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Ikon Gallery

This dynamic gallery combines a passion for the avant-garde with a commitment to making contemporary art more accessible.

The Ikon Gallery has been a fixture of Birmingham’s art scene for decades and remains as relevant and cutting edge as ever. Step inside this beautifully refashioned neo-gothic schoolhouse and come face to face with the energy, insight and occasional grotesquerie of contemporary art.

The gallery began in 1964, when a small group of artists and supporters met and devised a new concept intended to challenge the local art world: a “gallery without walls.” They wanted to provide a home for art that was both adventurous and accessible to the broader public. Their first location was a glass-walled kiosk on the Bullring. Today, you can find the gallery housed among the glitzy offices and restaurants of the Brindleyplace development in Birmingham’s Westside. Admire the impressive brick exterior.

Explore two floors of contemporary exhibitions, filled with all manner of media. Sculpture, sound, photography and painting all find a home at the Ikon. Jesse Bruton, Trevor Denning and Cornelia Parker are some of the famous artists who have exhibited at Ikon. Visit now to see the next generation of avant-garde artists in the making.

Ikon is dedicated to education as well as exhibition. As you take in the art on display, make use of the comprehensive background information that the gallery has prepared. You can also attend a variety of seminars, workshops and talks. Attend an artists’ talk and learn about what inspired their work. Take a masterclass and learn techniques from professionals. Children can take part in hands-on activities. Parents with toddlers can also attend special sessions.

Visit the gallery shop to buy postcards, gifts, art journals and books by local authors. Stop by the gallery’s eatery, which specializes in British cuisine such as sausages and mash.

The Ikon Gallery is located just 1.4 miles (2 kilometers) from Birmingham’s town center and is easily accessible by bus and train. There is undercover parking nearby available for a fee. Entry is free but donations are encouraged.


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