Culture by coach: Five stops on the Art Bus tour as Museums at Night gets rolling in Birmingham

By Mark Sheerin | 14 May 2011
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Three twenty-somethings gaze at a photograph in a gallery
Soaking up the after-hours art at mac in Birmingham© Culture24
During Museums at Night 2011 Culture24 staff and reporters visited night-time events, reporting back with pictures and a few words. We'll be doing the same during the weekend of May 18 - 20 2012. In the meantime here's a taster courtesy of Ikon Gallery; RBSA; MAC; Barber Institute, Birmingham during 2011.

There's been a coach smash on the M5 and I have just spent an hour looking at John Salt's car wreck paintings at Ikon gallery. This doesn't bode well for the Art Bus.

a photo of the side of a coach with a sign on it that reads 'The Art Bus'.
Checking I have the right bus© Mark Sheerin / Culture24
But in fact, it is oversubscribed. Some Japanese students are turned away and we head off for the RBSA. Birmingham's answer to the Royal Academy is a crafter's paradise.

a smiling man and a woman next to a plaque for the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Raghav and Anubha have come from India via Twitter© Mark Sheerin / Culture24
Soon we are barrelling through an estate in Edgbaston on the way to MAC. The recently refurbished arts centre hosts photography by Simon Roberts and sculpture by Doug Jones.

a photo of a bus interior looking out onto a darkened street
Bright lights, big city: the view from the bus© Mark Sheerin / Culture24
a photo of a bus interioir with two smiling young men in the foreground
Leo and Sean on board the Art Bus© Mark Sheerin / Culture24
Another short hop takes us to the Barber Institute. Here tour guide John takes us through an entire history of Western painting in about 40 minutes. The collection is exhilarating and difficult to leave.

a photo of a man in a darkened gallery with fabric adorned tailor's busts in the foreground
Robin from Litchfield checks out Doug Jones' show© Mark Sheerin / Culture24
The coach stops at Ikon and then takes a hardcore few to a warehouse party in a gallery in Digbeth. I stick around until the dancefloor fills and then head home. This passenger needs to crash.

a photo of two djs fiddling around with decks and laptops
The party at Vivid combined old skool acid house with cake© Mark Sheerin / Culture24
Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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