Oriel Tegfryn celebrates 50th anniversary with summer show

Thursday 15 August 2013, 13:45

Polly March Polly March

This year marks the 50th birthday of Oriel Tegfryn in Menai Bridge, Anglesey, making it north Wales' oldest commercial gallery and the second oldest in Wales - not bad for an arts space that was created by accident.

Back in 1963, gallery founder Gwyn Brown held a sherry morning to raise money for charity and called upon local artists in the area to loan pictures for the event.

It proved such a success and raised so much cash that the Browns decided to open the ground floor of their home to the public and run it as an art gallery, showcasing the very best of local talent, an ethos it continues to this day.

Oriel Tegfryn in Menai Bridge Oriel Tegfryn in Menai Bridge. Image courtesy of Oriel Tegfryn

From those early days, north Wales' most prestigious artists were encouraged to exhibit with the stipulation being that those lucky enough to have their work on show painted for pleasure rather than money. They also had to have proved their creative worth by competing in artistic competitions.

The ensuing years saw exhibitions featuring several members of the Royal Academy and recurrent appearances from Sir Kyffin Williams - a close friend of Mrs Brown - William Selwyn and Gwilym Pritchard.

In 2010 the Brown family sold the gallery to Martin Tinney, who had been running his own gallery in Cardiff since 1992. Since then the two galleries have worked in harmony, exhibiting the cream of contemporary and 20th century Welsh talent both here and beyond.

Cottages at Llanddona by Sir Kyffin Williams Cottages at Llanddona by Sir Kyffin Williams. Image © the artist/courtesy of Oriel Tegfryn

To celebrate Oriel Tegfryn's 50th birthday, the gallery has been running a special summer show.

If you haven't had the chance to catch it yet, it closes on 31 August and features work from many artists who have enjoyed relationships with the gallery over the past half-century.

Visitors can enjoy pieces like Cottages at Llanddona by Sir Kyffin Williams as well as the mixed media work Penllyn and The Grand Canal Venice by William Selwyn, House on the Shore by Donald McIntyre, Llyn Ogwen by Gwilym Prichard and various pieces by Claudia Williams, Karel Lek, Wilf Roberts, Keith Andrew, John Petts and Brenda Chamberlain.

Penllyn, 2013 by William Selwyn Penllyn by William Selwyn. Image © the artist, courtesy of Oriel Tegfryn

For those keen to spot pieces by Wales’ most celebrated 20th century artists, the collection includes examples by Gwen John, Augustus John, David Jones, Ceri Richards, Josef Herman and Peter Prendergast.

In addition specially selected work by Wales' leading contemporary artists including Harry Holland, Kevin Sinnott, Shani Rhys James, Rosemary Burton, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Iwan Gwyn Parry, Sarah Ball, Sarah Thwaites, Catrin Williams, Meirion Ginsberg and Karina Rosanne Barrett currently adorns the walls.

To view the exhibition visit the gallery's website artwales.com.


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