-disciplinary approach has been adopted to create a series of digital portraits, allowing her to experiment with sound, moving image and photo montage animation.

Laura will be delivering an artists talk at Galleri Image and Aarhus Billedkunstcenter remotely in the new year.

An update on the International Bursary awarded to Laura Dicken earlier in the year. The bursary has been offered jointly by New Art West Midlands and GRAIN Projects and developed in partnership with Aarhus Billedkunstcenter / Aarhus Center for Visual Art (AaBKC) and Galleri Image.

ਜ਼ੋਨ Zōna, 2020. Sahjan Kooner.

We are delighted to announce that 6 artists have been selected for our latest round of Studio Visits.

ਜ਼ੋਨ Zōna, 2020. Sahjan Kooner.

Freelance curator Adelaide Bannerman will meet with Bharti Parmar; Ryan Hughes, Artistic Director of Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art will meet David Saunders; Ikon Gallery Curator Melanie Pocock will meet with Helen Kilby Nelson; artist Harminder Judge will meet Sahjan Kooner; Ian Sergeant will meet Thomas Brown, and artist Permindar Kaur will meet with Rupi Dhillon.

As part of our last round of visits, we are also pleased to announce that Zoë Lippett, Exhibitions & Artists’ Projects Curator at The New Art Gallery Walsall met with Nuala Clooney during November.

Applications were selected by the New Art West Midlands team, in conjunction with the relevant studio visitor.

Each of the current round of studio visits will take place online over the coming weeks. We hope they will be useful and fruitful conversations.

We are delighted to announce that six artists have been selected for our latest round of Studio Visits.

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2020/11/best-of-the-world-2021-culture

Coventry 2021 listed as one of the ‘Best of the World’ unmissable cultural experiences for 2021 and beyond – via National Geographic.

Harminder Judge, Untitled (falling fire) 2020. Courtesy of Jhaveri Contemporary.

We are again offering artists and curators living in the West Midlands region the opportunity to receive an online studio visit or one-to-one session from an artist or curator. This is an opportunity to discuss your work and to seek valuable feedback and practical advice on either artistic or curatorial practice.

We are delighted to announce that the studio visitors for 2020 will be:

Adelaide Bannerman
Harminder Judge
Permindar Kaur
Ryan Hughes
Melanie Pocock
Ian Sergeant

 

Application information

If you would like to apply for a studio visit, please send a short application to info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk for the attention of Annabel Clarke.

You should send a maximum of three images of or links to relevant work, your CV and a summary of no more than 400 words outlining who you would like to meet and why, and how you feel it would help to support and develop your practice. Please send as a single PDF document.

We are committed to widening access to our opportunities. Audio or video recorded applications may be submitted via Vimeo, YouTube or similar by those facing barriers in applying in writing. For further information please email info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk

Applications will be shortlisted by the New Art West Midlands team and a final decision will be made by each studio visitor.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon, Monday 16 November 2020.

Please note: We recognise that not all artists or curators use or require studios. A physical studio space is not required. Meetings will take place on Zoom/Skype/MS Teams as preferred.

 

Studio visitor biographies:

Adelaide Bannerman (she/her) is a freelance curator in the visual arts sector, living and working in London. Bannerman currently works for International Curators Forum, Invisible Dust and commercial gallery Tiwani Contemporary. She initiated the research residency programme, Never Done in 2018, and is a trustee of Idle Women, Lancashire. Covering curation, project management, mentoring and consultation, Bannerman has been practising for 22 years, producing commissions, exhibitions and events. Institutions that she’s worked for include: Iniva (Institute of International Visual Art), Autograph ABP, Arts Council England, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Tate, Live Art Development Agency, South London Gallery, Platform London, and the 198 Gallery. More recently she has worked with the organisation PUBLICS in Helsinki, Finland and British Council Australia.

Harminder Judge (b. 1982 Rotherham, UK) is an artist whose practice spans object making, performance and installation. He received his BA in Fine Art from Northumbria University in 2005 and is currently enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools, London. Harminder’s work has engaged with many subjects but there is a continuous exploration of portals, be it spiritual, political, or personal. His performance work has weaved Indian folklore and mysticism with bombastic western pop music and live colour field painting; collided occult inspired dreamscapes with hazy laser penetrated reverse baptisms; and transported field recordings made in his family’s Gurdwara in Punjab across the world, and replayed them through a speaker lodged in his throat. His most recent body of work engages a history of Indian abstract painting related to tantric ritual – borrowing techniques from Italian fresco and Indian reverse glass painting. Grounded in materiality, these ‘augmented plaster’ pieces are talismanic, transportative, negotiating image and object relations, the physical and metaphysical. Harminder won the 2011 Arts Foundation Fellowship Award in performance art and was recently included in Tomorrow:London at White Cube. He has shown work internationally at venues such as Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai; Halle 14 Zentrum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig; and The Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 2020 he co-curated the group show ‘Our ashes make great fertilizer’ at Public Gallery, London.

Since the 1990s, Nottingham-born artist, Permindar Kaur, has created sculptural objects and installations that explore the territory of cultural identity, home and belonging. She does this by apparently innocent means, invoking childhood and domestic spaces. Little figures and animals fashioned in soft fleece resembling half-stuffed toys are the players in her game. However, these are far from sentimental trophies; the comfort of fabric is checked by the cold contours of copper and steel. Her toys are armed with claws, horns and beaks, belying their apparent vulnerability and giving them an air of comic menace. Others disappear against identically coloured or patterned backgrounds, an elaborate game of hide-and-seek perhaps, or a strategy of camouflage or self-negation? Adaption, mimicry and mirroring: strategies of integration and assimilation. In another group of works, doorways deliberately screened or blocked negate the idea of welcome or the homely”. From Neil Walker’s introduction to Hiding Out exhibition at Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Nottingham. Kaur has exhibited internationally; major solo exhibitions include Hiding Out, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts (2014); Untitled, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick (1999); Comfort of Little Places, Aspex, Portsmouth (1998) and Cold Comfort, Ikon Gallery, Bimingham, Mead Gallery, Coventry (1996). Major group exhibitions include A Vision of Utopia, Spirella Building, Letchworth (2014), What’s Going On? Usher Gallery, Lincoln (2013); Spoilt Rotten: Young Curators, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales (2005); At Home with Art, Tate, London and touring (2000); Hot Air, Granship, Shizouka Arts Centre, Japan (1999); Pictura Britannica, Art from Britain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (1997); British Art Show 4, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff (1995).

Ryan Hughes is an artist/curator interested in collaboration and what was briefly called the post-internet. He founded and is Artistic Director of Coventry Biennial, an artist-led, social, political and critical platform for contemporary art. The third Coventry Biennial, called HYPER-POSSIBLE, takes place in 2021 as a part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

Melanie Pocock is Curator at Ikon Gallery. Together with Ikon’s Director Jonathan Watkins, she is responsible for the gallery’s artistic programme, including exhibitions, commissions and publications. Prior to joining Ikon in January, she was Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2014 – 19), where she organised more than sixty exhibitions with local, regional and international artists. As a writer, she has contributed to international media and publications including Art-Agenda, ArtAsiaPacific, Art Monthly, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, LEAP, Ocula, The Financial Times, divan | Journal of Accounts, Journal of Curatorial Studies and Third Text. A member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), she holds an MA (Distinction) in Curating Contemporary Art (Royal College of Art, 2012).

Ian Sergeant was the Cinema Producer for Midlands Arts Centre (2016-18) and Arts Producer for The Drum Arts Centre (2013-15). He has also worked for Arts Council England (2006-08), Birmingham City Council, Arts Team (2008-09) and New Art Exchange (2009-11).  In a freelance capacity, he has been contracted as an Arts Producer for the Canal & River Trust, as part of Hinterlands (2017-18), and Arts Consultant with the Birmingham Food Council. Education Ian has an MA in Contemporary Curatorial Practice from the School of Art, Birmingham City University. He is currently a Midlands 3 Cities AHRC funded PhD researcher at Birmingham City University. His practice-based research is focused on the Visual Representations and Cultural (Re) Constructions of Black British Masculinities in 21st Century Birmingham. In his capacity as a freelance curator, recent exhibitions include, Reimaging Donald Rodney at Vivid Projects (2016). The exhibition explored the digital embodiment and rich legacy of the late Black British artist Donald Rodney. Forthcoming curated exhibitions include Donald Rodney at the Celine Gallery, Glasgow, and Cut & Mix: Representations of Black British Masculine Identities, at New Art Exchange, Nottingham. He is a member of New Art West Midlands Executive Advisory Group and Film Hub Midlands Advisory Group. He is a director of performing and visual arts organisation Kalaboration, Vivid Projects a non-profit company supporting media arts practice, and Ort Gallery an artist led exhibition space based in the community of Balsall Heath, Birmingham.  

 

We are again offering artists and curators living in the West Midlands region the opportunity to receive an online studio visit or one-to-one session from an artist or curator. This is an opportunity to discuss your work and to seek valuable feedback and practical advice on either artistic or curatorial practice.

Duncan Whitley, Phoenix City 2021, Production Still.

Duncan Whitley, Phoenix City 2021, Production Still.

Information on the third Coventry Biennial has been announced as part of the programme for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

The Biennial will take place from Friday 8 October 2021 until January 2022 across Coventry and Warwickshire. Titled ‘HYPER-POSSIBLE’, in a reference to the radical nature of Coventry’s history, it also signifies a positive way forward following a very difficult 2020. The Biennial will be a key visual arts element of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

The exhibitions, events and activities which make up the third Biennial will focus on three important movements in art history which have centered in Coventry and Warwickshire:

Art & Language – A group of artists, students and lecturers who met at Coventry Polytechnic in the late 1960s. The group were internationally successful and had a huge impact on what was becoming known at the time as Conceptual Art.

