A long-overdue new initiative launched in Wales earlier this summer sees the first country-wide Celebration of Welsh Contemporary Painting, on show in Pembrokeshire College and at the Oriel y Parc Gallery in St David’s.
The 2019 event, involving six galleries from Merthyr Tydfil to St David’s has grown from a smaller experimental event run two years ago in Glasbury-on-Wye and Merthyr. The exhibition is the brainchild of the late Pete Goodridge, who had for many years believed that the amazing range of work by current Welsh painters was lamentably overlooked and should be celebrated in a biennial exhibition.
That initial event in two galleries in Merthyr featured the work of 13 artists – from significant living painters to the next generation of up and coming artists – and achieved the project’s aim of delivering a successful quality event that attracted increased numbers of visitors and engaged the next generation as schools also became involved.
The fourth and fifth exhibitions in the COWCP series opened on October 4 at Pembrokeshire College and Oriel y Parc Gallery in St David’s and will run until November 30.
The artists whose work can be seen at Oriel y Parc are Shani Rhys James, Mary Lloyd Jones, Martyn Jones, Sally Matthews, Alan Salisbury, Kate Freeman, John Darlison, Cherry Pickles, Michaela Hollyfield and students from Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest.
Running in tandem with Oriel y Parc’s exhibition and in keeping with the ethos of supporting and showcasing the next generation is another at Pembrokeshire College, where students’ work from across the department – from Level 2 to degree level – based on study and analysis of a selection of artists from those exhibiting at the other five galleries.
The final exhibition in the series will run at the Futures Gallery in Cardiff from November 4 to 30, and the exhibition at Brecon’s Andrew Lamont Gallery continues until November 17.