New Art West Midlands (NAWM) is a Turning Point West Midlands (TPWM) initiative with gallery partners and universities in the West Midlands. All exhibiting artists have graduated from one of the West Midlands’ undergraduate and postgraduate fine art degree courses in the past three years, encompassing Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester.
Sonia Boyce, Artist, Professor in Fine Arts, Middlesex University and Professor of Black Art and Design, University of the Arts, London.
John Stezaker, Artist.
Katharine Stout, Head of Programme, ICA London.
Professor John Butler, Head of the School of Art, BIAD, Birmingham City University, and Chair of TPWM:
‘Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region now has one of, if not the, most exciting art scenes in the country. The key is to support emerging artists and, crucially, prove that this is the place to stay and forge a career. New Art West Midlands can provide an important first rung on the ladder for these artists, bringing their work to the attention of the art market, arts venues, critics, media and employers.”
Winning New Art West Midlands has definitely opened up new opportunities for me, leading to taking part in more exhibitions, giving talks and, as part of the prize – a residency at A3 Project Space. This gave me the chance to meet many new contacts and build important relationships with key artists and curators. Due to this, I have gained much more confidence in networking with others and has therefor kick started my career as an artist.” – Ali Reed – Overall prize winner NAWM 2014
“NAWM has provided a boost of confidence for me and a vital step in my career development as an artist. NAWM is an important platform, providing validation for artists and their work at a cruical time and the exhibition now plays an essential part in helping the visual arts to flourish in the region and beyond.” – Rafal Zar NAWM 13
“NAWM gives you the confidence and helps you to develop a body of work. It is a great platform to help you carry on so that you maintain the momentum from your post-graduate experience.” – Chris Clinton NAWM 13
“NAWM is a big positive. Particularly helpful is being exposed to a new network so soon after graduating, seeing that there are people who are interested in what you do, and professionals who could help you develop. It is important for you to find your own network after university and NAWM does that. It gives you connections that might be useful in the future.” - Corey Hayman NAWM 13
“NAWM widened my network and showed me there were people out there to talk to who can help you. Otherwise you feel as if you have jumped off a cliff when you leave university and are not sure who to talk to.”- Stuart Layton NAWM 13
“NAWM gave me a bit more confidence because I was recognised in a professional and public institution that was outside my university.”- Grace Williams NAWM 13
“NAWM gave me recognition and confidence, and it really helped my CV. It gives you a platform. I was very grateful to be part of it. It is a great stepping stone.” – Sally Larke NAWM 2013
“Hearing different views really pushed my work. It made me a lot freer and more experimental. It gave me confidence to try something completely different to how I was working before. I was doing quite small figurative clay sculpture. Through the process of the bursary my work became more architectural and larger scale, with audience members more physically involved with the artwork. NAWM validates the work that you are doing. When you are in a university setting you are not sure you will stand up as an artist. In a university you are not professional. Doing art in the real world makes you feel more professional.” – Anna Smith NAWM 2014
“I can’t think of anything NAWM should change to improve. It is an amazing experience. It gives you a professional knowledge. To step out of the university world, you learn so many aspects, so you know what to expect if you submit your work to a gallery.” - Wendy Ann Titmus NAWM 14
“NAWM massively improved my confidence. Everyone involved is very committed and not at all pretentious. You get support from everyone, well beyond the process of taking part in an exhibition.” – Lucy Hutchinson NAWM 2014
View the New Art West Midlands 2014 catalogue.
View the New Art West Midlands 2013 catalogue.
New Art West Midlands returns in 2016. A list of the selected artists can be found here.