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Midlands Art Papers (MAP) – a collaboration between the University of Birmingham’s History of Art Department and cultural practitioners from 13 partner museums and galleries across the Midlands – is launching the fourth issue of its open-access journal. 

Marley Starskey Butler, Where Do I Know You From / Home © the artist

Photograph of an old woman next to a photograph of a shed in a barren landscape. Marley Starskey Butler, Where Do I Know You From / Home © the artist

The Midlands Arts Papers are being launched at a free online event on Wednesday 12 May from 1-3.30pm, Art and Belonging in the West Midlands, co-hosted by our partners at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. The event will explore one of the main themes from the forthcoming issue of Midland Art Papers: the ways in which art can help us understand what it's like to belong or not belong in different times and places.

The event will provide an exciting opportunity to learn about what it means to be an artist working in the West Midlands today, and how artists’ relationships with the region relate to their practice. There will be an exciting panel of artists and art professionals will be speaking at the event, including Mark Essen, Marley Starskey Butler, Dawinder Bansal, Hannah Taylor, and Maggie Ayliffe. 

Dr Sophie Hatchwell, Lecturer in History of Art and MAP Editor says: "This issue of MAP showcases the amazing research conducted by my Art Histories colleagues and our museum and gallery partners across the region. Collectively, the articles in this journal explore the role that art can play in fostering a sense of belonging, a crucial issue in both contemporary art practice in the West Midlands, and for our historical collections too.”

Carol Thompson, Senior Curator at Wolverhampton Art Gallery says: “Wolverhampton Art Gallery is delighted to host the launch of Midlands Art Papers issue 4. Spring will be an exciting time for the Arts as we finally come out of lockdown, so this event is an amazing opportunity to discover what being a contemporary artist in the Midlands feels like right now. Wolverhampton is proud to be one of the host cities of British Art Show 9 next January and the MAP4 launch paves the way for many more invigorating explorations of contemporary art throughout the coming months.

Register for the free event

Through exhibitions, events and the dedicated online journal, MAP produces new research about the world-class art collections held by public galleries across the region, and works to showcase the curatorial, learning and inclusion work of its partner institutions. With this work, we seek to champion, develop and protect the region’s artistic culture and heritage at a time when this important work is increasingly under threat.  Current and past issues are available here.

MAP’s partner institutions include the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham Museums Trust, The Collection (Lincoln), Derby Museums, Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, The New Art Gallery, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Research and Cultural Collections (University of Birmingham), Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Wolverhampton Art Gallery.