For one term only, mac birmingham is setting up its very own art school. They are looking for artists from the West Midlands, regardless of art form, age or experience to take part. Inspired by ground-breaking art schools such as Black Mountain College, USA and the more current artist-led and DIY art school initiatives such as Open School East, London, this is your opportunity to get the ‘art school experience’ without going full time.

On Tuesday evenings from 12 May to 23 June, Cannon Hill Art School will take over mac’s building, turning it into a hive of discussion, debate and artistic activity. The course will culminate in a unique exhibition opportunity, displaying the results of students’ work at the Cannon Hill Art School Summer Show in mac’s prestigious First Floor Gallery.

Cannon Hill Art School lectures, seminars, group discussions and tutorials will be run by leading figures in the art world – practising artists and arts professionals with a profile for working nationally and internationally.

More information can be found here.


On 26th April, PowWow Festival of Writing returns for its fourth year to The Prince of Wales with a programme “that brings you more bang for your book.”

This year, the festival welcomes internationally-acclaimed screenwriter and BAFTA fellow Andrew Davies (House of Cards, A Very Peculiar Practice), author and Salt Publishing editor Nicholas Royle (Best British Short Stories), micro fiction writer David Gaffney, and broadcaster and writer Natalie Haynes.

The packed programme provides festival-goers with a window on the literary world, and includes sessions on screenwriting, how to write a prize-winning short story, fiction for young adults and writing for broadcast.

In a bid to encourage writers of all ages and backgrounds to take part, tickets are just £10, or £5 if you are a student, pensioner or unemployed.

Find out more, and read biogs for all speakers at

grand u5

On Friday 27 March Grand Union celebrates its fifth anniversary. It is also celebrating that it has secured funding until 2017.

Over the last five years, Grand Union has shown 28 exhibitions, worked with over 200 artists and commissioned the same number of new artworks. The gallery has welcomed 10,000 visitors and also provides studio space for internationally-known artists such as Stuart Whipps and Juneau Projects.

On Friday 3 April there will be a party to celebrate the gallery’s anniversary. The night will kick off with a one-off performance by artist-in-residence Phil Hession followed by DJs and dancing.


perrotts-folly-illustration-01As well as Flatpack Film Festival, Frontiers Festival, Birmingham Digital Week and Equinox kicking off this week (phew, what a list!) the University of Birmingham’s Arts and Science Festival takes place for a third year.

Running from today until Sunday and with the theme of ‘Sight & Sound’, the free festival will showcase culture, research and collaboration at the University through talks, exhibitions, performances, workshops and screenings.

Our picks include sound installation Poetics of (Outer) Space at Perrott’s Folly (pictured) exploring the natural acoustic resonances of stars; Celluloid City, a celebration of the silver screen in Birmingham; a Speed Art History workshop and a Cake Orchestra – ‘a cake-technology-music interface for people without much musical ability but with an interest in technology and cakes’.


short waves

On Saturday 14 March Centrala Gallery hosts Shortwaves Film Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious film events in Poland. The festival takes place every year in more than thirty Polish and international cities, and focuses on the promotion of Polish short films.

The festival screening will consist of seven short films spanning all types of styles and genres including documentaries, animations, video clips and fiction films. The audience will then vote on their favourite. The winner will be announced on 29 March in Poznan during the festival’s closing gala.



Supersonic Festival have had a successful kickstarter – but it isn’t too late to become a supporter and get a great reward in return, whether it’s for a festival pass (which I bagged) a teatowel, or to be worshipped as their pagan deity of Supersonic Festival…

The kickstarter ends on 14th March at 5pm!

Back in December we issued a call for artists for the Wild at Heart project “The Big Hoot” where a unique collection of owl sculptures will create a trail across Birmingham this summer.

The deadline for submissions was early January and the Wild at Heart team received over 275 potential owl designs. Artists are gradually being confirmed for the project and most recently Stourbridge graffiti artist, Lee Woods has been commissioned to design an owl. Lee exploded into the world of graffiti and took on the persona Mac1 in the early 1990’s.

Lee has created a powerful, gritty inspired circular design on a 165cm tall owl statue and at the centre is an all-encompassing and incredibly powerful eye, something he describes as ‘the corridor to knowledge’.

Picture © Daniel Graves Photography 2014.

The Big Hoot is going to be a fantastic celebration of art and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. The coming together of artists across a breadth of different disciplines is really refreshing and will create a really exciting trail for the city. Lee

You can find out more about the project here and we will keep you up to date when more artists are confirmed.


Info about BOM’s Spring Programme:

“Birmingham’s newest creative collaborative workspace will be turned into a pop up laboratory this spring as BOM (Birmingham Open Media) launches its second major programme, Live: R&D.

Following the success of BOM’s launch programme with the Chaos Computer Club, Europe’s largest network of hackers, the Live: R&D programme will showcase the work of BOM’s ten inaugural Fellows who will be in residence throughout the year.

From artists innovating with darkroom chemicals to a biochemist’s re-invention of a failed project with NASA, the BOM Fellows bring a diverse set of skills and practices blurring the boundaries between art, technology and science.

Between 9 March – 30 April BOM’s Gallery & Events Space will become a hub of DIY-biology and adventures with creative technologies. The Fellows will test out ideas in development in front of a public audience, sharing their current research in talks and workshops as well as live Skype sessions with international creative practitioners to develop future collaborations.

Legendary electro-musician and producer DMX Krew will be performing with the Fellows on Easter Friday (3 April) in a spectacular live music and visuals event.

More on the BOM website.