October at the RBSA: Prism Textiles show, workshops and more!

October sees the return of workshops you may have missed during the summer, as well as new exhibitions and solo shows.Our autumn programme presents a variety of art and styles across three floors of gallery space. For inclusive, sensory art, why not visit our Making Together exhibition, staged in conjunction with Sense?

Fans of textiles will love the group show Fragility, with Prism, while those who like unique and evocative art will enjoy David Harban’s landscapes inspired by dramatic rock formations. And don’t forget the joint exhibition held by the Birmingham Art Circle and Shapeshifters Sculpture Group.

Read on to find out more about October’s highlights…

Autumn Workshops

Shirley Bonas, ‘River Runs Deep’

Missed out on our summer workshops earlier in the year? Don’t worry, a selection of the courses are available again as part of our Autumn programme.

Workshops cover a variety of subjects, techniques, and styles. All art enthusiasts welcome!

Below are our October workshops. You can ask us questions or book by calling 0121 236 4353.

Mixed Media Portrait PaintingWed 30 OctoberJain McKay RBSA

Jain McKay

Experiment with a variety of materials and approaches to help you create a selection of exciting portraits. Suitable for all abilities, including more experienced portrait artists seeking new ideas.

£60 / £55

Experimental Life DrawingThu 31 October – Fri 1 NovemberJain McKay RBSA

Produce exciting life drawings using a variety of materials and approaches. Suitable for all abilities, including more experienced portrait artists seeking new ideas.

£115 / £105

Seeing and Thinking Portraiture Sat 26 October, 9am – 5pmGuest Tutors Paul Hill MBE and Maria Falconer FRPS

Engage with ‘sitters’ in natural situations using a range of simple techniques to create photographs that communicate more than a likeness. Suitable for new and experienced photographers alike.

£55 / £50

Improve Your Urban DrawingMon 21 – Tue 22 OctoberEd Issacs RBSA

A comprehensive overview of key drawing skills, involving one day of studiobased drawing and one day of urban sketching along local canals and streets. Suitable for those with previous drawing experience.

£50 / £45

Copy, Proof, PrintMon 28 – Tue 29 OctoberEric Gaskell ARBSA


Eric will guide you through the steps of drawing, cutting, and proofing to create a final print. Suitable for all abilities, including beginners.

£110 / £100

Painting Portraits in Oils for BeginnersThu 24 – Fri 35 OctoberFrancesca Currle RBSA


Receive an introduction to portrait oil painting by learning about the basic palette, how to start a painting, facial proportions, and how to bring to life a portrait. Suitable for intermediates seeking a ‘refresher.’

£110 / £100


Fragility Group show by Prism Textiles 8 – 19 October

Molly Williams

Explore the concept of fragility through textiles. The international exhibiting group, Prism Textiles, founded in 1999, bring together a range of quality textile practices with a fine art approach.

Their exhibitions offer a different perspective on the medium of fabric, thread, and mixed media, highlight the breadth of textile practice, and demonstrate the vitality of contemporary stitched textile, all while challenging notions of the textile as both decorative and domestic.

Fun with Stitch family sessionSat 19 October, 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pmPrism Textile Group

Kim Winter ‘One in Five’ – photo © Owen Llewellyn

A workshop for all the family to join in. Come along, meet a prism artist, learn new skills and explore the world of stitch.

Free drop-in session, no need to book.

Making Together: Mentor Programme RBSA and Sense until 12 October


Sense, founded more than sixty years ago, is an organisation whose mission is that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be isolated, left out, or unable to fulfill their potential.

This groundbreaking sensory art exhibition will showcase a selection of artwork produced by artists with complex disabilities after support from artists Annette Pugh ARBSA and Karoline Rerrie.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Sculptura: Vision and Form 21 October – 2 November

Discover the different sculptural artwork of eight prominent RBSA artists: Viv Astling, Andrew Coates, Steve Evans, George Jackson, Hannah Northam, Don Ratcliffe, Racheal Ricketts and Michele White.

The variety of artwork on display will range from the figurative to the abstract and include a wide selection of materials, such as stone, metal, and wood.

Birmingham Art Circle and Shapeshifters Sculpture Group until 5 October

Astling.Viv.Goldberg Variations B RBSA Gallery Flickr

Viv Astling, Goldberg Variations B

An exciting joint show by two professional art groups.

The Birmingham Art Circle, founded in 1879, has a longstanding association with the RBSA and includes artists working in a range of media from painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and mixed media. They represent some of the best artists in the Midlands.

Shapeshifters Sculpture Group is a West Midlands-based group of talented sculptors who work with stone, wood, and a range of other materials like clay and metal.

Solo Shows

David Harban RBSARugged Landscape 14 October – 16 November

Sexton Burrow, etching

David, a professional graphic artist for over 45 years, worked in design studios in the West Midlands before he established a graphic design business in the early 1980s. In 1999, he discovered printmaking and two years later set up his own printmaking shop.

His preferred method of working is etching because of its unique mark-making qualities.In his solo show, David will be showing his etchings that were inspired by his love of climbing, and his interest in the textures and forms of dramatic rock formations.

Shirley Bonas RBSA All Seasons, All Weathers Until 16 November


The Cascade at Himley Hall

Shirley Bonas, a creator of vivid and beautiful landscape paintings featuring woodlands and forests, has a Degree in Fine Art from Wolverhampton University and is a former lecturer at Stourbridge college. It was during this period that she was granted two Arts Council Lottery awards for her work in Adult Education Directing Community Arts Projects; followed by a Dudley Arts Council Grant for Self-Employment Work in Adult Learning.

A member of the RBSA, Shirley’s work has received awards and commendations over the years and her most current work is inspired by her love of the Wyre Forest and local environment near her home in Bewdley.

Andrew Matheson RBSA Pour Me a Drink Until 16 November

small ginger jars

Small Ginger Jars

Andrew Matheson, a member of the RBSA, works with ceramics and his hand-thrown ceramic cups and jugs show the variety and beauty to be found in functional objects.

He graduated from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen and owns a unique city centre pottery studio and gallery. He has won numerous awards for his work and exhibits in galleries across the United Kingdom.

Andrew’s works shows a unique skill with ceramics and he specialises in stoneware and porcelain pieces hand-thrown with a variety of distinctive glazes.

Craft Shows

Enchanted Unti