The West Midlands Open Art Exhibition at the New Walsall Art Gallery is a celebration of a wide range of artworks from artists across the West Midlands. Currently spread across floor 3 of the wonderful gallery, each of the 250 pieces have been especially curated for the exhibition, and are also available for sale at the end of the exhibition in September.
The ambition of the Open is to exhibit artists from across the West Midlands, to showcase the talent from the region and to provide selling opportunities for artists. We are keen to present a diverse range of artworks that are representative of and relevant to our broad communities and audiences.
I went along to the gallery last week to have a closer look at the paintings and media on display, and was truly impressed by the range and inspirations for the pieces. I loved many of the industrial landscapes on view, paintings of the underside of motorways, and subways and escalators. I loved the pop art inspired pieces featuring the likes of ‘Brum’ the little yellow car, of King Kong and toy cars and American tins of Gasoline.
I love the inclusion of Frieda Kahlo and The Queen, the assassination of JFK, and his ‘assassin’ Lee Harvey Oswald, and, most of all, a stunning homage to Hitchcock complete with a ‘rear window’ and ‘the birds’.
The pieces are clever, thought provoking, and sometimes just funny, especially the brilliant Bethan Jayne — The time I went to the 76th Annual West Midland’s Icons Party, which features Alison Hammond, Jasper Carrott and Dr Johnson (The Digbeth/Shoreditch painting is also another case in point.). Some pieces are nostalgic – I love the beach windbreakers that seem so 1970s now, whilst others make you ask questions – Is the man in Cafe Scene Robert Kennedy or is the fact he resembles him just a coincidence?
The West Midlands Open is on show until 25th September and is well worth a look. Click here for more details.