Some of the region’s best emerging artists will be given an opportunity to showcase their work at major galleries when the biggest art initiative of its kind returns next year.
Four galleries – Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery , the Barber Institute of Fine Arts , Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry – are working in partnership to put on the exhibitions which make up New Art West Midlands (NAWM).
Visitors will see painting, sculpture, photography, performance, installation and video works from 30 of the West Midlands’ most promising artists.
NAWM will exhibit the work, all by artists who have graduated from one of the region’s undergraduate and postgraduate fine art degree courses in the past three years: Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester.
With five universities and four galleries, it is the largest partnership of its kind in England.
Five of the 30 artists will win cash prizes of £1,000, plus a select group will be offered residencies, a project or mentoring opportunities with partners including Compton Verney, The New Art Gallery Walsall and the National Trust.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery once again devotes a major gallery space to the project. A 6ft sock monkey puppet created by Vicky Roden, plus large-scale animal hybrid sculptures by Jade Simpson and human-like sculptures by Lisa Marie Williams will be shown.
There will also be work by Michael Carr, whose street map of Coventry references the city’s Ska heritage. There is installation by Adam Grüning, and Reece Kennedy, light-boxes by James Turner, prints by Yasmin Rennie and vivid paintings by Jennifer Shufflebotham and Emily Sparkes.
At the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, new works will be placed in the Lady Barber Gallery alongside those by artists of historical importance.
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum joins New Art West Midlands for the first time in 2015. Its exhibition includes a series of photo collage works by Joanna Fursman, the theme continuing with a 3D collage installation by Andrea Hannon.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery presents further still life photographs by Sevven Kucuk and illustrated books by Shijie Hai. There will also be sculptural works by Jessica Holt and Camilla Searle’s video installation.
Wendy Law, director of Turning Point West Midlands which is behind the initiative, said: “It is exciting to see how New Art West Midlands has grown over the last three years.
“There is an interesting and diverse range of talent and work coming out of our art schools and universities today. New Art West Midlands provides an important opportunity at a crucial point in the careers of these artists, enabling them to have their work displayed in highly respected galleries and to be seen and enjoyed by a large public.”
Previous participants of New Art West Midlands have gone on to enjoy career success: artworks by two previous New Art West Midlands artists, Chris Clinton and Lucy Hutchinson, were bought by the Arts Council Collection, the largest national collection of modern and contemporary British Art.
The artists taking part in New Art West Midlands have been selected by the internationally respected artists John Newling and Bedwyr Williams, and art historian Amna Malik.
This is the third edition of New Art West Midlands. Last year more than 100,000 people visited the exhibitions.