Cwmbran arts centre visitor figures surge by third

First published in Gwent news

AN ARTS centre featuring works by a “who’s, who” of contemporary Welsh artists is celebrating after visitor numbers surged by a third despite the economic downturn.

Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre is now showcasing a First World War exhibition, which includes artworks by Welsh artist of the year Sarah Ball, Eisteddfod gold medal winners Becky Adams, Anne Gibbs and Peter Bodenham, and textile artists Alice Kettle and Rozanne Hawksley.

The thriving hub in St Davids Road has bucked the trend prevalent in the cultural and heritage sector and runs more than 24 original exhibitions each year.

Their visitor numbers increased by 34 per cent from 47,191 in March 2011 to 63,400 in March 2014, according to the centre’s latest figures.

A centre spokesman said yesterday: “Despite the current and expected future cuts, the centre continues to thrive and expand bucking the trend prevalent in the cultural and heritage sector.

“It’s very much at the forefront of visitor attractions in South East Wales.

“The centre’s latest exhibition, Fourteen – the Artists’ Response, features a who’s who of Wales’ leading contemporary artists, all of whom have been invited to create a piece of work that reflects their thoughts on the centenary of the First World War.

“Textile artist Rozanne Hawksley, who studied alongside Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon and currently has a solo show at the Greenwich naval museum, is one of the big names in the show alongside Alice Kettle, National Eisteddfod gold medal winners Becky Adams, Anne Gibbs and Peter Bodenham and the current Welsh Artist of the Year Sarah Ball.”

Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre added that it had become one of the most active providers of touring shows over the past two years with exhibitions travelling to Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Devon, Lancashire, Somerset and Yorkshire and venues throughout Wales.

For more information, log on to Llantarnum Grange Arts Centre’s website

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