Minutes of Arts Forum meeting 11.12.18

Happy New Year to one and all. Here are the minutes for the last Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting that was held at Artefact in Stirchley last month. It being the lead-up to Christmas, it was a bit thin on the ground attendance wise, but there was some excellent discussion, and the drawing out of some plans for next year.

The next meeting? Click on the Eventbrite link here, it’ll be on the Wednesday 12 February, again at Artefact in Stirchley.

Arts Forum Selly Oak – December meeting – 11 December 2018.

Present: Pete Ashton, Jonathan Graney, Karoline Rerrie, Darren Toney


I have been speaking Arts All Over The Place – A registered charity who celebrate the creative talents of those who have or have had mental health problems across all aspects of the Arts. Main aims – to promote the value of the Arts in Mental Health recovery.

They came to me looking for advice on a venue, that wouldn’t charge for overheads and room hire, that would be accessible, and be able to provide a quick turnaround for a week-long event in May for Mental Health Awareness Week.

This was excellent for me as it got me talking to two venues that I hadn’t had contact with before in my district – Cotteridge Church and The Hub at Hazelwell. Good spaces, both with kitchenette. Cotteridge Church had two excellent rooms on ground level, ideal for workshops and groups, but sadly no exhibition space. The Hub has its own dance studio – well worth looking at.

We decided on using Creative Coffee Hub on Raddlebarn Road in Selly Oak, some of you will know Tamara who came along to the first meeting – those who haven’t been down to that venue, please do as it’s fantastic. Next stop – funding.

Other successes that the forum has had:

At the first Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting, Stirchley-based artists Hipkiss & Graney were able to get in contact with Birmingham City Council, who have since updated their Public Art Enquiry form to make it easier for artists to make and display their work. Their latest instalment of their Dead Shrines project is currently approaching ¾ of meeting its Kickstarter target.



UPDATE: The Kickstarter page smashed its target! Very exciting.

The Forum has also paired local artist Clair Hughes – specialising in crafting and stitching with Sense Birmingham leading into monthly workshops.





Place Prospectors PLC has received funding from Birmingham City Council Arts Service to deliver arts activites for young people in Druids Heath for their ‘A Level Playing Field’ project.

This project will work with us on workshops with young people aged 10-16, Thursdays 10-16. Posters will be designed and placed in communal areas across the estate.

Photographs, making collages, and printing. 10 hours of experience at 8.75 p/h.

Result – Jonathan Graney has forwarded the specification onto a local artist who may be interested.

shadow artist opp2


University of Birmingham sent me details of their next instalment of CAKE (Collobaration and Knowledge Exchange) a monthly workshop bringing together University academics, researchers, professional staff and students with external partner. Beauty Demands – Exploring Body Image was on the Tuesday 18 December, speakers from 1030-1130 from the University of Birmingham, Birmingham Museums Trust and Face Equality International.

You can find more info on the Culture at UoB facebook page, or register on the Eventbrite link.



Funding Streams.

Over Christmas and in January, I will be looking at various funding routes and streams, and we will come back here in February, to discuss possible funding streams for these projects, and how to build up funds for bigger projects to establish Arts Forum Selly Oak not only as a successful network, but also to follow on Number 11 Arts’ remit – that of community development organisation which specialises in art.

Last time we looked at engaging audiences, particularly transient audiences such as our growing student populace, I am particularly interested that the Culture at UoB team are looking to do more locally, and the success of the Activist Selly Oak project is very welcome.

Q: Considering that, and with a thought on how much budget a school could offer, how could we get more artists in schools, and for that price, what could artists offer?  

As children and young people are becoming increasingly politically motivated, but with arts provision being cut from timetables, we considered more projects in schools. I am currently on the PTA committee for Raddlebarn School, a primary on Gristhorpe Road. They have approached me for seeking a poet for World Book Day. Asking around have understood that a poet workshop fee is in the region of £200 – £300 depending on experience, and it would be for the school to see if this would be something they could afford, or the Friends group could afford. Importantly, it should be considered what the legacy of such a project would be.

What was put to the meeting was that the Arts Forum could make use of contacts who are governors, on the PTA committee or even teachers and heads, and offer to share resources and connections from the arts world.


Q: Art in pubs: What could artists offer?

There was an observation that there is a danger of pubs/cafes exhibiting art with a high price tag which make the place look good, but don’t actually sell. Darren Toney, a local writer and record label owner, suggested connecting with a venue like The Gunmakers Arms, who regularly have artists talks and events, to see how they have made the transition from pub to art space is something that could be considered for the New Year.

More artistery in pubs – Birmingham Urban Sketchers were mentioned, who have or have had an exhibitions at the Gunmakers Arms in central Birmingham. A core collective of artists moving from pub to pub, and as mentioned previously I am very interested in looking at The Grant Arms, and The Bristol Pear of course. The Bristol Pear is now having events put on by Birmingham Promoters, and once I look at the venue, I would like to see who else would want to put on successful events there.

UPDATE: The Gunmakers Arms was recently featured in an article on the BBC’s website about the recent WASPs (We All Shoot Photos) exhibition which would raise money for a homelessness charity.


There was an observation that there is a danger of pubs/cafes exhibiting art with a high price tag which make the place look good, but don’t actually sell. Connecting with a venue like The Gunmakers Arms, who regularly have artists talks and events, to see how they have made the transition from pub to art space is something that could be considered for the New Year.

Any other business.

Next year, Karoline will be working on a project for the RBSA in collaboration with Sense. The outcome will be an exhibition at the RBSA http://www.rbsa.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/rbsa-and-sense-making-together/

She has an exhibition next June in the Coach House Gallery at Winterbourne House as part of their ‘Year of Print’. The exhibitions aren’t online yet but my workshop is https://www.winterbourne.org.uk/whats-on/screen-printing/

In her experience the best place to exhibit, especially in terms of footfall & sales, is Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The SALON exhibition was the last time I exhibited there, it was part of the Art Market Project http://tpwm.squarespace.com/news/tag/art-market

Next meeting

The next Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting will happen at Artefact on Wednesday 13 February from 1830 – 2030. Eventbrite sign up form is here





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