Ikon’s art sale to help artists hit by COVID-19

Art lovers are being urged to dig deep in support of dozens of Birmingham artists who have been hard hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ikon for Artists: Art Sale has been organised by Ikon Gallery, Birmingham’s contemporary art venue, to mark its re-opening on 17 May in line with the easing of lockdown restrictions.

It is devoting the galleries at its Oozells Square site to an exhibition of artworks for sale by more than 250 Birmingham artists.

All of the proceeds from the sales of artwork go directly to the artists themselves. They were invited to submit work in a range of media, from paintings and drawings to sculpture and photography.

Ikon Gallery said Ikon for Artists was formed in response to COVID-19, with the aim of supporting artists whose income has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

Jonathan Watkins, director of the Ikon, said they were encouraging people to “dig deep into their pockets” and support the Art Sale, which runs from 17 to 31 May.

He said: “The Birmingham art scene has been very shaken. The locked down days are most difficult for artists and other freelancers who depend on work generated by local and regional arts venues.

“A city like Birmingham needs a thriving art scene and such investment in the futures of local practitioners will benefit everyone.”

Ikon for Artists launches with a digital event with Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett, who is also a participating artist, sharing his ten favourite works of art with Jonathan Watkins.

Mr Lycett said: “Despite the pandemic, the Birmingham art scene feels like it’s at one of the most exciting junctures in years. The city is teeming with artists.

“It’s terrific that Ikon is giving space to display local art and I’m delighted to be involved, both as an artist and as part of the gallery re-opening.”

Ikon launched an open call last December, inviting Birmingham-based artists to submit one artwork with a value of up to £1,000.

Online booking for tickets to visit Ikon for Artists opens via the website at https://www.ikon-gallery.org/event/ikon-for-artists-art-sale/ on Friday 9 April.

A full list of works will be posted online from Tuesday 4 May with buyers liaising directly with the individual artists. All artworks will be available to view in person in the gallery or on Ikon’s website ikon-gallery.org

By Tony Collins

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