The BLK Art Group – Black art students who were based across the Midlands in the 1980s and had a significant group exhibition at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in 1983.

Cybernetic Culture Research Unit – Researchers associated with the Philosophy Department of the University of Warwick in the 1990s and early 2000s who have had a significant impact on contemporary thinking and international artistic practice.

Georgiou & Tolley, Twin Stranger. Film still.

Artists will use these three moments as starting points for new commissions, developing artworks that respond to current global concerns and trends within contemporary artistic practice. They have already commissioned a number of artists, many from the West Midlands. These include Ryan ChristopherFaye ClaridgeLaura DickenGeorgiou & TolleyAlan Van Wijgerden and Duncan Whitley.

Over the coming months each artist, along with local galleries, museums, curators and communities, will contribute to creating the HYPER-POSSIBLE.

The full programme will be announced in the lead-up to the start of the Coventry UK City of Culture in May 2021.

Information on the third Coventry Biennial has been announced as part of the programme for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/2020/10/museum-freelancers-feel-undervalued-and-underpaid-finds-report/

Museum Freelance publishes results of first in-depth survey on freelancing in the sector – via The Museum Association.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/actor-russell-tovey-to-judge-2021-turner-prize

Turner Prize exhibition moves to Herbert Art Gallery and Museum as part of the year-long UK City of Culture 2021 festival. Kim McAleese, Grand Union Programme Director and member of New Art West Midlands Advisory Group will be on the Turner Prize Jury – via The Arts Newspaper.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/oct/16/dire-future-for-england-small-arts-organisations-arts-council-funding

Last week, the UK government announced £257m in emergency arts funding – the Guardian hear from some of those who missed out, complaining of baffling applications and a lack of guidance.

https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blog/posts/reclaiming-orientalism

Read about Farwa Moledina’s ‘Not Your Fantasy I’, recently acquired by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and currently on display. Recent graduate Farwa was selected for New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial last year and her work can also be seen as part of Thirteen Ways of Looking at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry.

https://coventrycreates.co.uk

Coventry Creates – A digital exhibition of artworks created during lockdown inspired by university research. Part of ongoing work by Coventry University and The University of Warwick in the lead up to Coventry City of Culture 2021.

Betsy Bradley, Dystopian Forest, 2018.

WIN WIN is a new online gallery and art agency based in Birmingham selling the work of up-and-coming contemporary artists.

It aims to promote the work of local artists, and allow them to sell their works to a wider audience. In addition, it aims to widen the collector-base for contemporary art in Birmingham and beyond, by making it an affordable and sustainable commodity for the home.

Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Untitled (Unreal series), 2012 – 2015.

The seven artists in WIN WIN’s opening showcase draw on a variety of media to create politically and socially engaged work. Their work has previously appeared at international arts platforms and institutions. These include Tereza Buskova, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Rafal Zar and Betsy Bradley.

Betsy Bradley, Dystopian Forest, 2018.

WIN WIN will also feature the work of graphic designers and photographers whose work fits into contemporary art discourse. At the moment this includes the work of Barbara Gibson and award-winning photographer Marta Kochanek.

Tereza Buskova, The Fertile Couple, 2008.

Artists receive 70% of the sale price, as opposed to the 50% industry standard. Prices start at £80 and go up to £5000.

Anna Katarzyna Domejko, one of the featured artists said: ‘Birmingham’s diverse art scene is very stimulating for me as an artist. It’s easy to exhibit your art here, as many of the studios also have an exhibition space. There aren’t many places to sell art though, so I’m glad to see WIN WIN supporting artists in the city.’ 

More information on WIN WIN can be found here.

WIN WIN is a new online gallery and art agency based in Birmingham selling the work of up-and-coming contemporary artists. It aims to promote the work of local artists, and allow them to sell their works to a wider audience. In addition, it aims to widen the collector-base for contemporary art in Birmingham and beyond, by making it an affordable and sustainable commodity for the home. 

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/oct/04/arts-bailout-delay-leaves-jobs-at-risk-in-uk-and-theatres-on-brink-of-ruin

‘Complexity and volume of applications’ stalls hand-out of £1.57bn pledged in July – via The Guardian.

© Shiyi Li, 2020

© Shiyi Li, 2020

Thirteen Ways of Looking

2 October – 13 December 2020. The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

Thirteen Ways of Looking brings together 13 artists and curators, presenting works which challenge dominant narratives, where art belongs, where it’s experienced and who is being addressed.

Works by six early career artists from the West Midlands and seven established artists and curators have been selected, highlighting diverse forms of experience, knowledge and understanding, and exploring different strategies of resistance that overlap and intersect in the physical spaces of the gallery and digitally online.

The show includes six new commissions by artists from the West Midlands alongside selected key art works made by members of the Blk Art Group, highlighting its important connections to Coventry, including the initial meeting of group members Eddie Chambers and Keith Piper in the city 40 years ago.

The development of the exhibition has also included the facilitation of professional development and mentoring for the early career artists, to support and help them realise new work in uncertain times.

Participating artists and curators: Hira Butt, Eddie Chambers, Sonya Dyer, Andreana Fatta, Hyphen-Labs, Navi Kaur, Shama Khanna, Roshini Kempadoo, Shiyi Li, Farwa Moledina, Keith Piper, Donald Rodney and Matías Serra Delmar.

Thirteen Ways of Looking has been curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri through a New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, in association with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art.

View the exhibition via Google Arts & Culture here.

#13waysoflooking

 

Participating artists and curators:

© Hira Butt, 2020

Hira Butts work explores ideologies of gender and cultural dominance, exploring the place of Pakistani women within marital and domestic spaces. Through personal experience and conversations with a number of married Pakistani women, the artist seeks to critique both the wedding day,  and the life promised that often does not materialise.

© Farwa Moledina, 2020.

Farwa Moledina works with pattern and textile, addressing issues surrounding feminism, faith, Muslim women and women of colour. She is interested in using pattern and textiles to challenge Western narratives and create pieces celebrating Muslim women, focusing on depicting iconic moments from the 21st century.

Andreana Fatta, Μια Aτελείωτη Συνομιλία (An Endless Conversation) 2020. Video still.

Andreana Fattas research-based practice is informed by Cypriot cultural displacement which she activates through archives; expressing colonisation, war, lost histories and identities. For this work, she will digitise photographs, home videos, letters and literature addressing Cyprus and its complex colonial history.

© Shiyi Li, 2020

Shiyi Lis work encompasses collaborative performances including contemporary jazz music, multi-screen animation projections, digital media and a live art performance. The work tells the story of a Chinese woman having recently migrated to a Western country, exploring the awakenings brought to her through her experience of entering a new space and location.

© Navi Kaur, 2020.

Navi Kaur focuses on the migrant experience, specifically around journeys, environment, storytelling and documentary. She explores the lives of her paternal grandparents encompassing their Sikh faith and daily regimes, working predominantly through the processes of digital photography, film and installation.

© Matías Serra-Delmar, 2020.

Matías Serra-Delmars work takes references from the raw materials found encircling construction sites in fast-growing cities across the world, to create both indoor and outdoor installations.  For this work the artist will create different site-specific installations in and around the Herbert Gallery. The idea behind this is to break up the exhibition space and decentre” the spectator from the usual way that the gallery space is utilised.

Keith Piper will be showing THIRTEEN DEAD 1981, created whilst he was a member of the BLK Art Group, in response to the New Cross Massacre – 1981 in which 13 young black people lost their lives in an apparent act of racist violence . Arrests were not made and there was a marked indifference by the white population, leading to protests from Black communities.

Donald Rodney (now deceased) will be represented by the work, Autoicon, a dynamic internet work and CD-ROM that simulates both the physical presence and elements of the creative personality of the artist Donald Rodney, who died from sickle-cell anaemia, o on loan from the artistsestate. He will also be represented by How the West Was Won on loan from the Tate. How the West was Won from 1982 was painted when Rodney was only 21 and a student at Nottingham Trent University.  It dates to a time when he was part of the BLK Art Group, group producing work that engaged directly with the socio-political issues of the time.

Roshini Kempadoo will be showing work from Virtual Exiles 1999-2000 This work explores the experiences of persons who have left their country of origin and who are now at homein another. Engaging with historical, family and contemporary photographs of Guyana. Kempadoo will also be showing Moove…[s]In solidarity new photographic prints created during the pandemic, addressing both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement and protests.

Hyphen-Labs will be showing the VR piece NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism using VR to tell stories and centre the experiences of women of colour. Created partly as a response to Black Lives Matter in relation to the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling In the US, the VR work shows Black women as neuroscientists using the domain of the beauty salon as a rebel underground network for a radically new shared system of communication.

Eddie Chamberswork Deconstruction of the National Front, on loan from Tate, will be shown as part of the exhibition. Chambers was a founder member of the BLK Art Group in the early 1980s. Destruction of the National Front is a direct response to the appropriation of a national flag by a racist nationalist ideology. In the work Chambers makes use of the disruptive connotations of collage and montage to undo the association of the nation with fascism.

Sonya Dyer will be showing Hailing Frequencies Open – focussing on ongoing videos with Black women scientists. Hailing Frequencies Open (HFO), her current body of work, intersects the Greek myth of Andromeda, the dubious legacy of HeLa cells and actor Nichelle Nicolspioneering work in diversifying the NASA astronaut pool in the 1970s as the starting point for an exploration of Black female subjectivities within narratives of the future. HFO combines social justice with speculation, fantasy with the political.

