I CHOOSE Birmingham



Back in October last year, we wrote about a brand new newsletter hitting inboxes across Birmingham. Since then, ICHOOS Birmingham has gone through a facelift courtesy of Claire Hartley, and now the weekly publication is known as I CHOOSE Birmingham.

After a short publishing break I CHOOSE Birmingham returns to subscribers inboxes this Friday. The free e-magazine highlights the very best things to do in and around Brum and includes restaurants, exhibitions, galleries events and much more.

It’s the creation of Tom Cullen the multi award-winning former editor of ShortList.com. It’s now almost 50 issues old and boasts over 3,000 subscribers across the city.

You can subscribe and read previous issues at www.ichoosebirmingham.com

Warwick Bar Fete



The Warwick Bar Fete returns for its third edition this weekend, at a time when the area is going from strength to strength.

This year there will be a bit of a bicycle theme, with Vivid Projects showing a series of bike powered art experiments and holding a bike tea salon. The fete will also see the return of the Bicycle Basket Bazaar (last seen at Flatpack 2013). An array of retailers will be cramming their wares into bike-baskets and pannier-racks – as well vendors selling handmade and homemade goods and vintage wares.

Grand Union, Stryx, Edible Eastside, Harris Moore Canvases, RoguePlay Theatre and Centrala (Polish Expats Association’s new space) will also be open with programmes packed with workshops and activities for budding gardeners, filmmakers, painters and dancers, as well as exhibitions, film screenings, acoustic music and aerial acrobatic performances.

The full schedule for the day can be found on the Warwick Bar website.

WERK_LyonCallOut_ Flyer01

Fête des Lumières de Lyon and WERK have put out a call out for an artist or organisation based in Birmingham to produce one or multiple Monumental Light Objects (meaning a light object which will need to reach between approximately 4 to 7 metres high to ensure visibility for the visitors), for a key central location in Lyon during the Festival of Lights event from 5th to 8th December 2014 and with the opportunity to exhibit the work within the Longbridge Light Festival in 2015, if considered appropriate by WERK.

This Call Out is open to any individual artist, collective, collaboration, organisation, lighting designer, lighting engineer, cinematographer, set designer, designer, graphic designer, filmmaker, architect, artist and scientist but the individual or group must include a lighting or projected image professional, as well as a management role to produce the installation. The co-commissioners are seeking proposals for the conception with a maximum budget of 15,000 Euros (including VAT).

For full information on the Call Out, please email Sophia Tarr WERK Project Manaer: sophiatarr@gmail.com or alternatively see here.  Deadline for applications is August 8th 12 noon.

The Swimmers 3. Credit Attilio Fiumarella

The beautiful Moseley Road Baths was one of the first public facilities built in Balsall Heath. Next year Birmingham City Council intend to close the Baths permanently, following the opening of a new sports facility.

To highlight the plight of the pool, Birmingham-based photographer Attilio Fiumarella is looking for 100 swimmers from across Birmingham to take part in a one-off photo event on Sunday 20 July. The 100 Swimmers will see the Gala Pool filled with swimmers, photography fans, heritage enthusiasts and community supporters captured in a final powerful and thought-provoking image, emulating the famous Terracotta Army sculpture of Ancient China. The images will also complete a community photographic project entitled The Swimmers.

Attilio Fiumarella is a recipient of the first Some Cities bursary scheme. He has been working to document and celebrate the under-threat Grade-II Moseley Road Baths building over the past few months.

If you are interested in taking part or would like more information, email the100swimmers@gmail.com


Late last week I caught up with Ben Waddington, Director of Still Walking, and we chatted about some of the upcoming events for this month’s festival. It’s going to be the fifth edition of Still Walking, and by the 3rd August when the festival ends, it will have been Ben’s fourth Still Walking Festival in 12 months.

At the time of writing, the Still Walking programme has only been online for 24 hours and already several of the events have sold out. Including Birmingham Boscage, featured in my ‘top picks’ below (crossing my fingers and toes for a re-run of this one.)

The festival is spread across the two last weekends of July, packed with walks, tours and gatherings. For this edition, festival-goers can run, cycle and – of course, walk – around the city and see Birmingham in a new light.

Curious minds looking to experience something new can book onto events which include a cinematic run through city woodland at twilight, a cycling tour of Birmingham’s lost cinemas, a tour with promoter Dave Travis of 1980s alternative music haunts, an exploration of Ikon Gallery’s humble origins, and an attempt to get purposefully lost in the city’s ever changing landscape.

Below are a few of my top picks.

For the full programme please see www.stillwalking.org. They tweet too, if you’d like to keep up to date with their happenings @StillWalkers

Read the rest of this entry »


Great news from Oliver Jones, Digbeth-based chalk and pastel photorealistic artist.

Oliver who is based at, and also co-founder of Digbeth studio A3 Project Space, will be exhibiting Love the Skin You’re In, at Gusford, Los Angeles, later this year.

Oliver Jones was born in Shropshire, UK in 1985. He currently lives and works in Birmingham, UK, where he graduated from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design in 2008. Shortly after graduation, Jones was the winner of the Best of UK competition at SaLon Gallery, London, earning a place in the UK’s Future Greats show. His work was selected for the 2009 and 2010 Threadneedle Prize exhibitions in London, and featured in the BBC2 show Show Me the Monet in 2012. Most recently, Jones’ work was shown in the group exhibitions Self at Mall Galleries, London and Future Flesh at Gallery 223, London.

The Birmingham post ran a great article on Oliver recently – which is worth a read to find out more about Oliver’s process.

Oliver’s websiteA3 Project Space

On a side note, I really like Concrete Urban Hello’s photos at A3 Projects taken at the last Digbeth First Friday

West Midlands Open 2014


West Midlands Open 2014 is a biennial collaboration between Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. It offers a platform for the vibrant talent of the West Midlands Art Scene and allows regional artists the chance to show their work at these prestigious venues.

Open welcomes submissions from all artists living in the West Midlands, incorporating Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

The works will be selected by an independent panel of  three judges.

Deadline for submissions 11th July. The exhibition will be on from 25th October 2014 – 15th February 2015.

Download an entry form here.


The next exhibition at The Moseley Exchange features work from local illustrator Natalie Ann. The exhibition is a celebration of her brand new picture book ‘That’s a Nice Hat!‘, “the story of an owl who is the envy of all the crowd because of his stripey red hat.” Natalie has both written and illustrated the book – aimed at young readers.

Alongside illustrations from That’s a Nice Hat! Natalie is also presenting some of her other works, many of which are previews of future publications.

The launch night is tomorrow night (Friday 4th July) from 6:30pm. There will be a chance to buy copies of the book before it is available online and in stores, as well as exclusive prints, cards, gifts and other novelty fun items.

The exhibition runs from 4th July – 4th September (so not to worry if you can’t make the launch night – if you’re already booked up with Digbeth First Friday.)

You can keep up to speed with Natalie’s work over on her website, facebook page and twitter.

For more information about The Moseley Exchange – what’s on / co-working space etc – visit their website.