Summer art exhibitions: visit the Jewellery Quarter’s most historic gallery

A packed programme of exhibitions makes the RBSA the number one choice for art lovers seeking things to do in Birmingham and the Jewellery Quarter this summer.

Popular fixtures include the nationally-renowned Portrait Prize, which attracts entries from some of the UK’s leading contemporary artists.

And a major open exhibition, Metropolis, will celebrate the essential physical and cultural qualities of city life.

Discover more about the visual arts in Birmingham by visiting the RBSA and checking out its exciting calendar of summer happenings:

Portrait Prize

The RBSA Portrait Prize is a prestigious biennial showcase of contemporary UK portraits, selected this year by renowned artists Tim Benson, James Lloyd, and John Davenport.

The prize attracts an extremely high standard of entries, with a top award of £1,000 to be won. To celebrate this year’s exhibition, a programme of portrait-themed workshops is also on offer through the summer.


Make sure you catch Metropolis, an exhibition celebrating our love of the big city and Birmingham’s status as one of the most diverse in the UK.

Ed Isaacs

Did you know:

  1. Birmingham has a population of more than a million people

  2. Nearly 40 per cent of its population is under 25

  3. A third of people living in the city are of minority ethnic origin

  4. The Jewellery Quarter produces around 40 per cent of the UK’s jewellery

  5. There are 56 km of waterways – yes, more canals than Venice

  6. Birmingham has 8,000 acres of parks

  7. We have more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city outside London*

Metropolis will explore the visual aspects of urban spaces, and the lives of the people who live and work here.

The exhibition will include jewellery, ceramics and textiles as well as sculpture, drawing, painting and printmaking.

For the Diary

The Portrait Prize runs 27 July – 19 August, Gallery 2. Metropolis, sponsored by Maguire Jackson, runs 24 August – 30 September, Galleries 1 and 2.

Could you be a Friend of the RBSA? Benefits include discounted events and free entry to certain exhibitions, plus networking, discounts, newsletters and private views.

*Visit Birmingham has more amazing facts about our great city.

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