With a new team and a new direction, the region’s Contemporary Visual Arts Network is rebranding to become New Art West Midlands - a name and identity that will better reflect their progressive role in developing and promoting contemporary visual arts from the West Midlands.
Following their successful application to Arts Council England to support the 2016-18 programme, Craig Ashley has been appointed Director with a remit to consolidate and build upon existing strands of activity under the banner of New Art West Midlands, and to develop their work beyond 2018. Prior to joining New Art West Midlands, Craig was Visual Arts Producer at mac (Midlands Arts Centre) where he led the visual arts programme from 2009 to 2016. As a curator, Craig has worked closely with West Midlands artists on exhibitions, residencies and publications; notable projects include Vered Lahav’s The Garden (2013), and Barbara Walker’s Shock & Awe (2016).
Joining Craig is Anneka French who has been appointed Coordinator. Anneka will support Craig and partners in the delivery of the New Art West Midlands programme. As a curator and writer, Anneka brings to the role a valuable perspective and experiences that will help to inform the new direction. She is editor of the online contemporary art magazine this is tomorrow and her recent curatorial projects include Mitra Saboury’s Pulling Walls (2016) at Grand Union and the group exhibition One Leg Supporting the Weight of the Body, the Other Slightly Bent (2015) at Croome, the National Trust property in Worcestershire.
Over the coming weeks they will be working on a new identity and transitioning from Turning Point, before launching New Art West Midlands with a special event later this autumn. This will be an opportunity to re-engage, to find out how to contribute and get involved, and to meet the team including Craig and Anneka, along with members of the Advisory Group who steer and inform the work they do.
Artist and Curator Development Programme
The New Art Gallery Walsall will continue to lead on the Artist and Curator Development Programme for New Art West Midlands. Having successfully developed and delivered the programme together with Turning Point West Midlands and partners since 2012, The New Art Gallery Walsall will build upon successful aspects from previous years and introduce new strands of activity. They wish to ensure that the programme is relevant and rewarding to a wide range of artists, curators and writers, from students to those with established careers. The programme will continue to deliver region-wide opportunities, and explore further the potential for legacy through connections in and beyond the region too.