The last big High Sherif night of 2015/16 was the occasion to celebrate the Arts and Creative theme of the year. Following the Garden Party awards last summer we had such positive feedback that we thought we should do something similar to end the year of art and creative work in the county. With 2016 being Year of Youth Arts – YAY! We will celebrated with much creative work that is contributing to our Midlands social and cultural lives with this exhibition and High Sheriff awards. Pictures of the many attendees by Herbert Walters are below. The exhibition continues and workshops with west midlands artists are happening in the space until the 10th April.
The High Sheriff’s speech
Thank you Anita. And Welcome all. So great to see so many people here that we’ve met over the year. Youth Arts, culture and creative industries has been my focus and what better place to gather to celebrate young people’s achievements than this magnificent Museum. These galleries are extensions to the original museum by John Feeny in 19012 – one of my charitable trusts that still support artistic projects in 2016 – real civic contributions that we have encouraged all year.
Its been eye opener of a year with so many formal Shrieval, Judicial, mayoral and Royal engagements. And so many West Midlands arts and creative events from the first show with the People’s Orchestra in West Brom to last week’s Selfridges globe competition won by Nansen primary School pupils in Alum Rock, with a fantastic range of work from the west Midlands in between.
One of my responsibilities has been to support and entertain visiting judges and I’m very happy to say we have shown them the best cultural, creative and culinary offers the county has to offer. Only last week we received a hand written letter of thanks from Justice Patterson who is taking many fond memories of Birmingham home with her. Tonight we are honoured to maintain this tradition by welcoming Judge Andrews and Evans Gordon who are currently sitting in the crown court and our very own Birmingham Recorder HHJ Melbourne Inman. You are most welcome judges.
Last May many of you attended our Garden party in the Library over looking the city. It was a heart warming celebration of our young people from communities across the county with the High Sheriff Mayoral Awards. It also featured work of young artists and creatives and the launch of BCC’s Creative Futures strategy.
We had such positive feedback that we thought we should do something similar to end the year of art and creative work that brings people together. With 2016 being Year of Youth Arts – YAY! We will kick off with much creative work that is contributing to our Midlands social and cultural lives with this exhibition and the upcoming awards.
So please enjoy the work around the walls, much of it inspired by the great collection in the other galleries. Interactive installations encourage your participation and photo, films and animations show the digital talent of so many of our young west midlanders. The YAY projects have encouraged young people to see their city ‘thru their eyes’ by using their smart phone photo and video cameras so upstairs see the world from this height. Further work will be added as the show grows over the next 6 weeks with youth and school workshops led by many midland artists.
Thanks to Ellen and the BMAG team for hosting the exhibition and all the hard work they have provided to support Graham Peet who has curated and coordinated the show and the children and young people who have already contributed their artistic skills and talents. Thanks also to the Arts Council, City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Connect for funding. Thanks to Grand Central, MAIA and Some Cities for the YAY projects and the universities of Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham City, lecturers and students who have taken the 100’s and 100o’s opportunity to be inspired by much of the collection that hangs in the museum, but also the history of the High Sheriff and past portraiture. One student Binga WU had not come across Shrieval court dress and the ‘ruffs’ before, and has embarked on a personal project herself. We look forward to seeing how that develops in 21st century fashion. Thanks also to all the nominating bodies who you will hear from shortly. And to Selfridges for the wonderful schools globe exhibit selected from the 10 participating schools, and their generous sponsorship of the refreshments.
Before we get to the awards I wanted to thank everyone who has supported our West MIdland High Sheriff Arts and Creative year – we hope we have created a little High Sheriff legacy that can be built upon in years to come by the incoming Sheriffs together with our public and private partners as we encourage the many and varied talents of this region to go forth throughout the county, and beyond.
You should all have a programme and with it a charity envelope and I would be most grateful if you might donate for our chosen charities the Koestler and John Feeny trusts. Thanks for coming tonight and Now on with the awards. ….. Maisie