October at the RBSA: new exhibitions, craft shows, and meet the artist events!

October at the RBSA is packed with great exhibitions and events, including opportunities to meet some amazing artists.

We have a literary themed exhibition Inspired by Words from the Birmingham Art Circle, and a water-based media show Splash! by the Birmingham Watercolour Society displaying a variety of styles.

Our Craft Gallery will be displaying beautiful selected hand-crafted pieces from the Birmingham School of Jewellery, as well as a celestial-themed jewellery exhibition Stellar, with a range of prices.

There’s also a number of upcoming solo exhibits, including a showing of Rob Perry’s stunning impressionistic landscapes.

We also have a wide range of inspiring workshops, so be sure to check these out!


Putting on a Show: RBSA Curators from 1900 – 2018 Until 6 Oct

‘Reflected Vault’, Steve Evans, Hon Curator RBSA

Our annual display of artwork from the RBSA Collection and Archive will focus this year on past Honorary Curators of the Society, including the late Paul Hipkiss. This exhibition coincides with ‘The City Beautiful’, which is the Centenary Celebration of Birmingham Civic Society.

Birmingham Art Circle: Inspired by Words until 6 October

Art work by Sue Howells

This year’s exhibition expresses the inspiration gained from literature. A wide range of styles and media will be used to interpret the theme. The Birmingham Art Circle is a society of professional artists.

Sunlight, Water, Reflections, Blue Skies, Trees Rob Perry RBSA 8 Oct – 20 Oct 

Sun Breaking through Clouds in the Wyre Forest

To celebrate his landmark twentieth solo show with the RBSA, Rob will be displaying a range of recent landscapes. These will include impressionistic paintings in gouache and oils alongside more traditional drawing studies.

Splash! A Window on Watercolour Birmingham Watercolour Society 8 Oct – 20 Oct 2018

‘Cotswold Landscape’, Nigel Priddey

This display of watercolours and water-based-media paintings showcases recent work in a variety of styles, from traditional landscape to the abstract and semi-abstract. BWS has numerous links with the history of the RBSA and welcomes applications for membership from talented watercolourists.

A Fair Day’s Work Keith Turley RBSA 22 Oct – 03 Nov 2018

The Glory Hole

The show features large, striking canvases of portraits and figures in working environments. There are strong Black Country references in the form of chain-making, glassmaking and canals. A range of other crafts and portraits are also featured.

Learn more about Keith’s artworks at these following free events!

Tue 23 October Thu 25 October Sat 27 October, 12pm onwards Wed 30 October Thu 1 November

Craft Shows

Stellar 1 Oct 2018 – 2 Feb 2019

‘Large Scattered Trillions’ pendants, Kate Phipps

Inspired by the wonder and mystery of stars and space, this display is unashamedly focused on all things bright, twinkly, and sparkly. Featuring hand-made jewellery in precious metals, ceramics and lustrous glazes, and textiles in plush fabrics, with a range of prices.

Solo Shows

Machines of Loving Grace Stephen Adams ARBSA until 3 Nov

Raku II

An exhibition of pottery, using stoneware, earthenware and Raku processes. The work is constructed using mechanical engineering techniques of bolting and assembly to form more complex units. Natural Histories Stephanie Redfern RBSA until 3 Nov

Two Pools, Autumn

Stephanie Redfern will be showing new stitched mixed media textile works based upon the natural world.  Stephanie paints and prints her fabrics using a variety of media, using collage, stitch, and mixed media.

Wonders of the Ordinary Alex Callaway RBSA 8 Oct – 3 Nov 


Through refining the process of painting from life, Alex aims to create a little magic from the mundane, inviting the viewer to slow down and contemplate the wonders of the ordinary.

Friends Events

All free to Friends, Members and Associates and £5 for Guests. Light refreshments included.

Guided Tour by Rob Perry RBSA 10 Oct 2018, 2 – 4pm

Sunset over the Teme Valley from CleeHill Summit

Join long-standing Member of the RBSA Rob Perry for a tour of his latest exhibition of impressionistic paintings celebrating sunlight, reflections, blue skies and trees.

Inaugural Lecture by RBSA Professor of Painting, John Devane 11 Oct 2018, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

John Devane is a figurative painter and printmaker who has exhibited widely since graduating from the Royal College of Art. Drinks included.

Guided Tour by Keith Turley RBSA 31 Oct 2018, 2pm – 4pm

The Glassmakers

Keith will take you through his solo exhibition ‘A Fair Day’s Work’, explaining how he uses a colourful tapestry of linear brush strokes to create his large-scale images of the world of work.

Open Events

Free/drop-in unless otherwise specified

Paul Hipkiss’ Life and Work 6 Oct 2018, 2pm – 4pm

Work by Paul Hipkiss

Paul was the Honorary Curator of the RBSA until he passed away last year. His close friend, Lynn Jeffery RBSA, will provide informal information about his life and work, providing an opportunity to see his printing plates and sketchbooks.

