Autumn at the RBSA: a packed programme of events and exhibitions

Make a trip to the RBSA one of your things to do in Birmingham this autumn… our exhibitions are free, and many activities are suitable for families.

We have an inspiring programme over the next few months, ranging from solo shows to craft exhibitions and a major retrospective of an internationally-renowned artist.

Metropolis features works inspired by urban scenes from around the world, there’s Birmingham Heritage Week, and a host of Friends and Open events for you to enjoy.

In November, make sure you catch our William Gear exhibition, celebrating a pioneer of post-war abstraction. RBSA artists also explore contemporary abstract themes in Equivalent 8.

Metropolis: sponsored by Maguire Jackson

Galleries 1 and 2, until 30 September

An exhibition exploring the modern city and featuring work celebrating Birmingham’s status as the second largest and most diverse metropolis in Britain. Global and imagined cities also feature… see a range of interpretations across a wide variety of media. And remember, works are for sale!

Events alongside Metropolis also coincide with Birmingham Heritage Week which takes place across Birmingham from 7-17 September. The RBSA is hosting two Meet the Artist events with Margaret Fairhead on 9 September and Angela Dooley on 16 September (both run 11 – 1pm and 2 – 4pm) and a special screening of Metropolis, the Fritz Lang silent film on 8 September.

Around the Jewellery Quarter 

Gallery 1, October 2 – 14

RBSA artists Wayne Attwood, Ed Isaacs and John Shakespeare capture this famous part of Birmingham through art depicting past and present places, people and architecture. The preparations have been attracting a lot of interest on Twitter. Follow @IsaacsEd, @jshakart and @WayneAttwoodArt

Sunlight 3 

Gallery 2, October 2 – 14

Robert Perry, ‘Spring sunlight on the edge of the Dysynni’

Robert Perry, in the last instalment of his exploration of this very popular theme, presents new paintings and drawings inspired by the effects of light upon landscapes from across the UK.

Celebratory Open Day: 7 October, 2-4pm. Join our Around the Jewellery Quarter artists and Robert Perry (Sunlight 3) and explore two exhibitions in an afternoon. Free, no need to book. 

The Birmingham Art Circle and Shapeshifters

Galleries 1 and 2 October 16 – 28

Astling. Viv. Good Vibrations. Hoptonwood marble.jpg

Viv Astling, ‘Good Vibrations’

This is an exciting joint show by two professional art groups. The Birmingham Art Circle will be featuring work from artists in a range of media, and has a longstanding association with the RBSA. They will be joined by Shapeshifters, a group of sculptors who work with stone, wood, clay and metal.

Saturday art demonstrations by members of The Birmingham Art Circle and Shapeshifters will take place on 21 and 28 October, 11-1pm and 2-4pm. Open events are free and there’s no need to book.

Equivalent 8

October 30 to November 18

Sea Meditation Jenny Ryrie watercolour and acrylic on paper 63cm x 90cm

Jennie Ryrie, ‘Sea Meditation’ 

An exhibition of 64 abstract and semi-abstract sculptures, paintings and drawings by eight RBSA Members: Viv Astling, Steve Evans, Malcolm Franklin, Jo Naden, Jenny Ryrie, Michael Sadler, George Taylor and David Walton. This show runs alongside the William Gear exhibition.

A Celebratory Open Day takes place on Sunday 5 November, 2-4pm to mark the opening of our Equivalent 8 and William Gear exhibitions. Open events are free and there’s no need to book.

There’s also a Saturday art demonstration with Equivalent 8 exhibitors on 18 November, 11-1pm and 2-4pm. Free, no need to book.

Colour and Form: William Gear (1915-1997)

November 1 – 18

William Gear, Caged Yellow, 1996, Acrylic and Ink

A celebration of work by William Gear, exploring his key role in progressing and promoting abstract art in Birmingham and across the UK. Artworks from Gear’s estate, never previously exhibited, are included in this major exhibition, staged in association with the Paul Mellon Centre and Kettle’s Yard.

Family Workshop, Abstract Prints: 12 November, 2-4pm: To coincide with the William Gear exhibition, Karoline Rerrie will show you how to draw, cut and print abstract designs using block printing techniques.

William Gear Symposium: 12 November, 10-1pm: Learn all about Gear through a funded event in conjunction with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, with Dr Jennifer Powell, Senior Curator at Kettle’s Yard. £10. £6 for Members, Friends, Associates and students. Booking essential.

Members and Associates Exhibition

23 November – 23 December

If you’re stuck for Christmas present ideas, why not visit this annual showcase of artwork by our Members and Associates? The show provides a great opportunity to explore the talent represented by the RBSA. You can also purchase work by our artists.

All our Members and Associates started out as Friends of the RBSA. Are you interested in joining? Why not come to one of our forthcoming Friends events to find out more…

RBSA Craft Gallery Exhibitions

As one of the leading outlets for contemporary craft in the Midlands, the RBSA showcases the work of designer makers through our creatively themed displays. Our displays celebrate Birmingham at the forefront of design.

Brilliance in Birmingham

until 23 September

Celebrating a rich tradition of two centuries of designer-maker craft production in Birmingham, this is a showcase of the craftsmanship that continues to be practised to the highest standard by today’s local makers.


25 September to 27 January

Blast off into a galaxy far away with Starlight, an exhibition exploring the spectacle of outer space. From jewellery inspired by meteorites and shooting stars, to space-age ceramics and ethereal glass, this exhibition offers an opportunity for stargazing right in the heart of Birmingham. Perfect for Christmas gifts, with a range of products and prices to suit all pockets.

School of Jewellery awards: supporting the next generation of designer-makers

25 September to 28 October

Each year, the RBSA awards prizes for innovation and creativity at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery annual degree show. Selected graduates are displayed in our Craft Gallery. We are delighted to be helping to champion the talent nurtured by this historic school, and the next generation of jewellers.

Solo Shows

The RBSA Art Gallery features regular solo shows for art lovers, showcasing work for sale by Members, Associates and artists from around the UK. Shows are held in the Café spaces and Craft Gallery Wall on the ground floor.

Paul Ki-Kydd RBSA, until 9 Sept: Coloured landscape drawings in mixed-media.

Robert Neil PRBSA: 11 September to 14 October: the current president of the RBSA will exhibit his selection of absorbing and strikingly life-like portraits in oil.

Andrew Matheson RBSA, Time for Tea, until 30 Sept: A selection of handmade teapots in stoneware and porcelain.

Nigel Priddey RBSA:  until 7 Oct: Striking watercolour landscapes in Nigel’s bold and distinctive style.

Elaine Hind, Botanica: 2 October to 18 November: Elaine exhibits her detailed and delicate porcelain vessels and sculptural pieces inspired by forms, patterns and colour of plant life

Dennis Minchin: 9 October to 18 November: Hold onto summer with this display of bright and beautiful floral studies in acrylics and oil.

Brian Fletcher: 16 October to 18 November: Explore the many different qualities of paint in this selection of mixed-media and impasto paintings.

 By Deborah Broomfield, ART BLOG volunteer

#abstraction #birmingham #Sculpture #arts #exhibition #jewellery

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