A group of A Level and GCSE students from Ockbrook School in Derbyshire took part in a hands-on art and sculpture masterclass led by expert artists at The New Art Gallery Walsall in the West Midlands.
The £21m New Art Gallery Walsall opened in February 2000 to national acclaim and was nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize. It is home to over 1,500 sculptures, paintings and prints.
On arrival we had a 30 minute guided walk and talk around the gallery, which really helped us to get our bearings. For some of us it was the first time we’d seen masterpieces by leading artists such as Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso.
It was then a case of rolling up our sleeves and taking part in an amazing practical 3D sculpture workshop, involving casting in plaster. The workshop was an integral part of our students’ studies, encouraging discussion and rejuvenating ideas of their own art through viewing other artists’ work.
Year 12 student, Olivia Brown said: “The day itself was amazing. It was really thought-provoking, encouraging us to see past just the colours on a page. I loved the workshop and learned some new techniques that I hope to use in my own work.
“The gallery is stunning and getting to see Van Gogh’s ‘Sorrow’ drawing up close was also very exciting, as there are only two of these in the world!”
Catherine James, from the Gallery, said: “Taking students out of the classroom and into the inspiring space that we enjoy at the New Walsall Art Gallery is a great way of stimulating the creative juices.
“I hope the group from Ockbrook left with the understanding that art is for absolutely everyone to enjoy and that there is so much more to it than just looking at paintings, pictures and sculptures. Questioning art leads to discussions, which helps with confidence in public speaking.”
We’d like to say a huge thank you to the New Walsall Art Gallery for hosting us and the excellent educational workshop. Further details of the day can be found online at www.ockbrooksch.co.uk
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of our Permanent Collection in 2017 and the launch of our new online collections database we are inviting you to curate next year’s collections exhibition, which will open in March.
Two History of Art students from the University of Birmingham are now undertaking work placements with us at the Gallery to help promote this exhibition. Aelita and Jessica will be in and around the Gallery for the next few months encouraging visitors to vote for their favourite artworks, both via Ipads in the Garman Ryan galleries and in our Art Library. They will also be helping with ideas on social media to illustrate the breadth and scope of our Permanent Collection.
This is your opportunity to take ownership of the collection displays!
Voting is now open and will close at the end of January.
Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support over the recent weeks.
Walsall Council has been asked to make savings of £86 million over the next four years. As part of the proposals to achieve this, the Council has proposed reducing funding to The New Art Gallery Walsall to zero by 2020.
The Gallery’s core funding is currently awarded through a partnership between Walsall Council and Arts Council England, and further subsidised through grants, foundations, partnerships and commercial activity.
Further to the online survey launched as part of the public consultation, Walsall Council is inviting anyone wishing to comment upon the draft budget saving proposals to write or email directly to:
Congratulations to architects Caruso St John, who have been awarded the 2016 Stirling Prize for Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall, London. The architects, now famed for their intuative museum and gallery designs won an international competition to build The New Art Gallery Wasall. We are very proud and priveledged to have been the architects first UK public gallery project, with our beautiful building standing the test of time, now 16 years old!
The new banner artwork has been specifically made for the Gallery’s Window Box as part of Eva Rothschild’s Alternative to Power exhibition which opens to the public from Saturday 24 September 2016 – 15 January 2017.
Eva Rothschild is one of the leading sculptors of her generation and has gained extensive international recognition for her work. She works across a range of media including steel, leather, resin, plastic and fabric and her work is often characterised by the use of unstable geometric forms. This will be Rothschild’s first solo exhibition in the Midlands and the new body of work will include a specially commissioned piece using leather, a material at the centre of Walsall’s manufacturing industry.
Eva Rothschild, Alternative to Power, 2016 Dyed Fabric
A new version of The New Art Gallery Walsall lift announcements, recently recorded by Noddy Holder when he visited the gallery back in May, is now back and delighting gallery visitors once more.
Noddy said during his gallery visit in May “It’s always a pleasure coming back to my home town, and I am always interested in what is going on at the New Art Gallery. Everyone should come and take a look, whether you are into art or not. There really is something for everybody, including the kids. You will of course also hear my dulcet tones guiding you in the lifts, what’s not to like!”
Noddy recorded the original lift announcements back in 2000 when the Gallery opened. As the Gallery has gradually evolved the original recording became outdated and as problems grew with the maintenance of certain equipment the recording had to be taken off the lift system a couple of years ago. However Noddy was never forgotten and the Gallery continued to receive many requests from members of the public to reinstate Noddy’s voice in the public lifts.
In 2014 the Gallery received a significant Capital grant from Arts Council England which has helped the Gallery replace and upgrade essential facilities throughout the building over a two year period. This has included major improvements to the Gallery’s public lifts, and with work recently completed it was an ideal opportunity to ask Noddy to record a new version of the announcements, and he was delighted to come back.