Artefact is an independent art gallery and cafe in Stirchley, Birmingham. Described as a “wonderful mix of poetry, art, home-made cakes and coffee”, it has been running since March 2017. Its reputation has been growing steadily, and it uses its space to help new graduates and emerging artists accrue experience.
Art and socialising require good quality fuel, so food and drink are available. Tea and coffee are served, and a small food selection includes sandwiches – bread supplied by local bakery Loaf, “the jewel of Stirchley” – and treats such as rocky road and cake. Beer also features prominently, and why not? – the name ‘Artefact’ was apparently born after a few rounds in The British Oak nearby and each month it showcase different brews from small independent breweries.
But art is Artefact’s main focus. Artists such as Nadia Kisseleva and Alicia Rodriguez have showcased their work here, and you will find art in many mediums. Artefact describes itself as a “highly political space” and works with people with “strong views”. This can lead to heated debates, which all take place in good faith. The venue provides the perfect platform for the expression of ideas by likeminded people.
The Artefact community is one big, warm family, from working artists to people with an interest in art to those merely looking for something to do. The door is open to all. This approach is embodied by the regular table-top board-game evenings, where a wide range of people meet up to share a laugh. The night makes it easy for people to meet who might not otherwise. The people and atmosphere in Artefact makes it easy for you to relax, making strangers seem like old friends.
If you are in the area, why not stop off? You can look at the art and get yourself a drink and a bite, too. You will find that Artefact is full of character and characters. It’s a place that will open its arms and welcome you into the family like a long-lost relative. Regardless of who you are, everyone has a seat at the table.
The Artefact website or Facebook page provides the full line-up of upcoming events. Some of the most popular have been a synthesizer workshop with Roxie Collins and a walking tour of Stirchley with James Kennedy.
By Craig Dennis, regional correspondent