A new exhibition has been launched at a Coventry art gallery as it builds towards UK City of Culture 2021.

Thirteen Ways of Looking has been unveiled at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, bringing together 13 artists and curators to create a ‘magical’ experience for visitors.

The show, which aims to challenge conventional thinking on a range of issues, includes six new commissions by artists from the West Midlands alongside selected key art works made by members of the Blk Art Group, highlighting its important connections to Coventry including the initial meeting of group members Eddie Chambers and Keith Piper in the city 40 years ago.

Six early career artists from the West Midlands and seven established artists and curators have been selected because of the diversity of their work and their different experiences and backgrounds. The work challenges where art is exhibited and who is being addressed.

The development of the exhibition has included professional development and mentoring for the early career artists, to support and help them create new work, particularly in the current crisis.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri through the New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, in association with Coventry Biennial.

Francis Ranford, Cultural & Creative Director of Culture Coventry, said: “Thirteen Ways of Looking is a powerful and pertinent exhibition which presents a montage of perspectives by a diverse group of artists and curators. Sylvia has curated a show where themes and lived experiences intersect and intertwine to create something quite magical.”

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum’s opening hours are normal (10am until 4pm, Monday to Saturday and midday to 4pm on Sunday) although visitors are advised to arrive before 3pm to ensure entry.

All visitors are required to wear a face mask and the venue is required to collect NHS Test & Trace data.

Francis added: “The team have worked incredibly hard to ensure that The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is a very safe environment for our visitors and we can’t wait to welcome people to this new exhibition.

“We know these have been incredibly tough times for everyone but now, more than ever, art and culture has an important role to play in people’s lives and that is why we were so keen to get this new show open in a safe and secure way for the public.”

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