Congrats to the IKON

Image by Stuart Whipps

Birmingham’s art scene has had a great year. A mix of excellent shows and new artist led spaces opening has meant the residents of the city have had plenty to do and see in the last 12 months. So we are delighted to see that contemporary gallery The Ikon has caught the eye of National art critic Laura Cumming who selected 2 of their shows for the Observer’s 2009 art review list.

Ikon’s exhibition of vignettes by British wood engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) was Cumming’s pick for no. 5. On display through April and May, the exhibition proved popular amongst other reviewers including Tom Lubbock (The Independent) and Adrian Searle (The Guardian).

Our exhibition of paintings by Carmen Herrera in August/September was Cumming’s no. 8; she describes the work of the 94-year-old Cuban painter as ‘radiant abstractions’ and in her review in August referred to Herrera as ‘..the discovery of the year – of the decade.’

Well done to Ikon who were one of only two non-London venues listed.

Swifty Pop Up Shop

The ‘pop up’ shop phenomenon has really taken the West Midlands by storm over the last few months and tonight another is launching at The Custard Factory on Gibb Street, Digbeth. Pioneering typographer, sleeve designer and artist Swifty will be setting up shop from Friday 11 December selling original prints, T-shirts, skateboards, stickers and lots more. Continue reading


For too long commuters to Birmingham’s coach station were greeted by concrete and a vileness that no passenger should have to pass through en-route to a major city. Thank goodness that is a thing of the distant past. In a couple of weeks time the spangly new Digbeth Coach station will open to the public and with it some fine pieces of art… Continue reading

A Christmas Bazaar

Art, pubs, Christmas, shopping – 4 of our favourite things and when combined we get VERY excited. Check out ‘A Christmas Bazaar’ on Monday the 7th of December from 12 noon till 11:00pm at The White Horse in Harborne. The pub will be transformed into a space that local artists and designers will use to display, sell and promote their work.
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AREA Issue 04 – December

Look out for the December issue of AREA. Packed with events that are happening around the West Midlands it is your must have cultural guide. This issue we are on a little festive tip so read about Birmingham’s excellent Frankfurt market, the best Panto’s in the region, must see Christmas events and make sure you enter our amazing competition to  be in for a chance of winning loads of goodies.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy click here for the digital one.