Wolves in Wolves – Touring The North Route

This summer, the city of Wolverhampton has been overtaken by Wolves, beautiful decorated wolves. The #WolvesinWolves2017, is the largest public art event ever to take place in the city with 30 wolf sculptures located in and around the city centre. The wolves have been created by a range of artists that range from High Schools and University students, to renowned artists from around the world. The wolves are on display around the city, with two trails that you can access at your leisure, or through an organised wolf walk. On Wednesday night I took my boy Joe Luca on the Northern wolf walk which lasted for two hours and took in wolves at The Molineaux, West Park, Marstons/Banks brewery and St Peter’s Square.

The organised wolf walks are a great way to see the wolves and learn a little about the design, inspiration and the artist. You get to find the out of the way wolves which may be a little harder to find if you don’t really know your way around Wolverhampton, and you can explore some of the amazing architecture and history of the city as you make your way around.

We were very lucky as the wonderful Wolverhampton Art Gallery (which houses an amazing collection of Pop Art) had agreed to stay open so we could explore their wolves gallery which contains two full sized wolves sculptures, and then a whole gallery of mini wolves, including a stunning design that had padlocks all around it’s neck.

 

The wolves are truly beautiful, with my personal favourite being ‘Sunset’ which is sponsored by Wolverhampton Speedway and is located on Darlington Street and is decorated with squirrels and wildlife. I also loved Flame that is located outside the offices of the Express and Star building, and Wolf Ver-Hamtpon, which is based at the Civic Centre and has been decorated with mayoral chains. Claude is the naughty wolf, he travels around the city, reappearing in different destinations.

The wolves will be auctioned after the exhibition ends on September 24th and is well worth a visit before then. For more information check out the website here.

Dating Ideas for Culture Vultures

Dating used to be so simple. You would meet someone, in a pub, or a club, maybe even at High School and you would go on a series of dates and decide whether you liked the person enough to make it a more permanent attachment. Maybe you would meet that special person at work, or on a train traveling to work and a relationship would develop. These days, things are very different and one of the main ways to meet someone is through online dating sites. This is for a range of reasons, with the rise in divorce meaning there are more over 50s dating, the sort of people who may no longer go to nightclubs and yet still want to meet someone for love and companionship.

It is not just the older generation meeting in this way. The rise in divorce has also lead to a rise in single parent dating. Single parents may find it hard to get out and about to meet people purely because they have childcare issues, but they can find themselves a match through dating sites, some of which are now aimed specifically at single parents who may be looking to meet someone in a similar situation, and can talk online and build up a relationship.

There is also the true fact that for people who have been in a damaging relationship or something long term, online dating may be more about sex than about finding another Mr or Mrs Right. There are now sites that offer the opportunities for adult dating – i.e. no strings attached sex, and these may be safer and easier ways to avoid commitment than trawling bars looking for one night stands.  These sites need to be used carefully, but if you just want sexual contact rather than love and commitment, they may be just what you are looking for.

If you are dating now, maybe you are looking for a different kind of date, something that avoids the usual restaurant/bar scenario.

Here are a few ideas for dates that would address your love of culture.

Cinema with a Difference

Everyone will be going to see Wonder Woman this summer, but a classier choice is the latest adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘My Cousin Rachel’ starring Rachel Weisz. Go and see it at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham, which also happens to be the oldest working cinema in the UK, and get a sofa seat for the full cinematic experience.

The Pre-Raphaelites at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The Pre-Raphaelite school of art contains some of the most beautiful paintings ever committed to canvas, by names like Dante Gabriel Rosseti, Ford Maddox Brown and John Everett Millais. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has a huge collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, and as entry is free, you can enjoy the paintings and then finish off your afternoon with afternoon tea in the beautiful Edwardian tea room.

A night at the Ballet

The Birmingham Royal Ballet is just about to begin its Summer season and the exciting news is that, as well as the perennial favourite Coppelia, there is a performance of three short ballets, including a brand new work, Arcadia. With David Bintley at the helm, the BRB goes from strength to wonderful strength, and a night at the ballet is the ultimate in a cultured dating experience.

Miss Saigon

If ballet is not your thing, but you love the idea of taking your date to the theatre, the big news in Birmingham is that Miss Saigon will be the big Summer production at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Arriving this July, the iconic musical promises a mixture of love, heartbreak and power, and yes, that helicopter scene will still take the breathe away.

 

 

 

Cass Art opens its doors in Birmingham

“Cass Art is on a mission. A mission to fill every town with artists, underpinned by the company’s long-standing manifesto. Cass Art is committed to encouraging everyone to realise their creative talents by providing the world’s top quality materials at the guaranteed best prices.”

On Saturday  Cass Art opened its latest store (its 12th in the UK) in a beautiful building on Corporation Street. There were pretty enormous queues snaking their way down the street as Artists, both professional and amateur, waited to check out the enormous range of art supplies at the guaranteed best prices, including famous names like Faber-Castell, Winsor and Newton, Daler Rowney and Fabriano. As someone who enjoys the odd dabble in an  adult colouring book I went along to check out the store and its most desirable supplies.

DSCN1188

DSCN1187

DSCN1162

It was nice to see that the store was bright and busy, with a regular influx of customers heading through the doors. There were also lots of really good offers on products, with many items having half price promotions. I asked if this was just for the day, or for the opening, but was assured that the promotions were store wide and happened on a regular basis due to Cass Art’s buying power.

DSCN1163

The store really is a treasure trove, whether you are an artist, an art student, or even if you just like to dabble in a bit of drawing or colouring in. The idea behind the store is to bring art to the masses, and I think it really works well on this level, as the prices and variety of products means people will treat themselves to new pastels, crayons or paint brushes. In addition, a lovely children’s section will certainly tempt young artists, and will make this a great destination come Christmas for those special, thoughtful gifts.

DSCN1164

DSCN1165

DSCN1166

Where the store really comes alive though is the painting section. I have honestly never seen so many paintbrushes, some so soft you could apply your make up with. And paints, paints of every kind, from acrylics to oils, to watercolours and Gouache. It is a mouthwatering array of materials.

DSCN1184

DSCN1185

DSCN1186

DSCN1177

DSCN1175

DSCN1176

DSCN1178

Cass Art is a welcome addition to Birmingham and well worth a visit.

Cass Art 19 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B2 4LP