Skilled and proud artisans have been a feature of Welsh life for centuries. Inspired by beautiful and dramatic countryside, the range of natural materials available to them, and the history all around them, those traditions thrive today. Your choice as a visitor is endless, with something to suit all tastes, but these 10 suggestions will get you started and whet your appetite for more.
The Royal Cambrian Academy in Conwy offers nine temporary exhibitions a year, a lively education programme and an exhibition programme showcasing the best of contemporary Fine Art in Wales.
Welsh artists Kyffin Williams and Charles F. Tunnicliffe are celebrated at Oriel Ynys Môn, an arts and heritage centre in Llangefni, Anglesey, which also houses a gallery to introduce you to the island’s history.
In September, follow the Helfa Gelf, an Art Trail between the studios of over 100 artists, from painters to potters, and talk to them about their creative processes.
The Teifi Valley in southern Ceredigion was once the heart of the thriving Welsh woollen industry. Take a free tour aroundCurlew Weavers, a traditional Welsh woollen mill at Rhydlewis. There’s a large craft shop and picnic area there too – and demonstrations by appointment.
Visit the home of an unusual Welsh treasure - a 30-metre long tapestry hanging in Fishguard Library, produced to mark the 1997 bicentenary of the last invasion of mainland Britain by a French force in February 1797. Or take a tour around Oriel y Parc, a free world-class gallery showcasing artists’ interpretation of landscape, taken from the vast collections ofAmgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.
The Boathouse at Laugharne was home for the last four years of his life to Dylan Thomas. Now a heritage centre, this is where he wrote Under Milk Wood and other works.
Celebrate an ancient Welsh tradition. The Lovespoon Gallery in Mumbles takes you on a love filled journey with hundreds of traditional designs.
The beaches of Gower are the inspiration for The Ultimate Drifter, a craft business which creates unique objects ranging from mirrors to table lamps made from salvaged driftwood.
In the heart of Cardiff Bay sits Craft in the Bay, a gallery specialising in Welsh-made craft. Run by The Makers Guild in Wales, which has over 70 maker-members, a different craft-maker works in the gallery each day.
When a wealthy resident of Penarth, near Cardiff, built a new gallery in 1888, he wanted it to open on Sundays, to attract as many people as possible. Turner House Gallery thus became known as ‘The Sunday Gallery’, and today offers a changing programme of travelling and local visual art.