Birmingham art gallery
Co-Directors, Anna Katarzyna Domejko & Karolina Korupczynska. Photo by Marcin Sz

Birmingham has a new art gallery! On April 13 2024, Stryx Gallery will open its doors in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The female-led space will sell a carefully curated selection of affordable contemporary art by local artists, and offer a programme of talks, workshops and events.

Behind this exciting new venture are two Co-Directors and local artists who studied at Birmingham City University: Anna Katarzyna Domejko and Karolina Korupczynska. 

It was after graduating in 2012 that Korupczynska, with 7 other alumni from Margaret Street, founded Stryx Minerva Works in Digbeth. Domejko also joined Stryx in its early days, when it was a self-funded gallery with studios and exhibition space for emerging and mid-career artists in the city. 

The gallery has since evolved to become a diverse non-profit organisation with Arts Council England funding and a second venue, Stryx JQ in the Jewellery Quarter, which opened in 2023. 

Birmingham art gallery
The founders of the Birmingham art gallery are also artists

Now a driving force in shaping the future of contemporary art in the region, Domejko and Korupczynska are keen that Stryx maintains its ethos while taking a crucial next step in representing Birmingham’s creative talent further.

The idea for the gallery’s new commercial arm has grown out of development programmes, including mentoring schemes and residencies, which have had a hugely positive impact on participating artists. It will also build on the success of an online shop which was launched in 2020 to sell original artworks and collectable editions from their portfolio of award-winning artists. 

With an understanding of artists’ needs and how to ensure their progression, the Co-Directors’ vision for Stryx Gallery is that it will enable local talent to not only start, but sustain, successful creative careers in Birmingham. They commented:

“We want it to be a space where artists can grow. We usually start working with artists through one of our residency or artist development programmes, for which they are paid appropriately, and this is important to us. We then typically support them further through our studio provision, online shop and Home Grown programme that is focused on developing artists’ professional practice for commercial success. 

They also want to create a welcoming gallery for collectors, including those new to buying art:

“Because we are both artists and migrants ourselves, and know the feeling of not belonging, we want the space to be open and welcoming, where people can chat to us and the artists”. 

Stryx Gallery will provide an opportunity for people to buy and invest in a carefully curated selection of affordable art from emerging and mid-career artists. Items will include originals, prints, photography and collectibles, with prices ranging from £30 – £1000. The Co-Directors said: “We intend that works for sale will be a good investment in the next 5-10 years”. 

With a history of supporting and developing their artists’ career progression, Stryx already has several success stories, including that of Ian Andrews whose residency at the gallery resulted in a touring exhibition, international shows and a number of awards. Izzie Arrowsmith whose recent participation in a Graduate Window Residency resulted in a large international commercial commission. 

Meanwhile, studio holder Alex Billingham has developed several projects at Stryx, leading to several successful residencies and shows across the country, including a major exhibition currently being staged at The New Art Gallery Walsall.

Other artists being represented by the gallery in the first instance include: Lucy Andrews, Abdulrazaq Awofeso, Gabriella Broadley, B4g_lord, Molly Cleaver, Jemima Graham, Paul Newman, Lexi Strauss and Boglarka Toth.

Birmingham art gallery
Lucy Andrews, ‘Pearl Diver (bringing in a catch);, oil on aluminium, 2019

Stryx Gallery will open with a group exhibition, featuring these 10 artists from across the West Midlands, whose practice spans painting, printmaking and photography. Following this, a dynamic programme will allow a different artist to exhibit in the space every 6 months or so. 

Exhibitions will be accompanied by an active public programme, to include a first panel discussion on ‘How to start an art collection’, taking place on the evening of Thursday 25 April.

Connecting artists and collectors, Stryx Gallery will bring to life a vision to make art affordable for everyone, while supporting local, emerging and award-winning talent. 

Birmingham art gallery

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