In 2016 the MA Art History and Curating programme began a new partnership, with Grand Union in Digbeth, Birmingham, which provides a contemporary art dimension to the programme. Students work in collaboration with Grand Union and contemporary artists to co-curate a contemporary art exhibition.
Grand Union supports and presents innovative artistic and curatorial practice. They believe that a strong artistic community is an essential part of an integrated city. They work with artists, curators and writers placing emphasis on commissioning new art, supporting career development and encouraging experimentation. Grand Union is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation.
Core to Grand Union’s mission is the talent development of artists, curators and audiences. It has supported artists including Laura Oldfield Ford, Mitra Saboury and Mat Parkin to create entirely new bodies of work for their exhibitions at Grand Union. It also provides visual artists in the city with affordable, purpose built studio space. Grand Union studio holders have exhibited their work prolifically throughout the UK including institutions such as Bluecoat, Spacex, Workplace, Spike Island, Tate St. Ives and The New Art Gallery Walsall. They have taken part in residencies with the University of Birmingham, Leamington Pump Rooms and The National Trust. Studio holders regularly work internationally, including Aarhus, Stockholm, Oslo, Bordeaux, Greece and Milan.
Grand Union is committed to developing curatorial talent through a programme of employment, mentoring and toolkits. It has nurtured the practices of emerging curators, providing a platform for the presentation of their work, or through learning and reflection on its innovative Curatorial Curriculum. Grand Union engages the public with this work through an ambitious programme of exhibitions, talks and events in its Gallery and elsewhere. Its programming team provide mentoring to graduates, nurturing them through the difficult transition between graduating and becoming an independent artist or curator.
Visit the Grand Union Website