Local artists create buzz

Helga wrote in the Birmingham Post of November 19th about collecting art, and the art market and galleries in the city;

There is a buzz in the city recently about collecting.

Matthew Collings, art critic and broadcaster has hosted the Art of Ideas – a series of events designed to stimulate the region’s residents into thinking about and purchasing contemporary artworks.

Collecting modern art doesn’t necessarily have to be the province of millionaires and oil sheiks.

The Arts Council-sponsored Own It scheme allows buyers to finance a purchase on interest-free finance.

I have never been concerned with “investment value” or whether I have bought the “right” work.

Let’s face it, you are unlikely to find a old Chinese vase in a shop that you then resell for millions.

It’s more important to me that the painting, sculpture, print or whatever gives you a small shiver of pleasure every time you catch sight of it.

While some galleries, particularly in London and New York can be intimidating places, Birmingham has some lovely places to find and buy art.

You can visit Lee Benson, who runs No.9 The Gallery in Brindleyplace.

He features a number of local artists, including the wonderful Jules Smith, a Moseley-based painter.

I have no background in art appreciation or criticism, but I own a couple of her paintings and they, along with a large painting on aluminium by artist Dean Melbourne (of creative drawing company Melbourne & Son) just make me happy when I look at them.

Then there’s St Paul’s Gallery – to quote their website “the world’s leading retailer in signed limited edition album cover fine art”.

I lust after their limited print of a Deborah Feingold photograph which features David Byrne in his iconic “Big Suit”.

And there’s two new places to spend your money.

The We Are Birmingham shop opened on November 13 – as the “child” of the Created in Birmingham shop I know it will be full of beautiful artefacts to tempt you.

I’ve not been there yet, but Kings Heath now boasts All Fired Arts – a new centre where you can paint your own ceramics and purchase local artists’ work.

Your first art purchase could in fact be one of your own works.

Go on, get some local art, shine some lamps on it and turn your home into a gallery.

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