Need a dose of culture? Check out these new exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery!

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New Art West Midlands is returning for 2018, celebrating and showcasing some the very best works of the region’s up and coming artists.

The exhibition, which takes over galleries across the West Midlands, will open at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) on February 16, celebrating works created by 28 artists who have graduated from the region’s six art schools – Birmingham City University, University of Wolverhampton, Coventry University, University of Worcester, Staffordshire University and Hereford College of Arts – in the last three years, with many of the artists recently graduating with BA, MA and PhD level degrees.

This year an incredible 130 artists applied to take part in the exhibition, where the final 28 were chosen by a group of three female selectors: Patricia Fleming, Curator and gallerist from Glasgow, Sinead McCarthy, Curator, Liverpool Biennial and Ingrid Pollard, photographer, media artists and researcher.

Ever since its establishment six years ago, New Art West Midlands (NAWM) has become a vital stepping stone for artists, providing them with an opportunity to showcase their work to the public, with previous exhibitors seeing their work purchased by the national Arts Council Collection, before going on to achieve solo exhibitions in respected galleries.

Whatever form of art you enjoy,  you’re sure to find something at the exhibition, which features a wide variety of mediums including large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, video, animation, paintings and digital artworks, exploring themes of identity, artificial intelligence, blurred reality and more.

Larissa Shaw, Flesh Party

Highlights at this year’s exhibition at BMAG include Larissa Shaw’s sculpture Flesh Party (pictured above), a curious thermo-plastic moving musical installation, with tentacles that ‘dance’ to music taken from the archives of Manchester’s Hacienda nightclub. Other highlights include Bob Langridge’s series of highly atmospheric photographs and We Are The Social Media Generation (2017) by Lucy Hanrahan, a multi-media installation, composed of colour, text and moving image. 

Fine Art graduate Jessica Eburne presents an intriguing wall-based interactive exhibit that allows audiences to connect to the piece via a ‘virtual prayer’ sound file playing through headphones and Bluetooth lightbulb. Whilst Jez Dolan’s work explores queerness and identity, through the codification of language and text with a specific focus on the things we don’t say, secrecy and hiddenness. All this, and so much more is on display at BMAG as part of New Art West Midlands 2018.

Elsewhere in the museum, visitors will find Five Years On, an exhibition that features works from NAWM alumni. Over the past five years, more than 150 artists have featured in exhibitions which have attracted a collective audience of more than 500,000 people, demonstrating just how important NAWM has become in the West Midland’s annual visual arts calendar.

Curated by Indra Khanna, Five Years On brings together a collection of selected new and recent works by six NAWM artists alumni from past editions. The exhibition reveals what happened next in the careers of these artists, giving a valuable update on both their work and, more broadly, their journey after art school. You can find out more about Five Years On here.

New Art West Midlands runs at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from 16 February until 6 May 2018 and is also showing at AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent (23 February – 31 March) and The Herbert Gallery & Museum, Coventry (24 February – 13 May).

Don’t miss out on these incredible exhibitions at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Click here to find out more!

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