CiB Year in Review: January

Over the next 12 days I’ll be summarizing the last 12 months of Birmingham’s arts and creative life as seen through the filter of this this blog. And then, once I’m back in the UK and settled, I’ll catch up on all the news.

January saw this blog taking its first tentative steps as I felt my way around the Birmingham creative environments and, it being January, didn’t find a whole lot to begin with.

A Bigger Ikon? Jonathan Watkins, director of the Ikon gallery, and architect Glenn Howells talk to Terry Grimley about their notions for a large gallery of modern art in Birmingham and why it would be more than the sum of its parts. This came closer to reality in November when the Ikon, along with BM&AG and Walsall’s New Art Gallery got £1m to spend on contemporary international art, this kickstarting the new gallery’s collection. Here’s the money quote:

“The more institutions you have, the more artistic activity you can attract, the more artists decide to stay. Then an art market might start to happen. Commercial galleries might decide Birmingham is a good place to be.”

The Flatpack Film Festival was announced and I took it upon myself to profile some of the films and filmakers. After a pieces on Mark Locke and the opening film I resorted to a much more sensible big overview in three parts.

The future of the Academy venue was mused over.

Digital Central released their Live Music Venues Survey

Birmingham is declared a “musical hot spot” as The Twang start their journey into the spotlight of fame and all that.

And finally, The Birmingham Mountain Film Festival took place.