The Programme


  • How to work and thrive as an artist within a broader context of appreciating other cultural perspectives, understanding social and environmental factors, as well as plugging into a multi-discipline creative network.
  • To better understand the regional art sector, including visual arts, and to begin building working relationships with key individuals.
  • Improve presentation skills.
  • Agree an action plan for each participant to work towards engaging with a local gallery or festival.

    Week 1: Mon 14th – Thu 17 February 2011: Introductions

    Mon 14th Feb
    12am – 5pm
    The first part of the week will focus on introducing participants to key mac staff. Artists will spend time getting to know each other and key mac curatorial, programming, education and outreach staff.
    Tue 15th Feb
    12am – 5pm
    Visioning and Re-imagining Birmingham through Intercultural Dialogue – Part 1
    The mac artistic policy is symbolic of a new way of re-imagining contemporary Birmingham through Intercultural Dialogue. What do we mean by intercultural dialogue?
    1pm Workshop with sampad chair Ranjit Sondhi
    Wed 16th Feb
    10am – 4pm
    One-to-One Portfolio Review
    Thu 17th Feb
    10am – 4pm
    Visioning and Re-imagining Birmingham through Intercultural Dialogue – Part 2

    11am Coffee with director of mac Dorothy Wilson.

    2pm Case Study: Outreach & Education

    Week 2: Mon 21st – Thu 24th February 2011: The Regional Context

    The second week will involve day trips to Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange Nottingham, and the Herbert in Coventry to focus on how artists plug into the regional sector.

    Introductions and tours given by senior curatorial team members.

    Mon 21st Feb
    12am – 5pm
    Visit to New Art Exchange and Nottingham Contemporary.
    Tue 22nd Feb
    12am – 5pm
    Trip to the Herbert and lunch with Daryl Georgiou.
    Wed 23rd Feb
    10am – 4pm
    One-to-One Portfolio Review
    Thu 24th Feb
    10am – 4pm
    Post-visit discussion on works exhibited, critical responses to them and what this analysis tells us about the target audience, curatorial policy and other agendas sought by the host organisation.

    Case Study: Seeing a City with Fresh Eyes

    A visual presentation of different parts of Birmingham by Mancunian, Alnoor Mitha, director of the 2011 Manchester South Asian Art Triennial, to explore different spaces and places in Birmingham and discuss the opportunities they present to a curator/festival organiser. Will enable participants to think about alternative presentation strategies and how to incorporate their work within a thematic framework.

    Week 3: Mon 28th Feb – Thu 3rd Mar 2011: Meeting Local Artists

    This week will introduce successful artists/curators who work in the region. They will discuss and present their work, talk about their experiences and offer advice. It is hoped that in this informal setting participants will find these engagements inspiring and show them encourage them to raise their standard of what is achievable. Topics may include; the pros and cons of forming a collective, getting access to funding and other resources, cross-art collaborations, how to network, and how to survive during the recession.

    Mon 28th Feb
    12am – 5pm
    Business Skills Workshop
    Tue 1st Mar
    12am – 5pm
    Visit to IKON Gallery and IKON Eastside for guided tour with local artist.
    Wed 2nd Feb
    10am – 4pm
    One-to-One Portfolio Review – Identifying Learning Opportunities
    Thu 3rd Feb
    10am – 4pm
    What is Fierce! festival?

    One of the region’s most innovative and exciting contemporary art festivals is always reinventing itself every few years. The festival’s newest artistic directors, Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison, will discuss how Fierce! positions itself regionally and nationally.

    Visit from New Art Gallery Walsall.

    Week 4: Mon 4th – Thu 7th April 2011: Review & Planning Ahead

    Mon 4th – Thu 7th April 2011 A refresh and review of what has been seen and discussed both at mac and Walsall New Art Gallery.

    Identify and agree a core theme or series of themes that can be explored in an artist-led lab.

    Identify and agree partner artists or organisations.

    Identify and agree team roles.

    Agree budget, resourcing and tech issues.


    Marketing & Publicity

    Participants present to the mac team, in full detail, a project outline of the Artist’s Lab to be delivered later in the year.

    One-to-one feedback sessions.

    Final Presentations in front of invited local artists, curators, funders and arts organisations.

    Week 5: Mon 16th – Fri 20th May 2011: Artist Led Lab

    The penultimate week will be led primarily by the 8 participating artists involved and will be open to other artists in the region. To build their presentations skills, participants will design and deliver a series of discrete or collaborative workshop/event/podcast based on their findings on how local artists can engage within a diverse urban cultural context. These sessions will enable participants to talk about their work and ideas within different contexts.

    Guests who will drop in, listen, and make their contribution to the proceedings throughout the week.

    By the end of the week participants will identify a proposal they wish to develop in coming months. They will receive significant feedback from Taz who will include comments passed on by peers and guest visitors.