Cream of local talent goes on show at Gas Gallery

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A new open exhibition aimed at highlighting local talent goes on show at the Gas Gallery/Oriel Nwy in Aberystwyth this weekend.

Organisers had to choose from more than 200 entries from 90 artists sent in from around Ceredigion.

One of the selectors was Mary Lloyd Jones, also a co-founder of the volunteer-led gallery which opened in July this year. She told me: “The enthusiasm for the open exhibition and the gallery has been really heartening.

“I’ve been involved in an awful lot of art society exhibitions in the past and I have never seen such a high standard. There has been a real variety of approaches and the artists have seemed very honest in their work.

“It’s nice to see original pieces that are in no way derivative and we have some small installations as well as sculpture.”

The exhibition has been run along similar lines to the renowned Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, with entries open to any artist living in Ceredigion.

The selectors, Mary Lloyd Jones, Jill Piercy and Roy Marsden, agreed that the standard was high and that Oriel Nwy has so far provided a much-needed space for enabling good quality local contemporary art to be displayed alongside other creative activities.

Mary added: “We are staffed and funded entirely by volunteers and it has been very pleasing to see the level of local support but we do need continued support to be able to stay open in the future.

“At the moment we only have a licence until next year but we are optimistic that we will be able to apply for some kind of arts funding and keep the momentum and the enthusiasm going.

“This gallery is something I have been campaigning for in Aberystwyth since the 1970s so it would be a shame to see it go.”

Local sculptor Alison Lochhead, who was involved in negotiating the use of the old gas showroom with the owners of the property, Ceredigion County Council, said: “The Oriel Nwy success has exceeded all our expectations, because it is so user friendly and accessible to pedestrians, it has already attracted over 3,000 visitors.

“Instead of being yet another empty building in town it is now a vibrant meeting place and hub for artists of all disciplines.

“It has proved to be all that we hoped for, the perfect venue for the talent and inspiration of art in Ceredigion and further afield”.

The open exhibition will run until 20 January 2014.

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