Shama Khanna is the creator of Flatness a long-running commissioning and sharing platform. A website that showcases the work of a range of artists, allowing artwork to be seen outside of the gallery space. Shama Khanna will write a critical research piece about the site, looking at the ways in which through deconstruction and disorder it challenges the way audiences predominantly view and experience art within a white cube space.

An exhibition curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri.

A New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, in association with Coventry Biennial.

 

Supported by

 

We are delighted to announce a brand new exhibition titled ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking’, running at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, 2 October – 13 December. A New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, in association with Coventry Biennial. Curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri.

https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blog/posts/zak-mensah-and-sara-wajid-appointed-joint-ceos-of-birmingham-museums-trust

Birmingham Museums Trust, one of the UK’s largest independent museum trusts, has appointed Sara Wajid and Zak Mensah as joint CEOs. The pair will formally join the charity in November, taking over from Dr Ellen McAdam who stepped down in June this year.

 

I am a freelance professional art technician and art handler. I used to work all over the world for arts institutions of all sizes, private collectors, commercial galleries and directly for artists. On 17 March I found that overnight my complex schedule of work for the rest of the year had been cancelled, my world locked down and I felt a great deal of uncertainty for what lay ahead. Many mention that we are living in unprecedented times but this term just didn’t seem to capture the fear that struck me as I began to realise that my world, life and career would never be the same.

 

I have been working as a freelance art technician for the past 3 years and have over 12 years’ experience in this field.  My livelihood depends on working on art exhibitions, with art collections and cultural events.  With the closures of cultural venues I became well aware that many of us freelance art technicians were going to experience extreme hardship due to this loss of income and employment.

 

Sarah Titheridge, Martina Schmuecker and I decided to respond to the Covid-19 crisis by creating the Art Technician Emergency Fund to raise money and provide short-term relief to our colleagues and friends in the industry who had lost all of their work and are suffering financially. Art Technicians are the backbone of the art and museum world. We love our work, and most of us go above and beyond in working for artists and institutions. Due to the precarious nature of the work art technicians do, work is sporadic. Most people work from pay cheque to pay cheque and there is no financial stopgap. Although the government set up some financial aid for the self-employed, this only helped a small percentage of art technicians. Many of us fell through the gaps and were reliant on universal credit or any arts grants that we might be eligible for.

 

We asked all those back in March who signed up to the fund when they anticipated experiencing financial hardship and the result was staggering.

 

 

So we created an online art auction, spent many, many hours contacting artists to collate artwork donations and calling out for freelance art technicians to sign up to receive financial support. The auction was live for 4 weeks during which we did everything we could to raise awareness and help to see the bids roll in. We were fortunate enough to be selected to sell a collection of 2020 Solidarity (12 artist) posters funded by an organisation, Between Bridges, founded by Wolfgang Tillmans. This was an incredible boast to our auction and 4 weeks later we had a huge success.

 

Article from The Guardian

 

We managed to raise a total of £26,100 which was paid out to 55 applicants. That means we were able to pay each art technician applying to the fund about £474. Just over 100 Artists – 104 to be precise – donated 145 artworks, and we managed to get 79 successful bids for those artworks. We also had the wonderful support from Between Bridges, and sold 169 2020 Solidarity Posters through the auction at £50 each, and lastly we had 13 individual donations of various amounts, coming to £2115.

 

We were elated to be selected for this New Art West Midlands Engine Micro Bursary which provided us with £250 to help towards much of the administration, marketing and publicising costs which all contributed to enabling us to raise such a large sum of money to help a great deal of art technicians out.

 

This collective generosity made a substantial difference to many people who are really struggling right now. It has given our industry as a whole a boost to know so many people were willing to donate to the fund via artwork donations or the purchasing of artwork to support them in this crisis. We hope that this fundraising initiative can in a small way contribute to giving art technicians more visibility in the arts, and show the importance of this profession for the cultural sector.

 

It will be a long road ahead for a lot of us technicians and art workers, as most of the institutions and galleries we work for are looking to cut costs on all levels. So far most of us have no news of any work available in the months ahead.

 

Follow us on Instagram @arttechnicianemergencyfund and help us raise even more next time to help support art workers and technicians.

Taz Lovejoy reflects on the progress and success of the Art Technician Emergency Fund started with two other art technicians as a response to cancelled work amid Covid-19. Taz was awarded an Engine Micro Bursary to help support the administration and marketing of the initiative.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jul/29/is-uk-arts-rescue-package-too-little-too-late-for-grassroots

Cash aims to revive struggling sector, but smaller venues that support vulnerable people fear they will have to shut anyway. A focus on The Hive in Shrewsbury as well as the sadly now closed Artrix in Bromsgrove – via The Guardian.

The CAS acquires 106 works by 16 artists for museums and communities across the UK through its Rapid Response Fund

The Contemporary Art Society’s Rapid Response Fund has bought 106 works of art for 16 museums across the UK, financially supporting artists and helping museums reach out to new audiences as they beginning their re-opening programmes as coronavirus-based restrictions ease. This includes acquisitions for The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and The New Art Gallery Walsall.

https://www.leadwithadvantage.com

We are delighted to be partnering on the AD:Vantage Leadership Programme, a development opportunity for Coventry-based d/Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent people who work in arts, culture or heritage. Deadline: 12 noon, Monday 17 August 2020.

https://www.rugby.gov.uk/ragm/homepage/158/false_memory

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum reopens on 6 August with ‘False Memory’, an exhibition seeking to challenge our perception of being able to accurately remember moments from the past, as well as considering the relative ease of creating false memories. The show features the work of New Art West Midlands alumna Grace A Williams.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jul/02/where-are-the-black-voices-in-visual-arts

We must address the absence of black and minority ethnic artists from our public museums and galleries, writes Gilane Tawadros – via The Guardian

Walker, Barbara; I Was There IV; Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/i-was-there-iv-277100

https://artuk.org/discover/stories/forgotten-heroes-when-the-empire-went-to-war

Chloe Austin considers the work of Barbara Walker in her piece on the forgotten heroes of war within the context of Black Lives Matter. – via Art UK

Credit: Installation view, Love & Solidarity, Jamie Crewe, Grand Union Gallery, Birmingham, 2020 Photographer: Patrick Dandy.

Credit: Installation view, Love & Solidarity, Jamie Crewe, Grand Union Gallery, Birmingham, 2020
Photographer: Patrick Dandy.

Grand Union is celebrating artist Jamie Crewe’s selection for a Turner Bursary, having been nominated for their sister exhibitions: Love & Solidarity and Solidarity & Love at Grand Union, Birmingham, and Humber Street Gallery, Hull. Earlier in the year Tate announced that it would award one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists in place of this year’s Turner Prize, as a way to support a large selection of artists through this precarious and uncertain time.

Showing work simultaneously across two venues, Jamie Crewe’s body of work comprises videos, sculptures, drawing and writing to explore ideas of identity, power, desire, community and history. The work takes inspiration from Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness, and its lasting impressions on generations of LGBTQIA+ people. The exhibitions consider places, cultures, histories, communities, and individuals that are tied to each other, whether they like it or not. Tate remarked that the jury for the Turner Bursary “particularly praised Crewe’s dynamic and poetic retellings of mythology and literature while exploring contemporary notions of gender.”

This is the first collaboration of its kind between Grand Union and Humber Street Gallery, Hull’s dedicated contemporary visual art space. Bluntly split, this body of work survives in partial form, spread across two cities, two venues, and two exhibitions. This is in accordance with its themes; together, and apart, Love & Solidarity and Solidarity & Love test the possibility of living with a wound.

Love & Solidarity opened at Grand Union earlier this year, but the exhibition and gallery had to close due to the pandemic. Grand Union is planning to re-open the exhibition by appointment to provide an opportunity for audiences to see the work, adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

Cheryl Jones, Director at Grand Union, said:

“We are so pleased for Jamie receiving this well-deserved accolade for such a thoughtful and inspiring exhibition, which now feels more relevant than ever. This, coupled with news that The British Art Show 9 will be opening in Wolverhampton next March, marks an exciting opportunity for the West Midlands. It is an important recognition of the incredible visual arts work that happens across this region.”

This news coincides with Grand Union celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020. The milestone also comes as Grand Union has recently become a charity and is spearheading a £3.25m project to bring a Grade II listed building on Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, back into use. Working with Homes England, they will transform the derelict Junction Works building (former Birmingham Canal Offices) into a new contemporary art gallery and artist studios.

The recipients of the Turner Bursary 2020 are Arika; Liz Johnson Artur; Oreet Ashery; Shawanda Corbeet; Jamie Crewe; Sean Edwards; Sidsel Meineche Hansen; Ima-Abasi Okon; Imran Perretta; Alberta Whittle. 

Further details about the Birmingham exhibition and programme can be found at www.grand-union.org.uk.

Details of the Hull exhibition and programme can be found at www.humberstreetgallery.co.uk and www.absolutelycutured.co.uk  

 

Grand Union is celebrating artist Jamie Crewe’s selection for a Turner Bursary, having been nominated for their sister exhibitions: ‘Love & Solidarity’ and ‘Solidarity & Love’ at Grand Union, Birmingham, and Humber Street Gallery, Hull. Earlier in the year Tate announced that it would award one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists in place of this year’s Turner Prize, as a way to support a large selection of artists through this precarious and uncertain time.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jul/08/great-reopening-britains-galleries-covid-proofed-london-dundee-llandudno

From London to Llandudno to Dundee, museums are back in business. So is it now safe to view art – and how will they cope with the drastic drop in numbers? – via The Guardian.

