Turning Point West Midlands is a dynamic network for the visual arts in the West Midlands.

We work together with partners to deliver:

Subscribe to receive the free Artists' News and Opportunities Bulletin here.


Turning Point West Midlands Events / Associated Events / Opportunities
Search this site

Enter your email address below and we'll send new posts straight to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Twitter Updates

Conversations in Curatorial Practice - 27 September, 6.30-7.30pm

An evening of conversation about curatorial research, exhibitions and performance projects being developed by three freelance curators from the West Midlands: Aly Grimes, Roma Piotrowska and Sonya Russell-Saunders. All three curators received a bursary award from New Art West Midlands as part of the Art Market Project initiative to foster their curatorial practice as individuals.

The event takes place at Ikon on Tuesday 27 September, 6.30-7.30pm.

Places are free but should be booked online or by calling Ikon on 0121 248 0708. Please note that online booking closes at 4pm on Tuesday 27 September.


Turning Point West Midlands is changing

Turning Point West Midlands is changing

With a new team and a new direction, the region’s Contemporary Visual Arts Network is rebranding to become New Art West Midlands – a name and identity that better reflects our progressive role in developing and promoting contemporary visual arts across the West Midlands.

Following the successful application to Arts Council England (ACE), spear-headed by Birmingham City University (BCU) and Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT), Craig Ashley has been appointed as Director of New Art West Midlands. Craig’s remit is to consolidate and build upon existing strands of activity under the banner of New Art West Midlands, and to work with our project partners to provide strong, exciting and diverse programming for the 2016-18 period and beyond. Prior to joining New Art West Midlands, Craig was Visual Arts Producer at mac (Midlands Arts Centre) where he led the visual arts programme from 2009 to 2016. As a curator, Craig has worked closely with West Midlands artists on exhibitions, residencies and publications; notable projects include Vered Lahav’s The Garden (2013), and Barbara Walker’s Shock & Awe (2016).

Joining the New Art West Midlands team as Coordinator is Anneka French. Anneka will support Craig and our partners in the delivery of the New Art West Midlands programme. As a curator and writer, she brings to the role a valuable perspective and experiences that will help to inform the new direction. She is editor of the online contemporary art magazine this is tomorrow and her recent curatorial projects include Mitra Saboury’s Pulling Walls (2016) at Grand Union and the group exhibition One Leg Supporting the Weight of the Body, the Other Slightly Bent (2015) at Croome, the National Trust property in Worcestershire.

The chair of New Art West Midlands is Johnny Golding, Professor of Philosophy & Fine Art at Birmingham School of Art, and Director of the International Centre for Contemporary Art Research (iCCAR) at BCU.  Johnny will act as a bridge to the lead partner (BCU) and our co-partnerships with academic as well as post-academic/non-academic partners, individual artists, public and private galleries, studios and local communities throughout the region, including the national CVAN network. Johnny will Chair strategic meetings on overall direction and research. 

Over the coming weeks we will be working on a new identity and transitioning from Turning Point, before launching New Art West Midlands with a special event later this autumn. This will be an opportunity to re-engage with us and our work, find out how to contribute and get involved, and meet the team including Craig, Anneka and Johnny, along with members of the Advisory Group who steer and inform the work we do. Details to be announced shortly. In the meantime, we’ll continue to keep you updated about visual arts news and opportunities via this bulletin.  


Artist and Curator Development Programme 

We are delighted to announce that The New Art Gallery Walsall will continue to lead on the Artist and Curator Development Programme for New Art West Midlands. Having successfully developed and delivered the programme together with Turning Point West Midlands and our partners since 2012, The New Art Gallery Walsall will build upon successful aspects from previous years and introduce new strands of activity. We want to ensure that the programme is relevant and rewarding to a wide range of artists, curators and writers, from students to those with established careers. The programme will continue to deliver region-wide opportunities, and explore further the potential for legacy through connections in and beyond the region too.


Exciting opportunity to join the New Art West Midlands Advisory Group

Turning Point West Midlands is changing.

With a new team and a new direction, the region’s Contemporary Visual Arts Network is rebranding to become New Art West Midlands – a name and identity that better reflects our progressive role in developing and promoting contemporary visual arts across the West Midlands.

The Advisory Group is a critically important part of New Art West Midlands. Following a successful application to Arts Council England (ACE), spear-headed by Birmingham City University (BCU) and Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT), we are now seeking members to join the Advisory Group who will help to shape and steer the New Art West Midlands programme during an exciting period of change.

The principle role of the Advisory Group is to provide expertise and information to the Executive Group on all matters relating to the programme and to develop a regional visual arts strategy. It comprises 14 representatives from the visual arts sector across the West Midlands region, and includes members from public and independent visual arts organisations (a mix of Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) and non-NPOs), Higher Education institutions and visual artists.

As a member of the Advisory Group, you will be required to attend quarterly meetings, with key responsibilities outlined in the Terms of Reference document downloadable here. You will be active and well informed in West Midlands and national visual arts activity, bringing your knowledge and expertise to the wider group.

Advisory Group members are expected to serve a fixed term of 2 years. Members who are employees agree to contribute their time in-kind as part of their organisation’s work in the sector. Artists and independent practitioners will be paid to attend meetings, with reasonable travel costs incurred in relation to New Art West Midlands activity reimbursed.

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. We are keen to reflect and represent the diversity, geography and practice of the visual arts sector in the West Midlands. As Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups are currently under-represented at this level in this area, we would particularly welcome applications from BAME applicants. All appointments will be made on merit.

For further information about either the Advisory Group or the New Art West Midlands programme, please contact Craig Ashley (Director, New Art West Midlands). Email Craig.Ashley@bcu.ac.uk or call 0121 300 4310.

