Search is on for the next generation of artists in Birmingham

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery launches Inspire 16 competition

Budding artists of the future aged 11-19 are being invited to show off their skills in a new competition being organised by Birmingham Museum& Art Gallery, with the winners’ work set to take pride of place at the centre of this year’s Gas Hall summer show!

The new competition, Inspire 16, has been created by the Birmingham Museums team to give young artists a superb platform for developing their skills and showcasing their work in the city’s top art gallery.  With their work being displayed in the same building as some of the world’s finest paintings, sculptures and artefacts, this is a unique springboard for young creatives.

“The art we display here is fantastically diverse – from traditional paintings to modern sculpture –such as the owl designed by local street artist Temper that proved to be superbly popular last year as part of the Big Hoot – and in this competition we’re similarly looking for a diverse range of entries, from photography and fashion to film and performance art,” comments Andrew Fowles, Learning & Access Manager for Birmingham Museums Trust.  “Young people have a unique perspective on beauty and aesthetics, and their younger lives influence the adult artist that they become, so it is particularly exciting to see what they come up with.”

The artwork does not need to have been created specifically for this competition, but all entries must be submitted as either a photograph or a digital file for assessment by a panel of judges, with a 35-50 word statement about the piece.  The overall winner will win an iPad Air and have their work take centre stage in the summer show in the gallery’s renowned exhibition space, the Gas Hall, and will be joined by other shortlisted pieces.

The judges will be looking for works that fits the theme of the competition: “What inspires you?”  The competition is open to anyone aged 11 – 19 at the closing date (Friday 3 June 2016) with a Birmingham postcode. 

“In recent years, the youngest artists’ works on display have been the university graduates taking part in New Art West Midlands – and indeed, the current exhibition continues until 15 May in the Waterhall, so could provide some great inspiration for entrants.  Who knows, the winner of this new competition could eventually return as a graduate, or indeed, have their works join our permanent collections!” adds Lynsey Rutter, Community Engagement Team Leader at Birmingham Museums Trust.

For more details on how to enter, please visit


Notes to Editors

Birmingham Museums Trust is an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council.  It uses the collection of around 800,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city.  Most areas of the collection are designated as being of national importance, including the finest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world.  Attracting over one million visits a year, the Trust’s venues include Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, Arts Council England plans to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel:         01904 500698