The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Llanwrtyd and District Heritage and Arts Centre has retired after fourteen years of involvement with the Centre.
Tony Thorpe, who has been a resident in the town for many years and works for Charcroft Electronics and also runs the Riverside B & B with his wife, was part of the original team back in 2009 that obtained funding and developed the Congregational Church into the Heritage Centre of today. Involved initially in the internal re-design and renovation of the building Tony then became Treasurer and finally Chairman in 2018.
He was presented at the Annual General Meeting with retirement gifts including a framed copy of the poster in the Centre advertising Llanwrtyd from the 1920’s by Montague Birrell Black which was recently found to be the original painting.
Tony said he had enjoyed his years working with the various members of the community to get the Centre up and running and thanked the volunteers both past and present for all their hard work and would continue his support of the Centre as a volunteer and steward. He gave his good wishes to his successor, Anthony Smith, and felt sure the next chapter would be equally successful under his, and the Trustees leadership.
Recent visitors to the Heritage and Arts Centre will have noticed the large 1920s London Midland & Scottish Railway advertising poster encouraging travellers to visit the town. The work is signed by Montague Birrell Black (1884-1964), a well-known artist and illustrator of this era.
Artistic licence was very much the style of the day, and while the shapes of the hillsides are strongly reminiscent of those of the upper Irfon valley, the scene depicted presents Llanwrtyd as almost being an alpine resort.
The framed poster was donated to the Centre having for many years been on display in the Llanwrtyd War Memorial Institute on Irfon Terrace. In 2022, the Heritage Centre Trustees explored the possibility of making post cards and printed copies of the work. Guidance on the technical background, provenance and copyright of early twentieth century travel posters was generously provided by the curatorial team of the National Railway Museum. It was by chance that during the process of obtaining a digital image of the work, it became clear that the work is actually the original painting rather than a print.
Typically, the original artwork would have been destroyed following the lithographic print production process, but the fact that it survived to this day in Llanwrtyd is intriguing.
Posters and post cards are available for purchase from the Centre A3 (large) £25, A2 (small) £15, Postcards £2
Throughout June visitors to the Heritage Centre have had the opportunity to vote for their favourite work in order for us to award the third prize.
We had almost three hundred votes and we are delighted to announce that the Visitors’Choice winner was Mary Herbert with her work in pastels ‘Fresh Shimmer’.
She joins Michelle Slee with her painting ‘Distant Summit’ and David Henry with his submission ‘Quietly Grazing’ who were placed first and second respectively by the judges on the preview night at the beginning of the exhibition.
Our thanks everyone who participated, those who came to the preview, the judges Andrew and Lisa Green (owner of the Attic Gallery in Swansea) and Martyn John, Production Designer and finally our sponsors Charcroft Electronics, Lofftwen Forest Farm and Col Tim Van Rees.
After a frustrating year of closure and event cancellations the Heritage Centre will be re-opening it’s doors and welcoming visitors from Thursday 20th May 2021.
As well as the permanent displays there will be a photographic exhibition – Memories of Llanwrtyd and the gallery space will host ceramics from Wendy Chamberlainand glass works from Irene Funnell.
Although the Centre has been closed for some time work has been ongoing on providing a calendar of events for the summer and it is hoped that over time we will be able to welcome more artists to the Centre and re-commence a programme of concerts and talks.
Funding has been secured to provide a local Heritage Trail around the town which will compliment the permanent exhibitions and bring them to life.
The Centre is always looking for volunteers to help out as stewards or with displays so if you have always wanted to get involved or are new to the area why not pop in and have a word or telephone 01591 610647.
Unfortunately the ongoing situation with Coronavirus/Covid 19 has meant the Heritage & Arts Centre has not been able to open this season. This decision was not taken lightly but was done so in order to keep both visitors and staff safe during these uncertain times.
It is very much hoped that the Centre will be up and running again in Spring 2021 with a new selection of exhibitions, local arts and crafts, talks and events.
In the meantime we hope all our volunteers and staff stay safe and we look forward to greeting you again next year.
Following a very successful year in 2019 the Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre opens for its fifth season at the beginning of April.
‘Our reputation is growing as a Centre providing not only a detailed insight into the heritage of the town and surrounding area with additional archive material available for research, but also as a venue to view a variety of art and enjoy a wide range of music’, explains Lynne Brookes, Centre Manager.
‘We have an exciting programme arranged for this coming season which will see new and returning artists displaying paintings, ceramics, textiles and glass and a continuation of talks on a variety of topics and concerts providing music to suit all tastes which have taken place throughout the year. In addition we have an art competition, open to all artists in Wales, taking place in June and additional temporary exhibitions throughout the season are also planned.’
The galleries open for 2020 with work from two artists who had successful exhibitions last year.
Richie Dean is a well renowned local artist who originally worked in Watercolour and Acrylic. However, more recently he has embraced the advancements in modern technology and finds that using digital medium provides him with the freedom to be more creative resulting in some stunning pictures. Having lived and travelled throughout Wales for forty years Richie gets his inspiration from the diverse beauty of the region and through his love of music.
Irene Funnell captures the beauty of the hills and coasts of Wales in her stunning glassware gaining her inspiration not only from the landscape but also more recently the patterns found in textiles. The colours and textures of rocks, sand, sea and sky are suggested by the juxtaposition of glasses of different composition which react together to create the effect of subtle shading and fusing, whilst the elements of the countryside; trees, woodland creatures and the four seasons are created using a variety of methods including cutting, fusing and painting. In addition her interest in textiles has resulted in the exploration of a new technique which results in more delicate and sculptural forms with work having a textured, printed, fabric-like quality using images from nature and abstract patterns.
The Centre is open Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm and on bank holidays and admission is free although donations are welcome.
Lllanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre are very pleased to welocome Cup O’Joe to the centre on 14th January 2020.
Cup O’Joe is a family trio who have been playing together from their early teens. Former BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Finalists, they blend the intricate tones of bluegrass, folk and jazz tones to create their own progressive acoustic sound with strong harmonies that blend together like only sibling harmonies can.
Visiting the Heritage Centre as part of a nationwide tour Cup O’Joe will also perform some of the songs which are included on a new album of new and traditional music set to be released in January ,some numbers featuring special guest musicians including David Benedict and Niall Murphy.
The concert at the Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre takes place on Tuesday 14 th January at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £8 and available from the Centre (can be ordered by post – please send cheque made out to Llanwrtyd & District Heritage & Arts Centre) or from Caffi
Sosban in Llanwrtyd Wells.
From 1st November we have a new exhibition entitled – “A Victorian Christmas”.
In addition to images of Christmas from past times and information about how our modern day Christmas evolved, we have re-created a Victorian sitting room at Christmas within the Heritage Centre.
This display will culminate in our Christmas Drop-In on SATURDAY 7th DECEMBER – 10am – 4pm when Victorian festivities will include activities for children and appropriate Christmas fayre. Please feel free to come dressed in Victorian outfits to enhance the atmosphere.