The impact of COVID-19 has been far reaching in our sector, evidenced in the submission by CVAN, 17 June 2020 to DCMS.

Like the rest of the sector, we were both surprised and delighted at the news announced late last night by the Government of a £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s arts and heritage institutions.

However, as our evidence shows; small organisations and independent practitioners, especially disabled and neurodivergent artists and Black and People of Colour artists have faced significant loss of livelihood and are most vulnerable; with many not being protected by the funding available to date.

We are therefore calling for equitable and fair distribution of these funds to ensure that this does not solely reach the ‘crown jewels’ of the arts sector, as has been indicated.  This funding is vital to organisations and venues of all sizes across all regions nationally.  

Without artists, there is no art. All regions and venues of all sizes should be accounted for in the distribution; no-one should be forgotten. 

 

Like the rest of the sector, we were both surprised and delighted at the news announced late last night by the Government of a £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s arts and heritage institutions.

However, without artists, there is no art. All regions and venues of all sizes should be accounted for in the distribution; no-one should be forgotten.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/05/boris-johnson-uk-lifeline-arts-heritage-sector-afloat

Britain’s arts and heritage sectors have been promised £1.57bn of help in a long-awaited rescue package described by the government as the biggest one-off investment in UK culture – via The Guardian.

http://www.cvan.art/news/2020/7/3/an-open-letter-to-the-chancellor

The Contemporary Visual Art Network (CVAN)’s Open Letter to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak Secretary to the Treasury Kemi Badenoch MP and DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden about the impact of Covid-19 on the Visual Arts and how to save an art form that plays a central role in the UK’s economy and society.

Coventry City of Culture to commence year-long programme in May 2021

Coventry City of Culture Trust has announced that it will officially commence its programme in May 2021. Co-created with national and local partners, and grassroots organisations across the city, the programme will include major international artistic events, world premieres and commissions across theatre, music, dance, literature, comedy and visual art.

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/jun/19/disability-campaigners-warn-of-uks-progress-unravelling-in-the-arts

Progress made in the representation and inclusion of disabled artists and audiences is in danger of unravelling because of the pandemic, campaigners have warned – via The Guardian.

Midlands

Outside In launch their Midlands Hub website, providing a platform for artists who face significant barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation.

 

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.

As part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), New Art West Midlands is continuing and committed to work with our colleagues across the English regions to address inequalities in the visual arts.

CVAN’s/our statement:

We are a sector support and advocacy network for contemporary visual arts across nine regions in England. Our mission is to support and promote the visibility and the resilience of the nation’s contemporary visual arts ecology by representing artists and independent creative practitioners, small to large scale arts organisations and galleries, and practices that are committed to education, engagement and public art. We believe in an equitable sector and collective action and are committed to embedding our work within civic life.

Black Lives Matter.

We add our voices to the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and join the millions supporting the Black Lives Matter movement around the world. We stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues in Black communities.

Systemic racism is real within the UK and the visual arts sector. As a national network of organisations, we commit to long-term anti-racist work to contribute to the ongoing fight against white supremacy in the arts sector. We acknowledge that demanding structural change will require time and collective action and therefore we encourage all sector leaders in positions of power to join us to accelerate this journey.

We are outlining tangible long-term commitments and goals in collaboration with our regional organisations to ensure that we are doing everything we can to be part of the change that is long overdue. We will also establish a code of conduct to ensure that we can be held accountable.

We will share the full details of our plan and commitments as we work through them.

In the meantime, we want to foster an open dialogue and we invite anyone who would like to hold us to account, to get involved or to simply comment to contact us at: info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk / info@cvan.art

As part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), New Art West Midlands is continuing and committed to work with our colleagues across the English regions to address inequalities in the visual arts.

https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/arts-and-festivals/shropshire-council-emergency-arts-grants-2020/

In response to the current crisis Shropshire Council have provided emergency grant funding to 23 arts organisations, venues and festivals in the county. The funding is supporting a huge amount of high-quality arts activity. Over the next six months, communities from across Shropshire will have the opportunity to get involved in a range of exciting online and digital arts activities. It’s estimated that over 23,000 people will benefit, as either participants or audience members.

https://www.makeitwm.com/blog/read/2020/06/west-midlands-arts-companies-come-together-to-celebrate-the-regions-arts-and-culture-with-free-midsummer-festival-b297

West Midlands Culture Response Unit (WMCRU) announces the Midsummer Festival, a free one-day festival celebrating arts and culture in the West Midlands on Saturday 20 June.

Future Proof - VASW, © Chelsea Cliff, 2019.

A survey was launched in April 2020 to gauge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdown on the visual arts sector. It was commissioned by Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) in association with Earthen Lamp as a rapid action tool. It was initiated to understand the position of the workforce dependent on freelance gig economy in the visual arts sector in the UK and investigated their response to emergency sector support measures announced by Arts Council England (ACE) and HM Treasury. The study included responses from a range of individuals that work in the visual arts sector – from artists and makers to technicians and fabricators, from curators to consultants.

Respondents were asked about the impacts they were experiencing of the pandemic and related announcements:

58% are worried about their ability to get future work.

44% of visual arts workers have permanently lost work since the announcement.

20% feel they are not eligible for support, related to diversity in forms of employment and complex income sources of respondents.

Nevertheless, respondents discussed the unexpected impact and interaction with their community as a positive outcome. Many respondents have volunteered for the NHS or used their skills and time to benefit the communities they live in or the artistic community they belong to. This has ranged from helping the NHS as volunteers, neighbours through Mutual Aid action groups and using skills to make banners and sew scrubs.

The summary report can be downloaded and read here.

 

The survey was delivered in partnership with Artists’ Union Englanda-n The Artists Information Company, ArtQuest London, AxisWebCuratorSpaceDACSEngage and Guild.

As key sector support organisations working to safeguard the visual arts in its broadest sense, we wanted to understand how to best to deploy our capacity and resource over the challenging weeks, months and years ahead.

CVAN would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who joined forces in creating and distributing Impact of COVID-19 on Visual Arts Workers. Through our combined efforts, we were able to generate 1,038 completed surveys across the country. This is a tremendous achievement which we should all be proud of. Well done!

Knowing more through this research has helped us coordinate our efforts, and lobby effectively for the sector. Through the findings of this survey we have built an evidence base to advocate for artists and arts professionals in a position of hardship over coming months.

These findings were compiled by an independent agency Earthen Lamp. All findings from this research are presented in an anonymised way to the sector, policymakers and government bodies. Please note that the results will not influence decisions or support package that have already been announced by funders. If you have any questions or comments about this research, please contact info@earthenlamp.com.

In April a survey was launched by the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) to gauge the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on the visual arts sector. The summary of findings have now been published.

We are delighted to announce the eight artists selected for our forthcoming Active Reality Research Lab, developed by New Art West Midlands, working with Coventry City of Culture Trust, ARUP and artist Simon Poulter.

We received a large number of excellent applications from all over the region. In our selection, we have chosen artists working across art forms including visual arts, graphic design, performance, sound, bio-art and other hybrid forms of practice. We hope that the artists taking part will be able to learn from each other as much as from the activities they undertake and from the expertise of the facilitation team.

The artists taking part in the lab are: Carol Breen, Matt Eaton, Helen Kilby-Nelson, Namratha Jacob, Edie-Jo Murray, Priti Patel, Rosa Postlethwaite and Laurie Ramsell.

The lab will take place online (or partly on-site should government restrictions permit and should artists feel comfortable to be on site in Coventry physically) from 13-17 July 2020.

We are delighted to announce the eight artists selected for our forthcoming Active Reality Research Lab, developed by New Art West Midlands, working with Coventry City of Culture Trust, ARUP and artist Simon Poulter.

https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/government-urged-to-use-west-midlands-as-test-bed-for-early-reopening-of-tourism-hospitality-and-cultural-sector/

Regional leaders have called on Government to allow the West Midlands to become a national test bed for an early reopening of the tourism, hospitality and cultural sector.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52806844

The Turner Prize to be cancelled this year, instead Tate Britain will give bursaries each worth £10,000 to help 10 artists at this “exceptionally difficult time”. – via BBC

Artists Make Change: “Artists need to be more involved in policy decisions”

a-n Artists Council has initiated a 12-month research and development project that will explore the role of the artist in society and advocate for how artists and art organisers can effectively work for change. Glen Stoker, a visual artist and Director of Stoke-on-Trent-based artist-led project AirSpace Gallery, and Rachel Dobbs, an artist and educator based in Plymouth speak to Jack Hutchinson about the project and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their plans – via a-n.

How Flatpack took their festival online during the Coronavirus crisis

With cinemas closed and social distancing measures in place due to the Coronavirus crisis, festivals all over the world have been forced to rethink their plans over the last few months. The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) spoke to Ian Francis, Director of Flatpack Festival, about how they took their festival online and some of the lessons they learnt along the way.

Photo by Alex Jackman on Unsplash

Photo by Alex Jackman on Unsplash

 

We’ll be updating this list of resources and opportunities as we find them.

If there’s something you think should be included, please let us know via – info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk

 

[Last updated 19 May 2020]

 

Groups

Culture Response Unit West Midlands – A Facebook group from Culture Central ensuring the visibility, viability and recovery of the Cultural Sector in the West Midlands.

Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses is a growing Facebook group and support system set up in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the self-employed – many from the creative industries.

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) have set up a Facebook Group for those marketing during these difficult times.

 

Government support

HMRC have launched a helpline to help businesses and the self-employed concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus.

GOV. UK Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Eligibility Checker

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has launched a dedicated website providing the latest information for West Midlands businesses hit by the Covid-19 crisis. The site provides a bespoke resource for businesses seeking up-to-date advice on how to deal with the pandemic as well as what financial support is available and how to access it.

 

Funding/Opportunities

Arts Council England have announced that £160 million of emergency funding is being made made available for organisations and individuals during the COVID-19 crisis. If you’re thinking of applying as an individual or organisation, BOMCulture Central, Creative Black Country and we can assist. The latest information on emergency Arts Council funding streams can be found here.

Axisweb have started a hardship fund for “any member experiencing financial hardship – unable to work, disabled, a carer, on low income or freelance – is eligible to apply.”

BFI has launched a Resilience Fund to support the film industry and workforce.

The Goldsmiths’ Company has announced a £1 million support fund for those in the jewellery, silversmithing and allied industries.

UK QTIBIPOC has launched an Emergency relief & Hardship Fund to provide short term support to Queer, Trans and Intersex, Black, Indigenous, People of Color currently living in the UK who are affected by the outbreak and ongoing shutdown caused by COVID-19.

The Artist General Benevolent Fund financially supports professional artists in need.

Creative Black Country are offering small creative commissions of £500 – £2000 for projects that develop creative activity with and for local communities in the Black Country to make connections and support local people during these extraordinary and difficult times. Inspired by the positive responses around the world from balcony singing in Italy to digital choir platforms and #lockdownkitchendisco, they are looking for creative responses to the social distancing challenge which bring fun, joy and creativity to local people in the Black Country, and keep people connected.

The Coventry City of Culture team and The Heart of England Community Foundation have released a Coronavirus Resilience Fund wishing to support those in the community for whom the cancelling of public events has hit the hardest across Coventry and Warwickshire. This hardship fund will support arts organisations and individual artists to help them through this difficult time. The maximum grant size for organisations is: £1000 and the maximum for individuals, £500.

CuratorSpace is developing a new (free) service for artists who have experience delivering workshops. This service will allow them to set up, organise and promote online courses through CuratorSpace to their international database and social media following. The service will be made available for free for 6 months to support artists who are struggling to make a living due the loss of income from face-to-face workshops.

To help support a-n Artist members whose livelihoods have been impacted by Coronavirus Covid-19, they have brought the application process forward for the next round of a-n Artist Bursaries, and are also announcing new funding for artists and arts organisers who make exhibitions happen.

The Paul Mellon Centre has made £200,000 available in a special programme of funding designed to support the field of British art studies during the COVID-19 crisis. The programme will provide quickly released funding for both individuals and institutions, and is intended to sustain research, writing and thinking on British art and architecture during a period of unprecedented disruption for the scholarly and curatorial communities. Deadline: Tuesday 19 May 2020.

Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund – For artists and freelancers in England and Northern Ireland in partnership with a-n The Artists Information Company. Bursaries of £1,500 – £2,500 available. Deadline: Thursday 18 June 2020.

Digital Collaboration Grants, Transforming Narratives – Grants of up to £4,000 are on offer to enable creative and cultural practitioners in Birmingham, Pakistan and Bangladesh to make connections and work collaboratively using digital technology. Applicants may choose to offer an artistic response or acknowledgement of the current global pandemic and its implications across the globe, or can make work inspired by any other topic of interest. Deadline: Friday 19 June 2020.

 

Reading

Information and guidance for artists and arts organisers from a-n.

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) have released a list of resources with links to AMA support, sector & freelancer tips and guides, and funding body advice. They have a free webinar on Crisis Comms planning coming up.

UK Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resources List – A collection of links to resources to help freelance creatives and artists.

Coronovirus Tech Handbook – virtual event resources and advice.

10 Tips for Cultural Organisations for COVID-19 – via Counterculture.

Useful resources for the attractions and travel industry – via Rubber Cheese.

The basics of surviving and thriving for those suddenly forced to network entirely online – by Sonia Boué.

Exploring art under self-isolation in Birmingham (and beyond.) A nice piece from James Kennedy on plans for art spaces in the region to present work online.

list of resources businesses can use to enhance their knowledge and action plan in areas such as communication, crisis management, business continuation, etc, and how to handle this crisis from their positions.

 

Misc

The Creative Industries Federation is offering free membership for the next 6 months. “We are only as strong as our membership and we need creatives from across the country to join us at this time of crisis for the sector… join us as a Creative Industries Federation Member free of charge… so we can support you with relevant news and updates whilst you navigate the challenges of the ongoing Coronavirus emergency.”

Arts Professional are removing their subscription paywall for all Covid-19 related news, resources and content to support arts workers.

Arts producer Laura Sweeney has shared a downloadable Lost Earnings Log template which could help with applications for financial support.

Cultural organisations are rushing to get content online – Chris Unitt has started to put together a list of what organisations are doing in one place. Please fill in his spreadsheet with links to performances, tours, talks, classes, games, etc.

The #CovidCreativesToolkit, ‘a set of curated mostly free & open source resources to support creative practitioners (artists, makers, curators, designers, hackers, educators, facilitators, etc) who need to migrate their practice onto digital places & spaces, and don’t have time to mess around.’

We’ll be updating this list of resources and opportunities as we find them.

If there’s something you think should be included, please let us know via – info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk

We recently redirected the focus of our next round of Engine Micro Bursaries (a go-and-see resource in previous years) towards evidence gathering around the impact on artists’ livelihoods caused by the Coronavirus outbreak and the unprecedented measures taken to slow the spread of the disease.


We invited artists and arts professionals living in the West Midlands to share experiences of the current situation – case studies and points of view around practice in these exceptional times. The 10 artists selected to receive a Micro Bursary of £250 are:

Dan Auluk

Ania Bas

Helen Garbett

Dion Kitson

… kruse

Taz Lovejoy

Joanne Masding

Demi Nandhra

Adam Neal

Emily Warner

Almost 60 applications were received and the panel were very impressed with the strength and quality of artists’ responses to and stories of the current crisis right across the region. We were by turns moved, saddened and uplifted by what we read and the decisions we had to make were very difficult.

We are grateful to our panel of selectors which included Melanie Pocock, Ikon Gallery; Hannah Taylor, Asylum Art Gallery; Adelaide Bannerman, International Curators Forum; Anne de Charmant, Meadow Arts; John Cussans, University of Worcester; Mike Layward, DASH and Glen Stoker, AirSpace Gallery.

Our website and social media accounts will be places to gather focus points including the impact on studio-based artists, on freelance curatorial activities, on practitioners based in rural contexts, on the student perspective, and on artists and curators who are commonly disadvantaged due to race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability.

Each of the 10 artists will be supported to make and research within this unprecedented context. We will be sharing results of their work – be it video, text, audio, drawings, photography or other responses – on our website and social media channels over the next few weeks.

We recently invited artists and arts professionals living in the West Midlands to share experiences of the current situation – case studies and points of view around practice in these exceptional times. We are pleased to announce the 10 artists receiving support via our Engine Micro Bursaries scheme to share their stories.

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.

Today MAIA‘s May programme kicks off four weeks of online talks, discussions, workshops and commissions, celebrating and investing in artistry, and helping us all stay in conversation and in community.

Sign up for an artist manifesto workshop with artist Paula Varjack; learn how to fund and manage projects with multi-award winning Cultural Producer Tobi Kyeremateng; gain an insight into how galleries work with artists to produce new work with Grand Union’s Programme Director Kim McAleese and much more.

MAIA have partnered with Maslaha this month for a series of weekly online workshops, conversations and tutorials from Birmingham artists exploring spaces for joy and sanctuary.

MAIA have also announced two opportunities for artists from the West Midlands – The Keep Keeping Fund to support creative development and a MAIA commission for works that respond to the theme of ‘Joy’.

Explore the May programme here.

MAIA’s May programme kicks off today with four weeks of online talks, discussions, workshops and commissions, celebrating and investing in artistry, and helping us all stay in conversation and in community.

The CAS acquires an evocative photograph by John Akomfrah for the Mead Art Gallery, University of Warwick Art Collection

The Contemporary Art Society has acquired a photographic print by John Akomfrah for the Mead Art Gallery, University of Warwick Art Collection. John Akomfrah is an acclaimed filmmaker and artist known for his deeply moving works which reflect on diaspora, colonialism, migration and identity.

Set up in 2019 by designer and illustrator Rachael McCamphill and artist Ewan Johnston, Pack is an artist-led exhibition platform. Bringing together the work of artists from across the West Midlands, it aims to promote and further strengthen the creative community across the region.

Their planned exhibition was cancelled due to the current situation, they decided to take their exhibition online. Throughout May, they will be sharing a diverse range of work from across the region on Instagram.

Rachael and Ewan said:

“We thought it was important to do something like this for artists in the region during these mad times. We want to help keep people creative and to share the work that there making, As we are strong believers in arts transformative powers to help console and heal during traumatic times, starting from the 1 May … we will be sharing a diverse range of work through our Instagram page. And when this is all over there will be many more exhibitions to come.”

Follow Pack on Instagram here.

Pack is an artist-led exhibition platform bringing together the work of artists from across the West Midlands. As their planned exhibition was cancelled due to the current situation, they decided to take their exhibition online. Throughout May, they will be sharing a diverse range of work from across the region on Instagram.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/26/uk-could-become-cultural-wasteland-due-to-coronavirus-say-artists

Letter signed by hundreds of creative figures including Jeremy Deller, Grayson Perry and Anish Kapoor calls on government support – via The Guardian.

