Brecon Arts Week plans to paint the town red

Open to everyone, Brecon Arts Week – supported by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Collabor8 project which is part-funded by the INTERREG IVB NWE programme – will showcase an eclectic mix of talented local artists within the special market town of Brecon. Most of the thirteen ‘Artbeat Brecon’ members will be holding a series of workshops, demonstrations, ‘meet the artist’ events, private viewings and exhibitions, whilst newly recruited ‘Associate’ members are joining in with other town venues to create and perform art, music, poetry, literature and craft.

There will be a good selection of activities for young and old during the week such as story-telling for children and book readings, along with many children’s workshops ranging from mask, kite and Halloween lantern-making; pavement painting; music and dance.  These will be held throughout the town during the week at venues which include the Museum, the town Library and Brecon Cathedral, alongside the galleries and traders of Brecon.

Meet the artist and private view events include work by internationally renowned artists Valerie Ganz, Nigel Hemming and Ruth Hargest. Local glassmaker Kathryn Roberts will be opening the doors to her basement workshop below the Gate Gallery and will also be hosting a private viewing of her work alongside stained glass artist, Angharad Whitfield. Renowned local Brecon artists including sculptor and weaver Sue Hiley Harris, and painters Tessa Waite and Roy Powell will be throwing open their doors and holding open studios.

Other alternative activities around town include creating your own painted lampshade at Oh!, and local poet, writer and photographer Huw Parsons, will be writing special poems for the week that will be performed in surprising and unusual venues.  He will also be holding several writing workshops. In the streets, wandering theatricals will engage passers-by with stories of Brecon new and old.  Aside from all the culture, there will also be the usual excellent Brecknock Farmers’ Market on Saturday 23rd with great local produce to tempt the palate.

Brecon Arts Week is being run in association with the George Melly Sculpture Appeal and at the start of the week, the George Melly Sculpture Appeal will be unveiling the model for the George Melly public art commission at the Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery. This follows an international selection process that received over 40 submissions, with artist Bruce Williams eventually announced as winner of the design competition. He has previously been commissioned to create significant public art about Oscar Wilde and Tony Hancock.

A Charity Art Auction in aid of the George Melly Sculpture Appeal will be held in St. Mary’s Church.  Participating artists include Tim Davies (artist representing Wales at the Venice Biennale in 2011), Sue Williams (Artesmundi Prize nominee in 2006) Elfyn Lewis and Lowri Davies (winners of the 2009 Eisteddfod Gold Medals in Fine Art and Craft respectively). Well known artists from the Bannau Brycheiniog also feature prominently, including Robert Macdonald, Matthew Tomalin, Pamela Rawnsley, and Megan Jones. Works by and of George Melly are also highlighted. A catalogue of all artworks in the auction will be available as a pdf to download from in early October.

The festival is supported by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Collabor8 project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and aims to work with local businesses on initiatives that promote what’s local, distinctive and special about our National Park. Brecon Arts Week is a great celebration of the wealth of artistic talent within the special market town of Brecon. 

A catalogue listing all the events and featuring artist profiles will be available at all venues around two weeks before the event but for any details before then, especially if you wish to join Artbeat as an associate artist member and stage an event, please visit the website  or contact the Event Co-ordinator Julia Blazer at Oh! on 01874 620640. For more information about Collabor8 contact Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Sustainable Tourism Officer Nick Stewart on 01874 620490 or  email

The COLLABOR8 Project is 50% funded by the ERDF Interreg IVB North West Europe Programme.  This partnership project involves nine different partners from Ireland, Wales, England, Netherlands and Belgium. It aims to actively involve clusters of small businesses in developing quality, sustainability and services that promote local ‘sense of place’. In this way each tourism cluster will be able to capitalise on the uniqueness of their regions to compete better in the EU and global markets.

The partners involved in the COLLABOR8 project are: South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. (IE) -(Lead Partner); DLG Government Service for Land and Water Management: Office of the National Project New Dutch Waterline Department (NL); Stichting Studio VMK (NL); Flemish Land Agency (BE); Tourism East Flanders (BE), Westcountry Rivers Trust (UK); South Downs Joint Committee (UK); Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority (UK); and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (UK).