Front door staff including Christopher Twig aka Twiggy at Sundessential at The Que Club, by Paul Barton from Sundessential at Pulse
The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) will partially reopen its doors in the new year with an exciting number of events planned.
The popular museum has been shut for nearly two years after it initially closed due to the pandemic, but will reopen in time for the Commonwealth Games.
It has remained shut due to essential electrical works which were needed to be carried out, but the Birmingham Museums Trust has revealed that it plans to open BMAG seven days a week, from 10am – 5pm, next year.
The museum is set to reopen on Thursday, 28 April 2022.
The Round Room, Industrial Gallery, Edwardian Tearooms, and BMAG shop will all reopen, as will Gallery 10 and the Bridge Gallery, while the rest of the museum remains closed for essential work.
What to expect when it reopens
To mark the reopening, the Chamberlain Square venue is being handed over to some of Birmingham’s most exciting creatives.
Here’s the full programme:
We Are Birmingham
With a transformation of the Round Room, the We Are Birmingham exhibition will reflect the people of 21st Century Brum.
Co-curated by Birmingham Museums and a group of six young people from the Don’t Settle organisation in partnership with Beatfreeks, the new display will present a celebration of the city that Birmingham is now as well as aspirations of what the city could become.
Que Club exhibition
A sensory exhibition will also be on display and will celebrate one of Birmingham’s greatest music venues – the Que Club.
The exhibition will feature previously unseen photographs by critically acclaimed photographer Terence Donovan, personal artefacts, archive film footage, flyers and posters.
Reflecting the experiences of the Que Club – from the ravers to the DJs, musicians to staff – the exhibition will encourage visitors and former clubbers to share memories and join in a lively programme of events.
Healing Gardens of Bab
The Healing Gardens of Bab, presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival and produced by Fierce, will be a multidisciplinary programme that uplifts alternative expressions of gender, sexuality and family.
BMAG Fierce will work with leading New Zealand-based artist Sistar S’pacific, aka Rosanna Raymond, who will create a unique installation in collaboration with LGBTQIA+ communities in Birmingham.
Wonderland by Flatpack Projects will explore how cinema has shaped the streets, social lives and dreams of Brummies over the past 125 years. Flatpack plans to map all 100 plus cinemas in the city - from fairgrounds to multiplexes and from South Asian extravaganzas to pop-ups.
The display will showcase photographs and cinema memorabilia, alongside Birmingham’s collection of magic lanterns and optical toys. Visitors can join in by sharing their own cinema-going memories, watch film screenings or take part in drop-in activities.
Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence
From the mid-1980s and over a period of two decades, artist, cultural activist and filmmaker Mukhtar Dar, documented the struggles of Asian and African Caribbean communities against racism. Blacklash: Racism and the Struggle for Self-Defence, by Kalaboration Arts, draws on Mukhtar’s extensive archive of photos, videos and other political ephemera providing a historical context for contemporary anti-racism movements such as Black Lives Matter, as well as encouraging reflection, discussion and debate.
Unprecedented times, developed in partnership with Birmingham City Council’s Public Health Division and Birmingham Museums’ Community Action Panel, will explore survival of the human spirit in public crises past and present.
The display will explore themes of hope and loss featuring historic objects from Birmingham’s collection alongside new work and photograph by Birmingham based artists.
What’s been said about BMAG reopening?
Sara Wajid and Zak Mensah, Co-CEOs of Birmingham Museums Trust said: “The year ahead is really exciting. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has been closed – firstly by the pandemic and then for rewiring – and we’re going to partially reopen in 2022 in time for the Commonwealth Games, and it’s going to feel very different.
“We’ve invited some of the city’s leading creatives and arts organisations to animate the Round Room and Industrial Gallery with vibrant new displays that feel much more immediate. We’ll be touching on themes like popular culture, identity and community and there will be a very warm welcome inviting everyone to join in. We can’t wait!”
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