New creative grant awarded to Worcestershire artists

Severn Arts and Worcestershire County Council have selected twenty Worcestershire artists to receive a new grant to create a piece of work inviting participation and connectivity. The artists will all be working to the deadline of the end of May to present their final pieces of work digitally.

Work by Andy Sargent

Engine, the professional development programme run by New Art West Midlands and The New Art Gallery Walsall, partnered with Outside In earlier this year to offer artists living in the West Midlands the opportunity to apply for Micro Bursaries towards bespoke professional development activities.

 

Outside In is a national charity that supports artists who face significant barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation and the bursary was directed to its artists or those artists who meet its criteria.

 

We are delighted to announce that we have been able to offer three bursaries to artists Corinne, Finn and Andy Sargent, based in Worcestershire, Shropshire and Warwickshire respectively.

 

From a pool of strong applications, the panel, made up of staff from each of the three organisations, were particularly impressed with the clarity of these three proposals. The impact that the bursaries might make on the development of Corinne, Finn and Andy’s individual practices was evident. The Outside In Engine Micro Bursaries, launched back at the start of February, were aimed at covering the costs of, for example, research visits to exhibitions, festivals or sites of interest, attendance at seminars, workshops and conferences, travel and accommodation.

Corinne, A Bedtime Story #3, 2020

 

Corinne will use her bursary to attend Friday Morning Pottery and Hand Building Ceramics classes at Worcester Arts Workshop, equipping her with skills in hand building, ceramic and glazing techniques. She views the workshops as research into the use of clay, allowing her to gain skills and develop ideas so that she can build masks to use within her photographic self-portraiture. Find out more about her work on her website here.

 

Finn, TEXTILE (1)

 

Finn currently has an Unlimited R&D commission to research haptic art with Coventry University and is creating a life-size fish tank with interactive animated fish that can be felt using haptic sonic sound waves. The bursary will be used to research haptic technology mixed with organic materials.

 

Andy Sargent, The tale of the horse and the monster

 

Meanwhile, Andy will use his bursary towards travel to visit galleries, including paintings by Alberto Giacometti for personal research, and to help pay towards travel to meetings, functions and open evenings when they resume. The bursary will help him to meet curators and to promote his work. You can find out more about Andy’s work via his website.

 

While these activities are of course not possible at the moment, we look forward to speaking with Corinne, Finn and Andy in the months ahead. They will be reporting back on their research and bursary activities for these editorial pages and for the Outside In website.

 

Engine partnered with Outside In earlier this year to offer artists living in the West Midlands the opportunity to apply for Micro Bursaries towards bespoke professional development activities. We are delighted to announce that we have been able to offer three bursaries to artists Corinne, Finn and Andy Sargent.

Arts organisations call on Government to protect artists

Leading arts organisations, including the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (of which we are part), have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP asking him to protect the livelihoods of visual artists affected by COVID-19.

Covid-19 impact survey: “a stark reminder of precarity in the arts”

Drawing on the findings of a-n’s recent survey and reflecting the views of over 4,000 members, the Covid-19 impact survey report provides robust insights into the emerging impacts of the public health crisis with 93% of respondents reporting that their practice or career has been affected by the outbreak. – via a-n news

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We are offering one to one conversation slots with arts professionals in our network for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers based in the region who are looking to apply for Arts Council England’s Funding for Individuals scheme. This is a chance to ask them any last minute questions you might have in relation to your application’s content and focus before pressing ‘submit’.

These conversations will take place over the telephone on Wednesday 15 April and Wednesday 29 April prior to the two deadlines for the Emergency Response Fund – Individuals.

Please find all the details of Arts Council England’s scheme, including key information, deadlines and eligibility criteria here: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/financial-support-artists-creative-practitioners-and-freelancers

Please email info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk with ‘Telephone conversation’ in the subject line if you would like to request one of the slots. There are a limited number of one to one telephone slots available and these will be offered on a first come first served basis.

We are offering telephone conversations Wednesday 15 April and Wednesday 29 April for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers based in the region who are looking to apply for Arts Council England’s Funding for Individuals scheme.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We are redirecting the focus of our next round of Engine Micro Bursaries (a go-and-see resource in previous years) towards evidence gathering around the impact on artists’ livelihoods caused by the Coronavirus outbreak and the unprecedented measures taken to slow the spread of the disease.

We are now inviting artists and arts professionals living in the West Midlands to share experiences of the current situation – case studies and points of view around practice in these exceptional times.

We have 10 Micro Bursary opportunities to award and are looking to cover a variety of impacts on practice. These focus points include the impact on studio-based artists, on freelance curatorial activities, on practitioners based in rural contexts, on the student perspective, on those working internationally, and on artists and curators who are commonly disadvantaged due to race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability.

Applications will be selected by New Art West Midlands in collaboration with a range of partner organisations located across the region to seek different perspectives and to ensure fair access. These include AirSpace Gallery, Asylum Art Gallery, DASH, Ikon Gallery, International Curators Forum (ICF), Meadow Arts and University of Worcester.

Please email us with a proposal. Your response might be that you have started to learn clay modelling or coding, that you are making a video diary or a new painting every day. Perhaps you might have been inspired to develop an online network to allow remote collaboration or that you are using this time to make plans for a big change in the future direction of your practice. Perhaps you have been collecting thoughts and opinions on some of the negative impacts of the situation in written form. We want to hear about your stories and to share them.

Some of the most interesting, engaging and moving stories around practice will receive support in the form of support from one of the team and a fee of £250 to help shape your story in a way that we can share online through writing, audio, video or image-based content.

Please email your short proposal to info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk by 4pm on Wednesday 15 April, stating ‘Micro Bursary’ in the subject line.

We are accepting Engine Micro Bursary proposals from artists and arts professionals living in the West Midlands to share experiences of the current situation – case studies and points of view around practice in these exceptional times. Deadline: 15 April.

Last week, Arts Council England and HM Treasury announced emergency sector support measures to help visual arts workers affected by COVID-19. We are keen to develop our understanding of the impact of these measures upon the visual arts sector. The Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) has built a survey with Earthen Lamp, a-n The Artists Information Company, ArtQuest, AxisWeb, CuratorSpace, DACS, Artists’ Union England, Guild, and Engage, and are looking for your help.

As key sector support organisations working to support the visual arts in its broadest sense, we want to understand how to best to deploy our capacity and resource over the challenging weeks, months and years ahead.

How has this pandemic disrupted your practice?
Do you feel that enough has been done to help?

The research will inform our approach to sector support collaboration moving forward, coalescing around the needs of a future visual arts sector that is changed as much for the better as recovered to the status quo.

Fill in the short survey HERE.

 

The findings will be compiled by an independent agency Earthen Lamp. All findings from this research will be presented in an anonymised way to the sector, policymakers and government bodies. Please note that the results will not influence decisions or support package that have already been announced by funders. If you have any questions or comments about this research, please contact info@earthenlamp.com. 

Last week, Arts Council England and HM Treasury announced emergency sector support measures to help visual arts workers affected by COVID-19. We are keen to develop our understanding of the impact of these measures upon the visual arts sector. The Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) has built a survey with Earthen Lamp + other partners and are looking for your help.

The research will inform our approach to sector support collaboration moving forward.

The New Art West Midlands team is shifting the way we work over the coming weeks, in response to Government advice and supporting the efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19. During this difficult time, we are working with our partners to postpone and where possible reschedule our face-to-face activities and opportunities (see further information below).

We will redirect the focus of our next round of Micro Bursaries (a go-and-see resource in previous years) towards evidence gathering around the impact on artists’ livelihoods caused by the Coronavirus outbreak and the unprecedented measures taken to slow the spread of the disease.

Shortly we will open this as a paid opportunity, inviting artists and arts professionals to share experiences of the current situation – case studies, points of view and thought pieces around practice in these exceptional times.

Alongside, we are undertaking some research to run over the course of the next few weeks to gather information on the precarious position of the visual arts workforce – those working in freelance capacities and dependent on the prevalent gig economy.  Watch this space and please engage.

Together we hope to build an evidence base to use to advocate for artists and arts professionals in a position of hardship over coming months and to gain a better understanding of the economic position of the keyworkers as the sector looks towards recovery. We are in conversation with Arts Council England to ensure that the evidence we collect is as useful to the sector as it possibly can be.

In the meantime, we are not going anywhere. We will continue to champion and support artists, arts professionals and culture across the region. If you need to reach us, please email us at info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk or get in touch via our social media channels.

Further guidance and support is shared below, including Arts Council England’s latest update and MAIA’s fundraiser to support West Midlands’ artists. Please continue to share your opportunities, news and work with us – and most importantly, stay safe.

Craig, Anneka and Annabel x

 

Some useful resources: 

Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses is a growing Facebook group and support system set up in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the self-employed – many from the creative industries.

MAIA have launched a fundraiser to provide hardship funds for artists, cultural workers, practitioners and creative freelancers that cannot work during this time or who have been affected by cancellations or other impacts. Donate or find out how to apply here.

The arts community in the USA is mobilising fast to organise support for artists during the crisis. These resources, shared by Arts Council on Twitter have an international focus, and are not only relevant for American artists.

HMRC have launched a helpline to help businesses and the self-employed concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus.

