The North Wales art scene is often overlooked and yet has been attracting artists with its awe inspiring scenery for hundreds of years. The mountain peeks, hidden forest glades and soft bays remain a constant source of inspiration for contemporary, local artists.
British art experienced a period of Romanticism in the 18th and 19th century and a greater popularity for the transcendent, dramatic beauty of natural landscapes. This led more artists to visit Wales and encouraged local artists to stay in the region such as Thomas Jones. The trend of Celtic revival is apparent in one of his most famous works ‘The Bard 1774’. Snowdonia and Anglesey are well known for attracting photographers, artists and poets all year round. There are many hidden gems in the North Wales mountain ranges that are favourites of artists such as Fairy Glen and Offa’s Dyke.
North Wales is home to many, highly varied galleries for visitors to explore.
Mostyn Llandudno Gallery Location: 12 Vaughan St, Llandudno LL30 1AB
Mostyn is one of the most popular galleries in North Wales. It has 6 contemporary galleries all featuring Welsh art. The exhibitions change seasonally so there is always a new experience available. This summer, from 27th April-7th July 2013 the exhibition ‘You’ addresses the odd relationship between artist and viewer.
Royal International Pavilion Llangollen Location: Llangollen Pavilion, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SW
In addition to holding conferences, workshops etc, the Pavilion is home to a free-admission art gallery on weekdays with two resident art organisations: North East Wales Dance and International Musical Eisteddfod.
Ruthin Craft Centre Location: Ruthin Craft Centre, The Centre for the Applied Arts, Park Road, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 1BB
Ruthin Craft centre has a free gallery with regularly changing exhibitions, a retail gallery where you can purchase unique works of art, studios where various artists make and display their creations, from jewellery to stoneware and most are for sale. There are also a number of workshops to attend, you could learn to create flowers and toys or take a class in fabric painting.
Potter’s Gallery Location: 1 High St, Conwy LL32 8DB
20 regional creators display their ceramic works for sale.
Gwynedd Art Gallery Location: Ffordd Gwynedd, Bangor LL57 1DT
Gwynedd Art gallery has stood in its location since 1963; it’s completely free and features local and touring exhibitions.
Ffin Y Parc Location: Ffin Y Parc Country House & Gallery, Betws Road, Llanrwst, Conwy LL26 0PT
Ffin Y Parc features Welsh artists, changing exhibitions plus a 20th century contemporary art collection.
Oriel Ger Y Fenai Location: Oriel Ger Y Fenai, Holyhead Road, Llanfairpwll, Ynys Mon LL61 5YQ
This gallery displays art works from a great number of Welsh artists such as Anwen Roberts, Phillip Snow and the works of Sir Kyffin Williams, possibly Wales’ and Anglesey’s most famous painter. Prints and framing are available.
The Old Bank Gallery Location: The Tabernacle Chapel, 116 Upper Mostyn St, Llandudno, Conwy, LL30 2SP
Located in a historic little chapel in Llandudno and presenting the works of Christine Garwood. It includes watercolours, acrylics, oil paintings, pen & ink work, pastel and silk paintings.
Gallery Tudno Lodge Location: 66 Church Walks, Llandudno LL30 2HG
This is a gallery with a different atmosphere as it is based in a house. The home owners allow people to come and view the creations of local Llandudno and North Wales Coast artists.
Rhyl Create Location: Gallery 36, Kinmel St, Rhyl
Founded in 2004, Rhyl Create is a community, non for profit art project that offers workshops for those with art hobbies and supports local artists.
Sanctuary Gallery Location: Just outside the village of Froncysllte on the A5 LL20 7PU
The Sanctuary is a free gallery with a warm and friendly ambiance displaying the works of Robin Bradbury.
North Wales is historically rich as well as artistically. Beyond the contemporary and 18th century art pieces North Wales is a place with much ancient and prehistoric art. Cave drawings and tools of Bronze Age humans have been recently found in the Clwydian Range. Art and sculpture from many time periods can be found all over North Wales because it is filled with ‘sacred places’ both Druid and early Christian. From the Holy wells scattered throughout Welsh villages to Gop Hill, an ancient man-made monument of much historical speculation. Clearly the landscape of North Wales has inspired its artists from all eras.