Student Programme

The Barber is proud to sit within the University of Birmingham campus. Find out about the student events, workshops and collaborative projects we run below.

Upcoming Events:

A Cracking Christmas: A Free Drop-in Craft Workshop

Location: Christmas Marquee under Old Joe

Thursday 30 November 2023, 11am – 4pm 

A purple Christmas cracker hand printed with a gold snowflake design. Snowflake stamps and a gold ink pad are scattered below. Part of a silver paper crown is shown in the top left.

Get ready to kick off the festive period with a bang! Join us to craft your own custom Christmas Cracker.

On 30 November, we'll be in the Christmas marquee on campus, right under Old Joe. Expect treats, surprises, and plenty of festive cheer.

We can't wait to see you there and get into the holiday spirit!

This free online workshop is for University of Birmingham students, and no prior crafting experience is needed; all materials will be provided.

If you have any questions about access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us at

Colouring Outside the Lines: Celebrating Neurodiversity in Art

Free Online Creative Writing
and Drawing Workshop

Tuesday 5 December 2023, 7 - 8:30 pm 

colouring pencils and sharpenings over the top of a coloured in square

Join the Barber Institute of Fine Arts this Disability History Month for an experimental online drawing and creative writing workshop celebrating Neurodiversity, creativity and the power of thinking differently.

This workshop will delve into the work of Vincent Van Gogh and introduce you to the practices of contemporary Neurodiverse artists and practitioners. Drawing on these artists' work we will engage in relaxed discussion – stimulating ideas before leading you through creative exercises that appreciate the beauty of diversity in thought.

Connect with like-minded students and uncover the transformative power of art to promote and open up dialogue around well-being and mental health. Book your place now and receive your joining details.

This free online workshop is for University of Birmingham students, and no prior drawing or creative writing experience is needed. There will be fun experimental exercises to get the artistic juices flowing. 

If you have any questions about access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us at

Student Collaborations

College of Medical and Dental Sciences - Reclaiming Narratives

An ongoing creative project between the Barber and University of Birmingham Medical Science students and staff that explores and celebrates the hidden voices and histories behind the College of Medical and Dental Sciences (MDS).

Reclaiming: The Report (2023)

MDS students! Joined poet Adrian B. Earle and artist Kirsty Clarke for a series of creative workshops to make their own micro-form protest poems and visual artworks in response to the recent Disabled Students’ Commission Report.

Disabled students at the University want to speak out and be heard!

Read more here.

Reclaiming: The Portrait (2022)

Students joined award-winning artist and photographer Marley Starskey Butler for a three-part portraiture workshop to capture and celebrate the lives and stories around the school, reflecting on the portraits on display around the college.

Read more here. 

Reclaiming: The Foxglove (2021)

Students and staff from MDS joined forces with the Barber to explore herbalism's forgotten voices and tales through a series of creative workshops.

Read more here.

Explore the Archive

Student Worskhop - Print Club

Barber Print Club 2023

A hands-on monthly printmaking workshop with local artist Laura Onions.

Laura guided students through the skills needed to create their own beautiful, printed artwork inspired by the Barbers collection.


The Barber Write-in Residency with writer and poet Adrian B. Earle

Students joined Birmingham-based writer and poet Adrian B. Earle for a series of workshops to ‘reimagine’ the Barber through ekphrastic writing and blackout poetry. They weaved wonders from the gallery walls, using creative writing to reimagine the space, the art, and its narratives.

This event took place in 2022.

For family event on 13 July

The Dangerous Novel: Printmaking with artist Laura Onions

To celebrate International Women’s Day, students joined artist Laura Onions for a printmaking workshop that revelled in the power of ‘the novel’, inspired by the Barber’s painting, The Reader, 1817, by Marguerite Gérard.

This event took place in March 2022.


Queering the Collection X CineQ with Dr Greg Salter

CineQ, a Birmingham-based queer film festival, held an evening of short films in response to the Barber’s Alexander the Great painting by the Master of the Griselda Legend, c.1494, examining notions of power, masculinity, and gender expression.

Lecturer in History of Art, Dr Gregory Salter, introduced the evening with a queer reading of the work.

This event took place in July 2021.

Find out more here.


Protest Poetry Writing Workshop with poet, writer and activist Bethany Slinn

Students joined writer and spoken word artist Bethany Slinn for a protest poetry writing workshop inspired by Joan Miró’s stencil print, Help Spain (Aidez L’Espagne) created in 1937.

We examined the power of the written word and reflected on the right to peaceful protest.

This event took place in May 2021.

Find out more here.

Kaajel promo instastory

Here Comes the Sun with artist and performer Kaajel Patel

Inspired by André Derain’s drawing La Chute de Phaëton (The Fall of Phaeton) 1905, students joined artist Kaajel Patel for an uplifting experimental dance workshop, exploring the energy of the drawn line and the power of the sun.

This event took place in March 2021.

Find out more here.

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