An update from New Art West Midlands in light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

New Art West Midlands, Coventry City of Culture Trust and ARUP
 
Deadline: 5pm, Wednesday 29 April 2020
Lab dates: provisionally rescheduled for 13-17 July 2020
Location: Coventry, site tbc

We are delighted to announce a call out for an artist’s lab developed by New Art West Midlands, working with Coventry City of Culture Trust, ARUP and artist Simon Poulter.

The lab is open to artists from all art-forms including visual arts, photography, theatre, sound, live art, design, digital and any other hybrid forms. It is open to artists at all career stages as a professional development opportunity. You must be based in the West Midlands, within travelling distance of Coventry.

 


We will be working with ARUP, with input from their Midlands team, based in Solihull. Artists will have the opportunity to explore some of the emerging technologies that ARUP are working with, including LIDAR (​Light Detection and Ranging).

Active Reality is a way of describing site related and site specific public artworks that incorporate a range of elements. We are encouraging participants to think about work that is located in a place, has narrative form, uses episodic approaches (‘releases’), incorporates digital and has live elements. We expect collaborations and new partnerships to emerge from the lab.

What will it be like
These labs are based on a method that Simon Poulter devised in 1997 at Dartington College. They encourage peer presentation, engaging with new processes and taking risks in your working practice. The lab environment is intensive, friendly and encapsulates both practical skills and theory. There will be exploration of Coventry as a city, along with sessions run by other professionals. You will learn new skills and have the opportunity to present your own work to peers. It has been described as ‘like doing an MA in a week’.

If you have any particular needs around mobility or access you can identify these to us in advance, as the lab is built around the participants. If you are accepted onto the lab, we will call you beforehand to discuss the process with you and any particular questions you have.

Commitment level
You have to be able to commit to the whole week. It is not a course, it’s an intensive lab.

Professional Development, food and honorariums
This is a professional development opportunity to develop your practice. However, we acknowledge that equal access support is needed, to make this open to participants on lower incomes. We offer a flat rate honorarium of £300 to every participant. Food is covered for the duration of the lab.

Practice and process
The active reality approach aims to fold live performance, digital outputs and site specific production into new work. Artists are encouraged to work outside of their normal skill sets and consider wider producer models for making new work.

The lab will combine practical input from previous projects, with taught technical sessions. One day of the lab, will incorporate a site based session working with one of ARUP’s team members to see how LIDAR can be used to capture high resolution data and then be manipluated on other media (e.g VR). Alongside this artists are invited to reflect on their own practice and engage in a peer-to-peer environment.

Taught sessions will include an introduction to web based augmented reality using AR:JS, hands on developing with VR tools such as HTC Vive and work with sound. We will look at how to devise projects combining media to create impact and new work.

Artists do not have to have previous experience of technical tools and may arise from any artistic background and skill level.

Other notes
We will provide food but are not offering overnight accommodation for artists. You will be resident in the West Midlands area and able to attend for five days in Coventry.

There are 8 places available for the lab.

 

To Apply

Provide your full name, email address, telephone number and address.

Provide 500 words about the work you do and the challenges you face in your practice. Tell us about what you have been making in the last year and what you would do if you had the right resources. We are looking for artists at all career stages who want to find some new directions in their work. We particularly welcome applications from diverse candidates, or artists that have not followed a traditional art education track. (You do not need an art degree to apply.)

Places are limited for this lab but in rare circumstances we will consider artists who work as part of a shared practice (up to two people). If you apply as a duo, then provide one application for both people with relevant CV and imagery of shared practice.

Send us some web links or a digital portfolio (up to ten pages as PDF format). Please keep the file size under 15MB.

Please email applications (your 500 words and web links or digital portfolio) as a single PDF document to info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk by 5pm on Wednesday 29 April 2020. Please include ‘Active Reality Research Lab’ in the email subject line.

If you have queries about the lab or application process you can email info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk 

The deadline has now been extended for the Active Reality Research Lab, developed by New Art West Midlands, working with Coventry City of Culture Trust, ARUP and artist Simon Poulter. The lab dates will be rescheduled for later in the year. Dates to be confirmed.

https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news-and-announcements/coronavirus-information

“Arts Council England’s No.1 Priority for the next three months is to support people who work in the arts, museums and libraries. We want as strong a sector as possible as we come out the other side of this crisis.” Arts Council England publish their latest guidance regarding Coronavirus.

No Particular Order, 2020. Matías Serra Delmar. Mixed media on 11mm OSB board, timber supports, sand bags. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy: Amber Sparrey.

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial alumnus Matías Serra Delmar is currently exhibiting his work No Particular Order in the windows of University of Worcester’s Art House building. It is a University of Worcester exhibition, presented by New Art West Midlands in association with curator Sylvia Theuri, currently New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence.

The Art House is University of Worcester’s flexible creative hub in the city centre. Hosting fine art and illustration courses, it provides an open studio, workshop and exhibition space. Located on Castle Street, it was originally built in 1939 as a car showroom for Lord Austin of Austin Motors. It underwent major redevelopment in 2018 to become an additional campus for the University of Worcester. The large showroom windows at the front of the building host exhibitions of work, engaging a wider public and providing a cultural offer to the city.

No Particular Order, 2020. (detail) Matías Serra Delmar. Image courtesy: Amber Sparrey.

First shown in 2019, No Particular Order makes use of the raw materials found encircling construction sites in fast-growing cities across the world. As a Spanish artist raised in Argentina and now based in the UK, Matías is interested in the universal aesthetic of the hoarding and its common purpose to obstruct the view of a landscape in transition.

This artwork includes a nod to Buenos Aires, the artist’s home for some years, where a consequence of the socio-economic crisis meant that unfinished buildings would often remain hidden for decades, behind hoardings that prevailed as the dominant image of the cityscape. Frequently intended as a surface upon which to project the promising future that lies beyond, for Matías the hoarding tends to become the site for a more honest representation of the place in which it stands; a site that is made local, relevant and responsive by those who inhabit the city.

This exhibition is the third in the current series, following a collaborative drawing commission led by artist curator Cedar Lewisohn and Nathaniel Pitt, and most recently an installation by artist Chris Olton. The show forms part of a programme of exhibitions building profile and support for the space. We feltMatías’ work would sit well in the space, relevant to the ever-developing cityscape and the public realm as a key site of cultural experience.

No Particular Order can be seen in the windows of The Art House building until 26 April 2020.

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial alumnus Matías Serra Delmar is currently exhibiting his work No Particular Order in the windows of University of Worcester’s Art House building. It is a University of Worcester exhibition, presented by New Art West Midlands in association with curator Sylvia Theuri, currently New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence.

Ambition, challenges and slaughtering sacred cows, a year in the life of DASH’s first Curator-in-Residence

Anna Berry’s year-long residency at Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) is the first instalment of DASH’s Curatorial Commissions Programme, pairing disabled curators with mainstream arts organisations. Berry’s residency has culminated in the Art and Social Change exhibition at MAC 11 January – 22 March. Berry along with Deborah Kermode, CEO and Artistic Director, MAC, and curator and mentor Jess Litherland spoke to Disability Arts Online about the process.

Duplicate: Publishing Fair
Friday 3 and Saturday 4 April 2020
Eastside Projects

Duplicate Publishing Fair welcomes applications from collective and individual self-publishers from the UK and beyond. The fair will showcase a broad range of independent publications, zines, comics and artists’ books and run alongside a programme of free artist led workshops and talks.

Table space is £15 per day (or £20 for both days), everyone gets half a 6ft trestle table.

Entry to the fair will be free to the public (donations welcome).

Eastside Projects is wheelchair accessible.

Submission deadline is 28 February

You can apply for the fair here 

Duplicate Publishing Fair welcomes applications from collective and individual self-publishers for their next iteration on 3 and 4 April 2020.

https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/magazine/331/feature/my-vision-radical-artist-led-hotel

We need bold new cultural infrastructures to tackle entrenched inequality in the arts, says Amahra Spence. Can a new project combine business nous with social justice? – via Arts Professional

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-51462197?fbclid=IwAR3235GeiV8lxTc11Zmu4hlpVvmGo0MMgbsz5tdwGIKKXVwdKwqUDfEsEDk

Photographer Lottie Davies’s latest work documents a fictional journey across Britain, from the south-west of England to the far north of Scotland. Her exhibition, curated by Dr Rachel Marsden, is on display at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry – via BBC

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/feb/12/sonia-boyce-first-black-woman-artist-represent-great-britain-venice-biennale

The artist Sonia Boyce has been chosen to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale – the first black woman to do so. Her work will fill the UK pavilion from May until November next year. Boyce is one of the leading artists of the British Black Arts Movement and studied at Stourbridge College in the 1980s – via the Guardian

 

Participate is a new programme from A3 Project Space that will support their studio members to collectively deliver a programme of socially engaged projects. The Digbeth-based project space and studios has relaunched as an artist-led space run by studio members Trevor Pitt, Cathy Wade, Ben Sadler and Philip Duckworth (Juneau Projects), Adam Carver and Carolyn Morton.

Utilising their Digbeth workspace as a base the artists will work in various locations to engage a range of participants:

– Fisherman along canals to initiate conversations

– Artists and makers to learn skills in digital laser cutting

– Canal walkers to explore eco-printing

– People who identify as Womxn to explore environments

– Queer song writers to share ideas and Creative practitioners to develop skills in project delivery.

– Support in planning an art project & writing a funding application

Participate will engage local communities with the arts and support creative practitioners to develop their practice in their locality via group workshops, 1-2-1 mentoring, public encounters and exploration. The aim of the project is to explore different strategies to engage people with contemporary art practice, and the findings of the artists will be shared online and at a public event.

