Why you should study art in Birmingham

Birmingham is known for many things – heavy metal, curry, and not least, the arts. There are plenty of reasons why you should study art in Birmingham, here are just a few of them.

Get involved in the Digbeth art scene 

With areas like Digbeth, it’s no wonder the art scene in Birmingham is thriving, with plenty of things to participate in or simply appreciate unique and meaningful works.

On the first Friday of each month, the aptly named Digbeth First Friday showcases a plethora of exhibitions, performances, live music and more, and are always looking for eager contributors. Grand Union is a gallery and artists’ studio complex, and being a charitable organisation, runs on the ethos of providing affordable yet high quality workspaces for artists. It also hosts regular and ongoing events. For those who like something a little more niche, Eastside Projects refer to themselves as an ‘artist run multiverse’, commissioning and presenting experimental artwork. 

There are plenty of other spaces and events to check out in Digbeth; keep your eyes peeled, get networking and you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the vibrant scene.

Explore different mediums 

If you are looking at studying art, you more than likely already have a preferred medium or style of working. This doesn’t mean you can’t explore your skills further or learn something new to add to your toolbelt outside of your course though!

Situated in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, Pavlov Ceramics offers you the chance to take pottery classes, from creating your work from scratch, down to painting and firing it. Take up a new craft or develop your current skills even further. Midlands Art Centre (MAC) also offers a wide range of different courses that you can go along to no matter what your skill level. From jewellery and glass making, textile and crafts, sculpture, painting and more – there is something for everybody. 

Unique galleries to explore

Other than Digbeth, there are plenty of other galleries and exhibitions to explore around the city and many of them are free of charge. 

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) is situated in the heart of Birmingham, opposite the town hall and newly developed Paradise Circus. There’s also the IKON gallery which is internationally acclaimed and focuses on showcasing contemporary art. 

Parkside Gallery showcases the work of emerging talent and established artists and designers. Being located on our City Centre campus and free to enter, make sure you visit this one!

Every year in June, BCU has an Inspired Festival to allow students to present their work around BCU campus sites and through billboards around Birmingham city centre.

Get to know our artistic history

Not only will you be studying in the beautiful and historic School of Art building on Margaret Street, which originally opened in 1885 as the first Municipal School of Art, but you’ll also be surrounded by other cultural and historical heritage.

  • BMAG boasts a collection of over 2,000 paintings and prints by the Pre-Raphaelites and is one of the largest collections of their art in the world. 
  • The Birmingham Surrealists were a group of surrealist artists that formed in 1935 and were predominantly based in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham.
  • Birmingham’s architecture is widely historical, featuring neo-gothic and venetian styles across the city centre. Let the city be your muse! 

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