Celebratory Open Event with Rob Perry and the Birmingham Watercolour Society 13 Oct 2pm – 4pm

Abstracted Sun and Trees. Wyre Forest.

A celebratory opening of Rob Perry’s upper floor exhibition of ‘Sunlight, Water, Reflections, Blue Skies, Trees’, and the Birmingham Watercolour Society’s exhibition ‘Splash! A Window on Watercolour’. An opportunity to meet the exhibiting artists themselves.

Meet the Artists: The Birmingham Watercolour Society 20 October 2018, 11am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm

Meet and talk to artists from the Birmingham Watercolour Society during their group show.

Meet the Artist: Rob Perry RBSA 18 October 10.20 am-12.30pm and 2-4pm 20 Oct 2pm – 4pm

Sun Breaking through Clouds in the Wyre Forest

Rob will be in the Gallery to meet and talk with to visitors about his upper-floor solo show ‘Sunlight, Water, Reflections, Blue skies, Trees’.

Meet the Artist: Keith Turley RBSA 27 October 2018, 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm

The Glassmakers

An opportunity to meet Keith and find out more about the artworks on display in his solo show ‘A Fair Day’s Work’.


RBSA Art Workshops for Adults Mon 22 Oct — 03 Nov 2018

These workshops can help you develop your skills, learn new techniques, and kick-start making artwork for exhibition.

All workshops run from 11am until 4.30pm and are suitable for adults aged 18 and over, unless stated otherwise. Booking is essential. Just call 0121 236 4353 and you can pay over the phone.

Foundations of Portraiture John Davenport RBSA 22 Oct

Learn how to capture a good likeness by building your portrait on sound foundations. This workshop will focus on the important early stages in the creation of a portrait before developing it into a successful monochrome portrait of a live model. Suitable for intermediates and beginners.


Urban Drawing Ed Isaacs RBSA 23 Oct

Back by popular demand! Receive guidance and practical tips to help increase your confidence and develop your drawing skills for sketching in the urban landscape. Suitable for beginners and intermediates.


Painting Small With A Big Brush Mathé Shepheard RBSA 24 Oct

Produce a selection of small expressive watercolour paintings to develop free movement of the hand using a range of brushes and colours.

Ideal for beginners but suitable for all levels.


Woodcut Printing for Beginners Margot Bell RBSA 25 October 

Learn how to make an effective woodcut print in several clear stages. Attendees are welcome to follow the suggested theme of botanica, bugs, and beasties, or work to a theme of their own. Ideal for beginners but also suitable for improvers.


Screen-printing with hand-cut stencils Karoline Rerrie, Friend 26 October

Learn to make hand-cut stencils of your own images, patterns or designs. Then screen print onto paper using your stencils, silk screens, squeegees and water-based inks to create unique prints. Suitable for all abilities.


Seeing and Thinking Photographically Paul Hill MBE and Maria Falconer FRPS 27 Oct, 10am – 5pm

This great value workshop with experienced professional photographers Paul and Maria will focus on how to translate the three-dimensional world into an interesting two-dimensional picture.


Experimental Portrait Painting Jain McKay RBSA 30 Oct 

Back by popular demand! Trial a variety of materials and approaches to create a selection of exciting portraits. There will be a live model on the second day of the workshop. Suitable for all abilities.


Mezzotint Engraving and Beyond Martin Maywood, Guest Tutor 31 Oct

Receive expert guidance on how to create and print a mezzotint engraving.

The course will cover suitable subject matter and how to transfer images from life, sketch or photograph onto the plate. You will learn to engrave, ink up and print your work onto thick acid-free paper through an etching press.

Feel free to bring your own sketches, photos and ideas if you wish! Suitable for all abilities.


* discount price for friends of the RBSA, Members & Associates, and full-time students.

By Alfie Hancox RBSA Blog Volunteer

How to Book a Workshop

• Call 0121 236 4353 to pay by card over the phone. • Visit the Gallery and pay by cash, card, or cheque. • Send a cheque in the post (please make payable to ‘RBSA’ and include details of the workshop/s you wish to book). • Can’t decide? View the full workshop outlines on our website. • Please note: Bookings are subject to receipt of full non-transferable and non-refundable payment.

Visit us

Entry to all RBSA exhibitions is free and many of the works on show are on sale. We recommend viewing in person before making a purchase, but you can view many current exhibitions online, with prices, at our Flickr page. 

We take a deposit or full payment at the gallery, and you can arrange to collect your work once the exhibition is over. If you can’t make it to an exhibition, call us on 0121 236 4353 or email rbsagallery@rbsa.org.uk

Remember that booking is not required for our Saturday demonstrations, so feel free to drop by the Gallery on the day. For more details on all the events listed, and to find out about everything else going on at the RBSA, please take a look at the website.

Featured image: ‘Sunset over the Teme Valley from CleeHill Summit’, Rob Perry

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