Bringing art into the heart of Birmingham

By on 15/02/2010 in Culture

Friday 2nd - Wednesday 7th April 2010 (excl. Easter Sunday)  Free admission.

Funky felt accessories, iridescent glass vases, colourful ceramics and stunning prints are amongst the finest locally hand-made contemporary arts and designer crafts available in the heart of Birmingham's city centre over the Easter holiday in a unique pop up shop.

Following hot on the heels of its successful Brilliantly Birmingham Pop Up Shop last December which gave new and emerging jewellery designers a high profile city centre outlet, this latest creative venture at Pavilions Shopping Centre features work from around 25 artists and designermakers from Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

Pavilions,  which last year embarked on a policy of creative collaborations with local arts and community  organisations, has teamed up with locally based  feltmaker Jamie Lewis,  co-ordinator of the popular monthly Moseley Arts Market to create a five day Pop Up Arts Shop.  Alongside established retailers like M&S, Hobbs, HMV and L'Occitane, shoppers will have a unique opportunity to buy gorgeous gifts, jewellery, art and homewares directly from the designers at prices ranging from £10 – £500.     

Organiser Jamie, a contemporary feltmaker from Selly Park specialising in fashion and home accessories, will be offering his own range of items for sale, including clutch bags, satchels and trilby hats, many made with locally sourced wool from Worcestershire.

Other artists scheduled to showcase their work are Jan Bowman, architect turned painter, illustrator and author of the recent  children's book 'This is Birmingham';   Dudley based glassmaker Ian MacDonald;   jeweller Ettore Consorte (Smethwick) digital illustrator Jane Anderson (Bearwood) and Nisha Grover  who produces various different artworks such as acrylic painting, textiles and murals.

As well as providing valuable retail space for the artists, the shop will also act as a gallery space, showcasing a wide selection of art from Midlands artists. Among the work on display and for sale will be the acrylics, oils and silkscreens of Emma Hardicker, who will also be compiling collections from eight fellow members of Birmingham Printmakers including Harborne based Anne Crews, Tim Southall and Phil Wilkinson.

As he continues to assemble an eclectic line-up of fellow retailers and exhibitors, Jamie Lewis said: “I'm delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the originality and talent of some of the Midlands' most innovative artists right in the heart of the city centre. Local designers have been specially selected for their ability to produce stylish and contemporary art products that will appeal to a wide range of customers.  I see the Pop Up shop as a cross between an arts fair and a gallery, which demonstrates that art and handmade designer crafts can be high quality yet affordable and appeal to people who perhaps wouldn't visit a gallery, thinking it's out of their price bracket.

Sarah Jenkinson, Marketing Manager of Pavilions said: “ We're delighted to support the local arts community through the Pavilions Pop Up Arts Shop which will offer a first-class line-up of the Midlands' creative talent, and give our customers a unique shopping  experience over the extended Easter weekend. It will allow artists to market their products directly to a more mainstream audience who may not frequent their usual outlets. 

“ In the last year, Pavilions has hosted live performances and workshops by the award-winning Birmingham Opera Company, provided free gallery/retails space to students from Birmingham City University's School of Art to raise money for World Aids Day and to Birmingham City Council's long-running Gallery 37 project which works with young people not in employment or full time training, providing them with arts workshops and training. In December we were part of the 10th Anniversary of the city's Brilliantly Birmingham Jewellery Festival with our Pop Up Jewellery Shop which gave young, up and coming jewellers with a chance to sell their work directly to the public in the busy pre-Christmas period.

“ We believe that Pavilions can remain distinctive by its ability to support and showcase the city's vibrant arts scene .  In times of recession and with the competition from online shopping, it's vital that city centre retailers ring the changes and provide shoppers with more than just 'shopping'. ”

Further media information and images from Roulla Xenides or Tom Parker, S&X, 0121 604 6366

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