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Wheatley Fine Art Fellowship Announcement

Birmingham School of Art and Eastside Projects are delighted to announce artist and illustrator Sofia Niazi as the winner of the Wheatley Art Fellowship.

The £9,000 tax-free stipend fellowship is intended to give a practitioner time and resources to develop new work and ideas alongside staff and students at Birmingham City University’s prestigious Birmingham School of Art.

Sofia will be provided with a studio at the School and access to extensive facilities. In the second semester Sofia will work with a group of second year undergraduate students on a project. For the first time the Fellowship will connect with Eastside Projects and develop, with curatorial support towards a solo exhibition with Eastside Projects in their Second Gallery space in September 2019.

The Fellowship has been created by Birmingham City University in conjunction with the Trustees of the Wheatley Estate and is the outcome of a generous bequest by the late Richard Wheatley.

“Being selected for the Wheatley Fellowship is hugely exciting” Sofia said afterwards. “I’m looking forward to making the most of all the opportunities it offers and to dedicating time to developing a new set of technical skills.”

“I’m interested in researching and developing work around housing in the city and learning more about the visual culture surrounding it. I’m also hoping to develop a collaborative publishing project with students at Birmingham School of Art. It’s great to be working with Eastside Projects having followed their work for a while, I’m really looking forward to the year ahead!”

Gavin Wade, Director of Eastside Projects said “Sofia’s artworks are so vibrant and alive, using comic book style drawing as part of a larger social practice that both challenges and celebrates cultural traditions and politics in ways that make a difference right now. We can’t wait to see how her year in Birmingham grows new ideas, makes deep connections, and develops into a special show with us.”