The programme will run from March to August, commissioning 8 artists, engage 55 participants and culminate in a public event on 26 September 2020 at which each artist will discuss their project and launch a publication that shares A3 Project Space’s strategy for a sustainable programme of public engagement.

Trevor Pitt, commented: ‘It’s been an adventure to have steered the organisation for the past 9 years and we have an amazing line up of studio members and I feel it is time for an exciting new phase in which we become a member-run artist space programmed collectively.’

Further information on Participate can be found on the A3 Project Space website.

Participate is a new programme from A3 Project Space that will support their studio members to collectively deliver a programme of socially engaged projects. The Digbeth-based project space and studios has relaunched as an artist-led space run by studio members Trevor Pitt, Cathy Wade, Ben Sadler and Philip Duckworth (Juneau Projects), Adam Carver and Carolyn Morton.

Engine, a professional development programme run by New Art West Midlands and The New Art Gallery Walsall, is pleased to be partnering with Outside In to offer artists living in the West Midlands the opportunity to apply for Micro Bursaries towards professional development activities of your choice. Two artists will be awarded a bursary of £500 each.

The Outside In Engine Micro Bursaries are aimed at covering the costs of, for example, research visits to exhibitions, festivals or sites of interest, attendance at seminars, workshops and conferences, travel and accommodation. (Please note that this fund is not designed for the production or the exhibition of work.)

 

Work made by Thomas Wynne as part of a period of research supported by an Engine Micro Bursary, 2018.

 

Eligibility

These Outside In Engine Micro Bursaries are specifically for artists who face significant barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation.

You can apply for the Outside In Engine Micro Bursary if you are an Outside In artist and live in the West Midlands region. The bursaries mark the development of the organisation’s programme launching shortly at their Midlands hub at Compton Verney in Warwickshire. www.outsidein.org.uk

(A further series of £250 New Art West Midlands / Engine Micro Bursaries open to all artists within the region will be launched in March 2020.)


Artist Support Day

If you would like help with applying for this opportunity or help signing up to Outside In you can book onto an Artist Support Day. We will be running this at The New Art Gallery Walsall on Tuesday 25 February, 10.30am – 5pm.

Please contact José Forrest-Tennant, Outside In Midlands Regional Coordinator, to book on to this.

 

How to apply

You should complete the application form which can be downloaded here:
Outside In Engine Micro Bursary application form.

An easy read version of this information can be downloaded here:
Easy-read-Engine Micro Bursary information

In your application form, please send a link to your Outside In online gallery with the text from your artist statement, 3 images of your work as jpegs, video links or other digital formats which can include audio files. We will also need up to 250 words from you telling us what you propose to use the bursary for, why this is important for your work and a budget detailing your activity.

Please email applications to info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk with ‘Micro Bursary’ in the subject line.

Application deadline: 12 noon, Wednesday 18 March 2020.

 

If you require this information in alternative formats or any additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact José Forrest-Tennant on 07496 997 333 or jose.forrest-tennant@outsidein.org.uk  

 

 

About Outside In 

Outside In, founded in 2006 at Pallant House, Chichester, aims to provide artists with the support and confidence they need to enter the art world. The organisation’s work covers three main areas: artist development, exhibitions and training. These activities, supported by fundraising and communications, all aim to create a fairer art world by supporting artists, creating opportunities and educating organisations.

Since its inception, the organisation has engaged with more than 5,000 artists traditionally excluded from the mainstream art world, reached a quarter of a million audience members and gained more than 80 partner organisations nationally. It has held more than 50 exhibitions to date and now provides opportunities and support for more than 2,600 artists. In the next three years the charity will work to create a national platform to support the delivery of its programmes. It will do this through working in partnership with key strategic arts organisations across the UK to act as hubs of activity and support.

 

 

Outside In, New Art West Midlands and The New Art Gallery Walsall are committed to widening access to our opportunities. Audio or video recorded applications may be submitted via Vimeo or YouTube by those facing barriers in applying. 

If you have any support requirements or would like to discuss this further, please do get in touch with Anneka French, New Art West Midlands Co-ordinator on info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk or 0121 300 4309. 

Or

José Forrest-Tennant, Outside In Midlands Regional Coordinator on jose.forrest-tennant@outsidein.org.uk or 07496 997 333

 

Engine is pleased to be partnering with Outside In to offer artists living in the West Midlands region the opportunity to apply for Micro Bursaries towards professional development activities of your choice. Two artists will be awarded a bursary of £500 each.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/feb/07/charlotte-perkins-gilman-yellow-wallpaper-strangeness-classic-short-story-exhibition

Lindsey Mendick, whose work is currently on show at Eastside Projects in solo exhibition ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, is featured by Kathryn Hughes – via the Guardian

Work by Laura Dicken

New Art West Midlands, Grain Projects, Aarhus Billedkunstcenter and Galleri Image are delighted to announce that Laura Dicken has been selected as the successful recipient of the International Bursary 2020. Laura will now undertake a period of research in Aarhus, Denmark, in March 2020.

 

Work by Laura Dicken

Laura’s research proposal was selected by representatives from each of the four organisations from a batch of very strong and exciting proposals. The panel were particularly impressed by the focused, specific approach Laura took to her proposal and by the clear case she made for the impact of the bursary upon the development of her practice.

Laura’s work ‘You Are Another Me’ explores migration through the lens of the female (and female identifying) experience. The project includes portraits and stories of women from a broad spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities who have, for various reasons, migrated alone. By facilitating the telling of these disparate stories she hopes to bring new voices to the migration narrative and to highlight not only the vast differences but to celebrate and illuminate the many similarities. Having worked with participants in Copenhagen, in a pilot of this project, Laura is now able to use her research methodologies to connect with communities in Aarhus, to promote understanding, compassion, international cooperation and collaboration.

Laura’s ongoing body of work is a series of projects which are collaborations with individuals, communities and arts organisations. Through her work Laura hopes to create opportunities for previously untold stories to be shared authentically and with agency. Her process is built around meaningful connection, conversation, workshops and photography. Laura is interested in illuminating the shared human experience and celebrating the extraordinary ordinary.

 

New Art West Midlands, Grain Projects, Aarhus Billedkunstcenter and Galleri Image are delighted to announce that Laura Dicken has been selected as the successful recipient of the International Bursary 2020.

www.marcinszphotography.com

Engine, the professional development programme for artists and curators in the West Midlands region, begins a new series of events focused on curatorial practice for 2020.

The Curators’ Network (formerly the Curatorial Research Group), developed in partnership with independent curator Lucy Lopez, aims to investigate contemporary curatorial practice and research, as well as championing its development in the region and bringing together art workers across the West Midlands and beyond.

Events will take place at a number of host organisations right across the region. Each will focus on a particular area of curatorial interest, examined through case study presentations, workshops and opportunities for networking. We aim to facilitate an informal and collaborative environment in which to critically discuss work and ideas. We are delighted to launch our programme with talks by curators Ian Sergeant and Sylvia Theuri.

 

Sylvia Theuri
2pm – 3.30pm
Friday 28 February
Coventry Transport Museum

Sylvia’s talk will explore strategies that can be employed to give space for a wider range of diverse voices in art exhibitions, with the aim of addressing inequalities and exclusions within the existing canon of art history.

Dr Sylvia Theuri is an educator, researcher, artist and curator with comprehensive knowledge and experience in critical arts education theory and practice. Sylvia holds a PhD from the University of Salford, which focused on Black African students’ experiences of higher education art and design. Her research interests include diversity and inclusion issues in Art and Design education; Race, Identity and the African diaspora; Contemporary African Art and the Black Arts Movement. Sylvia is currently New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence hosted by Culture Coventry at the city’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

Interventions in The Story of Art – an excerpt taken from my addition to the contents page of E. H. Gombrich’s The Story of Art highlighting the invisibility of Black artists within the history of art. Image by Sylvia Theuri.

 

 

Ian Sergeant
2pm – 3.30pm
Friday 20 March
The New Art Gallery Walsall

Visual Representations of Black British Masculinities is an illustrated talk about Ian’s PhD research. It will focus on the methodological approach of ‘cut and mix’, a theory coined by art historian and writer Kobena Mercer in describing the practices of members of the West Midlands Blk Art Group of the 1980s that included Keith Piper, Donald Rodney, Marlene Smith, Eddie Chambers and Claudette Johnson. These artists’ works are central to this research.

Ian will illustrate how adopting a ‘cut and mix’ approach to his practice-based research has enabled him to utilise a range of critical and analytical methods including socially engaged arts practice, auto-ethnography and curatorial praxis to interrogate notions of Black British masculine identities and representation.

Ian is a member of New Art West Midlands Executive Group and Film Hub Midlands Advisory Group. He is a director of performing and visual arts organisation Kalaboration, Vivid Projects a non-profit company supporting media arts practice and artist led exhibition space Ort Gallery.

 

Photo credit: Marcin Sz – Reimaging Donald Rodney, Vivid Projects, 2016. Curated by Ian Sergeant.

 

 

 

The Curators’ Network activities and events are free and open to anyone with an interest in contemporary curatorial practice.

We will be inviting a number of regional, national and international curators to join us for sessions throughout 2020. Further events within the programme will be announced shortly

For more information please email info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk or telephone 0121 300 4309.

The Curators’ Network launches a new season of activity with talks by Sylvia Theuri and Ian Sergeant in February and March.

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.artscouncil.org.uk/letscreate

“By 2030, we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish, and where every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences.”

Arts Council England publishes their 10 year strategy.