October at the RBSA: this month’s events and exhibitions

It’s getting colder and the nights are drawing in, but escaping to an art gallery can be a real lift as we head into winter.

We have a great range of events to take your through until Christmas. There are major exhibitions, solo shows, Friends and Open events for you to enjoy.

Our featured October exhibition is Around the Jewellery Quarter, which celebrates both contemporary and historic aspects of this important district of Birmingham.

Sunlight 3 will also be well worth a visit as artist Robert Perry continues with his exploration of the qualities of sunlight on our landscape.

The Birmingham Art Circle and Shapeshifters join forces this month for a joint show, and eight RBSA artists also collaborate to bring you art on an abstract theme.

Then, in November, make sure you catch our William Gear exhibition, celebrating a pioneer of post-war abstraction.

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

Viv Astling, ‘Wavelet’

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.

You can bid on Viv Astling’s Wavelet, pictured above, at our first ever Charity Auction on November 2. You can find out more and book tickets, £10 each, here.

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

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.

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.


until 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.

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.

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.

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

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

Robert Neil PRBSA: until 14 October: the current president of the RBSA will exhibit his selection of absorbing and strikingly life-like portraits in 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

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