TPWM's symposium Midwest to Midville: Repositioning The Visual Arts in The Midlands, organised in partnership with Ikon Gallery, took place on Monday 3 February.
Looking at the past, present and current ambitions for the visual arts in the region, this debate considered future opportunities for the sector. Special guest speakers included internationally acclaimed curator Matthew Higgs, (White Columns Gallery, NY), and David Powell, co-author of the recent independent report Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital (2013).
Two panels, comprising writers, academics, artists, a councillor and curator, discussed past, present and possible futures of the visual arts in the Midlands.
Midwest Panel – Considered the current visual arts ecology in the region and significant developments over the last fifty years, since the beginning of Ikon (est. 1964).
Midville Panel – Asked what does ‘not London’ mean for a region that includes the second largest city in the UK, a city that sits in such close proximity to London? To what extent is self-determination, a sense of self and place, a prerequisite for a vibrant arts scene in the region and success for its artists nationally and internationally? What are our assets? How do we promote these, how do we shape the visual arts scene we want now and in the future? What could Midville look like?
Contemporary art magazine This is Tomorrow were there to broadcast the event live, and the event is now available to view online via the videos below.
10.10 - 20.55 - Welcome from Jonathan Watkins (Ikon Gallery)
20.55 - 1:11:24 - Keynote speaker: David Powell ‘Rebalancing our Cultural Capital’ + Q&A (moderated by Jonathan Vickery, University of Warwick).
1:11:24 - 1:38:36 - Midwest - Roundtable discussion: Rachel Bradley (freelance curator, Daniel Pryde–Jarman (artist and curator), Marlene Smith (artist and curator), Steve Trow (Sandwell Council) (Part One)
00:00 - 34.15 - Midwest - Roundtable discussion: Rachel Bradley (freelance curator, Daniel Pryde–Jarman (artist and curator), Marlene Smith (artist and curator), Steve Trow (Sandwell Council) (Part Two) + Q&A Chaired by Debbie Kermode (Ikon Gallery).
00:00 - 35:17 Keynote speaker: Matthew Higgs (Curator, White Columns Gallery NY) + Q&A session.
35:17 - 1:39:06 - Midville - Roundtable discussion: Wendy Law (TPWM), Lynda Morris (Norwich University of the Arts), Jonathan Shaw (Coventry University), Gavin Wade (Eastside Projects)+ Q&A session.
1.39:06 - 1:46:41 - Closing Comments – John Butler (Birmingham City University)