This year’s four-venue New Art West Midlands exhibition opens to the public on 18 February with galleries in Birmingham, Worcester and Wolverhampton hosting artworks by 31 recently graduated artists.

Featuring work by artists who have graduated from the region’s six art schools within the last three years, for the first time graduates from Hereford College of Arts join those from Birmingham City University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, Staffordshire University, and Coventry University.

Now in its fifth year, over 180 artists applied to take part in the exhibition. The selectors for 2017 were: Jason E. Bowman, artist, curator and lecturer at University of Gothenburg; curator and writer Angela Kingston; and the Birmingham-based artist Barbara Walker.

The featured artists in this year’s exhibition work in a wide range of media, with painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, animation and digital works all represented.

Birmingham City University graduate Yazmin Boyle will be presenting her three-metre-long steel sculptures, Orbita (2016), at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Fellow BCU graduate Megan Evans uses make-up to create portraits of women having cosmetic surgery.

Kate Morgan-Clare, a graduate of Hereford College of Arts who was featured in last year’s a-n Degree Shows Guide, has interviewed second world war evacuees for her installation of paper dresses decorated with fabric prints from the period. Her work also looks at the plight of refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Lorna Brown, also of Hereford College of Arts, uses her photographic practice to explore race and beauty, drawing in part on her own personal experiences of racism growing up in the Forest of Dean.

Other works take on issues such as globalisation, pollution and the decline of industry in the West Midlands.

The exhibition takes place at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Mac Birmingham, Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

New Art West Midlands 2017, 18 February – 14 May 2017.

1. Lorna Brown, Nice Middle Class White Girl (pinholed pigment print). Image courtesy New Art West Midlands 2017
2. Yazmin Boyle, Orbita (2016). Image courtesy of New Art West Midlands 2017
3. Henry Rice, Pondering. Image courtesy of New Art West Midlands 2017
4. Kate Morgan-Clare, Little Hoodie. Image courtesy of New Art West Midlands 2017
5. Bruno Grilo, Sea close by, (sculpture). Image courtesy New Art West Midlands 2017

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