Arts Council Wales

Arts Council Wales

The arts in Wales

Great art should challenge us, surprise us, excite us and inspire us. This statement falls in line with the core belief of the Arts Council of Wales Committee. So, this means there is a compelling case to be made for how we value the arts. Firstly, within our communities. Secondly, inside the broad spectrum of society as a whole. Finally, the way we uphold the past and shape the future of our culture and civilisation.

For instance, who hasn’t at some time in their personal experience, been moved by the statement of a powerful image? Or an outpouring of emotion in response to a work of fine art, or great literature or even music that rocks their senses?

The arts for example, have a habit of reminding us of what it is like to feel and to be human. The arts matter, and here in Wales, many agree. In addition, the arts are something that Wales does well. And we should celebrate that.

The role of the Arts Council of Wales

The arts in Wales give shape and meaning to the everyday things that underpin public life. From the Arts Council of Wales to health and cultural tourism. Not forgetting the benefits of public art and urban regeneration. The arts bring meaning, authenticity and enjoyment to our everyday lives. The arts in Wales creates and sustains jobs. And with the proper funding,  enriches our education services.  The arts bring people together and improve the quality of life and general well being.

For that reason alone, the assembly of the Arts Council of Wales serves as a body to promote our culture and our country onto the World stage. The question is. What importance do we place on the values we represent, at home and abroad? They should be symbolic of Wales, profitable and accessible. Do they inspire, question and help us to imagine our future? The arts establishes our unique position in time. All this and much more is possible with the continued support and investment from the board of the Arts Council of Wales.

Photography: Joakim Honkasalo

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community artists working on an art project

Community Mural Painting

87 artists collaborated together on this outdoor community mural painting. This recent art project is dedicated to the remembrance of all who lost their lives due to human conflict.  Ages involved spanned the decades. This mural brought together a wide variety of artistic experience. However, the real magic occurred as a spirit of unity forged itself amongst the artists.

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Urban initiatives often revolve around public works of art.
A short vlog creating a community mural from start to finish
Storm Callum hits Wales

Storm Callum a Warning for Wales

Callum shows Wales no mercy…

Storm Callum is on its way. The Met Office issues an Amber Warning as gale force winds hit the country, consequently issuing a warning for flooding. Most of Wales will experience increased travel delays, power cuts and potential risk to life and damage to property. Severe weather will continue hit Britain this Friday, bringing with it a month’s worth of rain in just two days. Continue reading Storm Callum a Warning for Wales
Super Fast Wales

Super Fast Wales


I recently attended a course in Aberystwyth run by Super Fast  Wales.  It’s social media marketing but with analytics on steroids. So, what has that got to do with art? Well, thanks to the internet I don’t have to live and work in the major cities. I can enjoy life in the rural mountains of Wales where there is little footfall. Yet, thanks to Super Fast Wales, I am able to target the London and New York art market. Traditional galleries are struggling. Online markets and art fairs are becoming the new norm.

Super Fast Wales

image by jeff cooper

Getting on Page 1

More than 95% of consumers and businesses search the internet before buying a new product or service. They type in their keywords for a particular search. They receive a list of relevant websites. Folks tend
to visit the sites that appear on page 1, because they seem to be relevant to their search.

However, for businesses trying to compete for a piece of the pie,  most will find their competitors at the top of these lists. Research proves, that your website needs to be at the top of these if you want to stand a chance of selling. Otherwise, you’ll never reach your customers online.

Why do your competitors rank is better than yours? It’s due to a marketing technique called SEO. SEO refers to search engine optimization. Thanks to Super Fast Wales, a business initiative, courses are there to train you to become an SEO expert.

This intensive technique helps to rank your site above the millions of other sites in response to certain
keywords. When a term is searched online, the search engine will crawl and collect information about each and every page on the web. It can help people find exactly what they’re searching for.

So, when your site achieves higher rankings, it enables others to locate you. In order to get higher
rankings your website should have all the attributes that search engines are crawling for.


This is where SEO steps in. SEO looks for all the text contents, including hyperlinks. It searches page
titles as well as other pieces of relevant information that are contained within the HTML code
on your website. So, when someone searches for a keyword the search engine will narrow the results to show pages that contain the words searched for.

In order to get more business, your site has to get onto the first page of all the major search engines for those particular keywords. Without SEO, your site will never be found by potential customers. It important to realise this. I am thankful to Super Fast Wales and the opportunity they offered with SEO training.

Become your own expert

In today’s competitive market you definitely require solid SEO techniques in order to get your site to
the top of the search results. You have to become a specialist in SEO so you are more visible on the internet. Yes, you can pay someone to do it for you. But even then there are no guarantees. I have invested hours of my own time. But, it has paid off as now my page ranks on page 1 of the search engines.

As the night draws to a close, I find myself sat here still working on my site. I have been anchored to this seat for almost ten hours. I am putting into practice the techniques I learned from Super Fast Wales. Just as well it rained for most of that time!

white painted road marking direction arrow

Direction Determines Destination

Routine and structure for home-based businesses

I work from home. My commute is from the kitchen to the studio. I live one day at a time. Yesterday has gone. I am excited about the future but I focus on today. Having a daily routine helps me to maintain that focus. There is a lot of freedom that is attached to what I do. And I enjoy it. However, without any structure that freedom could be my undoing.

Continue reading Direction Determines Destination

paint brushes in a vase

Edgelands at the Canolfan Y Celfyddydau

Edgelands Exhibition

I drove over to Aberystwyth today to visit Canolfan Y Celfyddydau, otherwise known as the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The main exhibition ‘Edgelands’, takes its inspiration from the overlooked areas of land on the borders of the town and the countryside. These are the outskirts of cities that hardly receive any attention. This collection of contemporary painting celebrates these forgotten margins of our landscape. They challenge us to consider how we perceive the world. Not just in terms of what we see, but also how we feel and behave like a developing civilisation.

Artists on Show

Some of the featured artists include; Barbara Howey, Marguerite Horner, Lee Maelzer and Day Bowman.

Horner’s works offer a snapshot of the seemingly mundane: a sliver of dual carriageway in profile, a petrol station or a rundown shop, in a tired suburban street. Continue reading Edgelands at the Canolfan Y Celfyddydau

Ceredigion Art Trail summer exhibition 2017 Old College Aberystwyth

The Artist in the Market Place

Blogging selling online art

Painting small and often is one aspect of being an artist. Almost equally as important, is selling artwork.

Today we have the opportunity for blogging selling online art.  We can join like-minded people, who can support each other as artists.  There are thousands of artists painting often, and posting to blogs. Potentially there is a hugely supportive community at our fingertips.

You can avoid the middleman – most galleries charge 50% commission. While they do a lot (including paying rent), the internet presents us with an opportunity to sell direct. There are costs with selling online, but they are much lower than 50%. Continue reading The Artist in the Market Place