Artistic spirit at "the best gallery in Wales"
Report from the Herald on this Art Competition:
Most would agree that Sunday is a day of rest.
The art gallery in Llanbedrog in Lleyn was bursting with life last Sunday (16th February 2003) however as hundreds flocked to 0riel Plas Glyn y Weddw to catch a glimpse of the winners of the Spirit of Lleyn art competition.
The event organized by Lleyn Tourism Ltd in conjunction with Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw and sponsored by Gwynedd Council, the WDA, the tourist board and the Countryside Council for Wales CCW, was a big success.
That afternoon, TV weather presenter Sian Lloyd along with Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, officially opened the exhibition of the best works entered in the Competition.
The gallery received more than 300 entries by sculptors and artists from all over the UK.
The panel of judges, led by Sir Kyffin Williams, certainly had their work cut out, sifting through all the entries.
The overall winner of the competition was William Selwyn, from Caernarfon. He was presented with £2,000 at a special prize-giving luncheon at Plas Glyn y Weddw for his painting of the Tre Ceiri Mountains. The 69-year-old has been painting since he was 18 and owns galleries in London and Cardiff.
"I'm honoured to have received this prize and there was an excellent reaction to the exhibition," he said.
Coming in a close second was Bob Armstrong from Lincolnshire. He won a prize of £1,000 for his watercolour painting of Llithfaen village.
Winning the prize of £250 in third place was Gareth Griffiths, from Llandygai. The 62-year-old had compiled a picture of the coastal scenery's of Lleyn.
He said: "This festival was well advertised in England and Wales. The potential is huge and it would have been nice to see more younger artists taking part. The standard of competition was extremely high and I only hope that it will continue to expand in the future. You could prolong the festival to last for a week and expand the attractions so that the whole of Lleyn can benefit."
Because the competition was so close, two artists received commendations for their work. Bill Swann and Robert Pearcy, from Porthmadog, received consolation prizes.
Sian Lloyd said, "I was thrilled to be invited to Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw as I believe it to be the best art gallery in Wales. I enjoy returning year after year to see the improvements made to this magnificent building and especially for the great food served in the tea room."
Sir Kyffin was also high in his praise of the event. He said: "It's a very heartening exhibition as it is certain to be appreciated by a public whose voice in art is so seldom heard, it's good to see so many pictures painted with love, something unusual in the world of modern art."
Hopes are high for the future of the festival.
The basic idea was to extend the tourism season, but now, it seems that there is a possibility of developing a world-class art competition.
Gwyn Jones, of Lleyn Tourism Ltd, said "It was extremely successful, everyone enjoyed themselves, a lot of pictures were sold and we've even secured sponsorships for next year already."
Mike Parry, the secretary of Lleyn Tourism Ltd, added, "Let's hope it will be bigger next year."