ORGANISERS and artists involved in a Newport festival have spoken of the importance of this year’s event on the weekend it arrived in the city for a fourth time.

Art on the Hill (AOTH) celebrates local artists and some from further afield, and gives them a chance to show off their work from their homes or other hubs around the city.

The three-day festival – which ends today (Sunday, November 29) – has been hailed a huge success, and organisers and artists Sarah Goodey and Kate Mercer have received lots of praise for getting it on despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Some of the venues included in this year's line-up were:

  • Key venue, Cwtsh Community Centre, Stow Hill
  • Rogue Fox Coffee House, Clytha Park Road
  • St Woolos Cathedral, Stow Hill
  • Xclusive Jewellers, High Street
  • Diverse Vinyl, Charles Street
  • That Cafe, Risca Road
  • The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre, Kingsway
  • Shire Hall, Pentonville
  • Bwrw Cwrw, Newport Arcade
  • The Red Lion, Stow Hill
  • Le Pub, High Street
  • The Cellar Door, Clytha Park Road
  • Westgate Hotel, High Street

South Wales Argus: 24 Jones Street - 17 on the AOTH map24 Jones Street - 17 on the AOTH map

Ms Goodey explained: "We were aware in spring of the challenges but we never considered cancelling. It's so important we continued to give local artists a safe and equal opportunity to present their work.

South Wales Argus: 7 Clyffard Crescent - 13 on the AOTH map7 Clyffard Crescent - 13 on the AOTH map

"We've had lots more enthusiasm from residents - many who aren't even artists - who have been willing to open their homes up to enable artists to present work in their windows.

South Wales Argus: Sarah Goodey at last year's event. Goodey at last year's event.

"We're so happy with the way it's gone, and we'd love people to join us to check out the artwork today."

South Wales Argus: The RiverfrontThe Riverfront

Committee members at Cwtsh Community Centre Alan Roderick and John Crerar – who presented the work of Greta Hart and Chris Langley – thanked Ms Goodey and Ms Mercer for their efforts.

South Wales Argus: L-R: Alan Roderick, David Osmond and John Crerar at Cwtsh CoL-R: Alan Roderick, David Osmond and John Crerar at Cwtsh Co

“Huge respect to them because they could easily have let it go this year, and then we’d have worried about the momentum and whether it would have happened next year,” said Mr Crerar. “It’s been very different this year here – last year we had three separate events with lots of people in here, but now it’s all by the shop window.

South Wales Argus: Chris Langley's workChris Langley's work

“But it’s so important that it did carry on – I’d like to think in the teeth of a pandemic we’re still here supporting our community.”

South Wales Argus: Sarah with her workSarah with her work

MS Jayne Bryant, a key supporter of AOTH, said: "Over the last few years AOTH has really taken off - getting bigger and better all the time. This year all the artists have gone above and beyond to make it happen, thanks to the tremendous support of residents and independent businesses.

South Wales Argus: Greta Hart's workGreta Hart's work

"Much of the work has been put on in windows to ensure everyone has a chance to see the work.

"It's been a tough year, but AOTH reminds us all of the talent that is in our city and that there's something for everyone."

South Wales Argus: Kate with her work at Le PubKate with her work at Le Pub

At the Red Lion at Stow Hill photographer Ron McCormick has displayed his photos of pubgoers through the pandemic, as a way of capturing one of the most difficult moments in the pub’s history.

South Wales Argus: 45 Graham Street - 16 on the AOTH map45 Graham Street - 16 on the AOTH map

“In March, when I saw the news rolling in and realised the impact this could have on all of us here, I decided I needed to start taking photos at the pub,” he said.

South Wales Argus: Ron's work at the Red LionRon's work at the Red Lion

“How many (pubs) have we already seen turned into apartments? I feared it wouldn’t be here much longer.

South Wales Argus: Ron beside his workRon beside his work

“Craig (Davies) the landlord has worked hard to maintain a community spirit here, and it’s clearly appreciated by the locals. I wanted to capture that.”

South Wales Argus: 24 Jones Street - 17 on the map24 Jones Street - 17 on the map

Mr Davies added: “I’m so grateful for our loyal regulars and Ron has captured the feeling we’ve tried to create here brilliantly. We’ve had lots of people walk in to see his work, and a few have stayed to have a drink. It’s been a hard time, but it’s reminded me how lucky I am to have such great people here with me.”

Check out AOTH Facebook page for the full line-up, or download a map from the AOTH website.