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Art in Darlo and Walsall


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Darlaston, otherwise known as Darlo, is part of Walsall; but doesn’t seem to always be remembered by the council when they are spending money. There is a ‘new’ art gallery in Walsall that aspires to hosting the Turner prize, but the work of local artists in Darlo went on display in the library. I went to review it and took a few pictures. These are the watercolours. I thought most of them were good.

The thing I liked about this little exhibition was that it really was work by Darlaston artists. They didn’t ask for work by local artists and then accept work from artists from other parts of the region or even outside the region, which often happens. Maybe Walsall Art Gallery will have a open summer exhibition for these artists and all the artists of Walsall.

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I like the work of this artist and he probably deserves an exhibition of his own. He did win in one class, this picture wasn’t the winner; but I liked it.

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You can sit by the triangular window in the library and watch the (traffic) lights change, a popular pastime in Darlo. Many buildings are multifunctional now. Walsall Art Gallery has a Costa coffee and other functions too. So art doesn’t have to be confined to the art gallery, it is also at home in a library. I have seen rooms in pubs dedicated to art too. All that is needed is a blank space on a wall.

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I admit Darlaston library isn’t the ideal place, but they managed to display the pictures and give the artists some exposure. It could be a step towards an exhibition and proper recognition of their work. We need more open summer exhibitions at art galleries encouraging local talent. It was a shame there wasn’t a section for neodigital art and photography, but at least they tried. What do you think? Should art be the exclusive domain of artists and art graduates or should it be more socially inclusive. Is the council betraying it’s social principles by not having exhibitions for local people? Are they just as snobbish as the London galleries, only wanting the celebrities and the Starbucks crowd?

Please have your say in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter for regular updates. You can also pop over to a zillion ideas to read more about art and lots of other stuff.

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5 responses

  1. Jay

    I love Darlo library. I used to be in there all of the time when I was a kid. We had free library cards for Wolverhampton and Walsall area libraries given to us at school and I was always in Wolves, Bilston or Darlo library. They are fantastic places. I wonder if they still give kids library cards these days? They are missing out if they don’t! Nice post Mike.

    14, August 2013 at 12:53 pm

    • Hi Jay,

      I like Darlo library. The windows were steamed up upstairs, but usually I like to sit and watch the world go by. I was there for the art exhibition though. I thought you had to ask for a library card. Normally you have to live or work in the town too. I haven’t had a card for years. I was visiting Bilston today, I might make it yet. They have a garden party at the craft gallery. There is an icy breeze and a threat of rain at the moment though. Bloody weather!

      14, August 2013 at 2:43 pm

  2. Pingback: The Saturday post | Mike10613's Blog

  3. Miss Kimbley

    Walsall Art Gallery have point blank refused to allow Darlaston Artclub to exhibit there, if anyone would like to take this up with them, then please do.

    18, August 2013 at 1:56 am

    • Hi Miss Kimbley,

      I think most art galleries would refuse, but they should have an open art exhibition. They can accept local entries and then exhibit the ones that they choose. I think they have to have an acceptable standard, although whether a pickled sheep comes up to such a standard I don’t know. I think point blank refusal while spending a small fortune chasing after the privilege of hosting the Turner prize could indicate just a little snobbishness though. I reviewed the Pachacuti Ten exhibition at Walsall Art Gallery and the Darlaston Art Club exhibition at the library. I’m no snob! 🙂

      18, August 2013 at 11:55 am

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