I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Art gallery to reopen with display of local artists' work
Birmingham's contemporary art venue, the Ikon Gallery, is to reopen with a special new exhibition in May following the much-anticipated easing of lockdown restrictions. The Ikon, based in Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, is to fill its galleries with a display of artwork by more than 250 Birmingham-based artists from May 17, when its doors reopen to the public. And every single item in the exhibition will be available for art lovers to buy as part of the gallery's Ikon for Artists initiative. Launched last year, the project aims to support Birmingham artists who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. All the proceeds from the Ikon for Artists: Art Sale will go directly to the artists themselves.
The Barber, painted by Liu Mengxia. Courtesy the artist
The art sale will take place from May 17 to 31. Birmingham artists were invited last December to submit one piece of artwork with a value of up to £1,000. There was no submission fee and no selection process, but artists had to demonstrate they had been practising in the city either full or part-time. Artwork could be submitted in a variety of media, from paintings and drawings to sculpture, photography, textiles and video. Ikon Director, Jonathan Watkins, said: "The Birmingham art scene has been very shaken. The locked down days are most difficult for artists and other freelancers who depend on work generated by local and regional arts venues. At Ikon we are doing our best to be practically helpful. For example, we are now in the process of organising an unprecedented selling exhibition , encouraging visitors to dig deep into their pockets."
Mr Watkins added: "A city like Birmingham needs a thriving art scene and such investment in the futures of local practitioners will benefit everyone." Melanie Pocock, Ikon Curator, said: "The response to the Ikon for Artists open call was phenomenal. Among the many submissions we received, there's an incredible range of artistic styles and media. Whether supporting a local artist or looking for an artwork for your home, there's something for everyone." Online booking for tickets to visit Ikon for Artists opens via the gallery's website on Friday 9 April. A full list of works will be posted online from Tuesday 4 May with buyers liaising directly with the individual artists. All artworks will be available to view in person in the gallery or on Ikon's website.
Sylwia Kuzak's Birmingham Landscape. Courtesy the artist
Ikon for Artists will be launched with a digital event involving Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett, who is also a participating artist in the exhibition. He will be sharing his ten favourite works of art with Ikon's Jonathan Watkins.