To apply, please write to us answering the following questions (on a single A4 page):

1.    What do you see as the key challenges facing the visual arts in the West Midlands?

2.    What do you feel you can bring to the network?

3.    What would you like to see change/develop?

Your answers should be accompanied by a short biography and CV. Please email your application to Craig.Ashley@bcu.ac.uk by 10am on 17 October 2016, stating Advisory Group in the subject line.

With funds in place for the period 2016-2018, New Art West Midlands is supported by Arts Council England and the lead partners Birmingham City University and Birmingham Museums Trust. Further support for the project comes from our partners Coventry University, Hereford College of Arts, University of Wolverhampton and Worcester University, as well as Staffordshire University. 


Current opportunities...

SALON, 2015. Photograph: Marcin Sz.
In April it was announced that Turning Point West Midlands had been successful in its bid to Arts Council England to fund a new programme for the period 2016-2018. This funding will support an even more ambitious programme that builds on and consolidates activities delivered by two ACE-funded initiatives, Turning Point West Midlands and New Art WM. As part of this development Turning Point West Midlands will rebrand itself New Art West Midlands to better reflect its role in developing and promoting contemporary visual arts from the West Midlands region.  In the coming months we will develop a new website and branding to reflect this change. Full information on the future of the regional network can be found here.

There are currently a number of opportunities available within the network and associated projects:
  • Applications are open until 5pm today for recent graduates from the five regionally-based university art schools and Hereford College of Arts to apply for New Art West Midlands 2017. The aim of the exhibitions is to profile the best work with a Fine Art emphasis emerging from the university art schools in the West Midlands, and offer new visual arts graduates a high quality professional development opportunity. Selected artists will have their work exhibited in some of the region's most prestigious galleries including Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, mac birmingham and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Apply here.
  • We are currently looking for a committed and enthusiastic Coordinator for New Art West Midlands. This is a part time, fixed term freelance position to assist the Director of New Art West Midlands in coordinating the NAWM 2016-18 programme and West Midlands Contemporary Visual Arts Network. Apply here. Deadline: 5pm, Monday 4 July 2016.
  • We are inviting

    applications from visual arts organisations, university art schools or independent consultants based in the West Midlands to lead the development and delivery of a two year professional development programme for artists and curators. Apply here. Deadline: 5pm, Friday 15 July 2016.


Portraits Untold


Portraits Untold is a project exploring and celebrating the diversity of our common humanity through a series of live portrait sittings with high profile sitters in well-known venues taking place during the Summer and Autumn.

The project will see award-winning disabled artist, Tanya Raabe-Webber undertake four live portrait sittings that fuse digital and tradition drawing and painting techniques in an interactive live environment, inviting physical and online audiences to join in.

The first sitting will take place at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 16 July with acclaimed artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah. Other sittings will include Deaf virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie at the National Portrait Gallery, Stoke City FC mascot and subject of the BBC BAFTA award winning film 'Marvellous', Neil Baldwin at Stoke City Football Club and avant-garde perfomance artist David Hoyle at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire.

More information on the project can be found here.



Chisenhale micro residency

Following on from their micro residency at mac birmingham in March as part of the Artist Development programme, the five selected artists Andre de Jong, Matthew Gale, Bruno Grilo, JD Haigh and Elizabeth Lake were invited to Chisenhale Studios in London for a follow-up micro residency.


The group were based at Hannah Honeywill’s studio and explored the connection between Hannah’s practice and their micro residency at mac birmingham. 

Some feedback from the follow-up residency:

 'I presented a 2 minute film shot at a concrete works and breeze block distributers in Bow, and also some photographs taken from the Chisenhale archives. The week was a very productive time and has since led onto me being accepted for their 3 month Winter Residency where I will develop this work further. The residency enabled us to continue working in a group format, which was first initiated at mac, developing and making new connections between ourselves, our work, and other artists.'

- Liz Lake

Work developed as part of Chisenhale residency, Andre de Jong

'Personally speaking the Chisenhale Studios residency was a huge success as it not only gave me the opportunity to make new work but also discuss the merits of having a London studio. Having spent the first day exploring the studios and discussing practices we all set off on various trajectories. The two sets of work I produced was in response to Hannah's interest in the troubled relation between Slavery and Mahogany, one drawing on the hidden/ invisible bodies of the slaves and the other on the industrial revolution as a latent state of exploitation within slavery.'
- Andre de Jong


Atascadero, Matt Gale. Intervention of Hannah Honeywill's piece 'Atascadero
'I explored how the accidental inclusion of fairly ordinary objects in (natural tree) resin can eventually elevate these objects, making them precious and desirable in amber. I duplicated this with synthetic resins in both natural and urban settings. I also responded directly to Hannah's piece 'Atascadero (You were born too soon, I was born too late)' which she made in response to an image of a young man that was lobotomised in the late 1960s to 'cure' his homosexuality. I wanted my intervention to appear fairly brutal - depicting the extraction of 'gayness''
- Matt Gale



New Art West Midlands 2017: Less than one week to apply

There is now less than one week to apply for New Art West Midlands 2017. The aim of the exhibitions is to profile the best work with a Fine Art emphasis – in sculpture, painting, photography, mixed media, installation, digital media, video/film art, live art/performance – emerging from the university art schools in the West Midlands and offer new visual arts graduates a high quality professional development opportunity.

To be eligible, you must have graduated or are graduating at BA, MA or PhD level from the following universities and art schools in the years 2014, 2015 or 2016:

— Birmingham City University
— Coventry University
— Hereford College of Arts
— Staffordshire University
— University of Wolverhampton
— University of Worcester

The fifth multi-sited edition will be shown at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, mac birmingham, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and other venues in the West Midlands from February to May 2017.

More information can be found here. Deadline: 5pm, Thursday 30 June 2016.