THE BAY GALLERY reopened its doors on the corner of New Street and Pier Street in Aberystwyth on July 20.
With very few art galleries in Aberystwyth, The Bay Gallery has always been an attraction in the local area, and even more so now as it opened again for the first time since its closure on Terrace Road on June 27.
The Bay Gallery is one of the latest shops to open up on Pier Street, with Pier Street becoming more and more of an attractive location to base businesses, amongst the likes of Aberystwyth’s local cafes and other well known names.
Penny Samociuk, the owner/ manager of The Bay Gallery, spoke to The Herald about the gallery and what the move means for the business: “Many of the artists currently exhibiting in the gallery also exhibited in the gallery in Terrace Road, but this is not a co-op. Although I am a member, The Bay Gallery is totally independent of the Art Trail.
“When the ‘Cardigan Bay Gallery’ in Terrace Road closed due to the imminent redevelopment of the building for the museum and Tourist Information Centre, I felt that it was essential that we find alternative premises.
“There are many very talented artists and craft makers in the county and its borders and there are few opportunities for the artists to show and sell their work. Due to the very nature of our industry, most artists struggle financially and the thought of committing to high rents and overheads meant it was difficult to get a consensus.
“After a couple of false starts, I was given the opportunity to lease 18 Pier Street, Aberystwyth, at a reasonable rent. With the enthusiastic support of landlords Idwal and Debbie Jenkins, and a couple of very able artists, we very rapidly turned the vacant shop into a gallery and managed to open by July 20.
“The Bay Gallery will almost exclusively exhibit quality fine art and craft from local artists based in Ceredigion and its borders. We would like to hear from any artist who would like to exhibit.
“Unfortunately, the space is quite small so there will be limited number spaces available at any given time and, as we need to pay rent and other overheads, the artists’ work will need to be of a high standard and have an appeal to the local residents as well as the holiday visitor.
“The Bay Gallery currently has several painters with widely differing styles, including myself, where I’m best known for my pebble paintings and very colourful imagery of coastal locations. Ag Cain, whose wit and pre-war poster style of painting depicting scenes round Aberystwyth and beyond, has proved to be immensely popular.
“There is Chloe Rodenhurst, who produces lovely naive images which tell old stories of the area, and Kim James- Williams, a naive artist who produces fun coastal images. There is also Andrew Warren, who is a wonderful landscape photographer, and Mary Herbert, a realist painter who focuses on animals, particularly horses. She often takes portrait commissions.
“There are also several 3D artists, including Angela Hathway, whose beautiful ceramic animals and birds are a delight and are a ‘must see’. Jeni Pain makes jolly ceramics of boats, lighthouses and other coastal themes which are very popular this time of year.
“Val Price-West makes interesting horse and rowing pieces that relate to her experience of rowing Celtic long boats and riding competitively, working together as a team, pushing everything to the absolute limits.
“There is Joanna Bond, who creates delicate ‘natures garden’ images in ceramics, often mounted on wood, and also unusual ceramic tiles, and Jude Riley, who creates unusual and inspired marbled coasters, scarves and special jewellery pieces. In addition, Moriah Glass has stunning scenes in glass to be displayed against windows together with her beautiful glass jewellery.
“Nantyfelin Pottery have three different lines of pottery which cater to a wide variety of tastes – large vases to small butter dishes and beautifully crafted tactile slate jewellery, vases and clocks.
“Pier Street afforded an exciting new venue from Terrace Road and we are delighted with how we have been received and supported by both locals and holiday visitors alike.
“Although we have only just opened, I feel this is the right place for us. I am hoping we will be able to build a permanent business here. I think by moving here, the gallery has brought a new feel to the street – the new Arty Quarter of Aberystwyth.
“I think The Bay Gallery will draw an increased diversity of customers to this end of town. Many of our customers have already said they are excited about visiting this increasingly attractive, intriguing part of town.
“Ceredigion is full of talented and inspirational artists, and I include myself in this category. To have an independent Art Gallery operating on a commercial basis is absolutely essential to form a foundation whereby these artists can compete to market their art on a commercial basis.”