Oriel A&B Cymru Pop Up Art Gallery opens at Mermaid Quay


A brand new pop up art gallery is opening in Cardiff Bay thanks to a partnership between Arts & Business (A&B) Cymru and Mermaid Quay.

A shop unit in Mermaid Quay, in the heart of the Bay, will be transformed into Oriel A&B for a seven week period to display a range of visual art from around Wales. It will also house free daily arts workshops for children during half term, coinciding with Mermaid Quay’s Drawing Water Arts festival.

A&B Cymru is partnering eight arts organisations and practitioners in a vibrant programme of weekly exhibitions and stimulating workshops that aim to engage a wide variety of people either working in or visiting Cardiff Bay. The mission of Oriel A&B is to promote the accessibility of the visual arts and celebrate talent in Wales.  The seven-week programme will include work by students, community groups and professional artists.

It opens on Tuesday 13 October with an exhibition of work selected from the Waterfront Gallery in Milford Haven. The following week the paintings make way for work by ten members of the Rhôd Artists Group who will present a show of paintings, print, photography and graphic design. The West Wales based group explores artists’ responses to both rural and urban environments.  Community arts organisation Pippin’s Designs, whose work already brightens up rugby and football stadiums across Wales will provide the exhibition for half term – the week beginning 26 October.  Rhondda based Valleys Kids will exhibit a range of work by local artists from 2 November and this will be followed on 9 November by a show from 12 of the brightest and most exciting of a new generation of artists at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s School of Art & Design.  National photography organisation Ffotogallery will extend its Diffusion Festival with an exhibition from 16 November.

Mermaid Quay will host the annual Drawing Water Arts Festival during October half term and as part of this, Oriel A&B will host two free of charge children’s workshops per day from Monday 26 – Friday 30 October.  These range from painting to comedy to film making and crafts.  Full details are attached.  Places are limited and so pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

A&B Cymru’s Chief Executive Rachel Jones said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Mermaid Quay on such an exciting project.  Having the opportunity to showcase such a variety of art in the heart of Cardiff Bay is a first for us and will form a great shop window for both A&B Cymru and the artists’ involved.”

Justin Patel, Mermaid Quay’s Centre Manager said “Mermaid Quay has long featured several important contemporary works of art from the famous People Like Us statue on the Quayside to the amazing Captain Willows clock. Oriel A&B is an innovative way for us to bring even more artistic spirit into the Bay.  We are particularly excited that the gallery will form a focal point for our Drawing Water Arts Festival which we hope will encourage visitors young and old to come down to Mermaid Quay and get involved in artistic activity in Cardiff Bay.”

Oriel A&B runs from 13 October – 27 November.   Mermaid Quay’s Drawing Water Art Festival runs from Saturday 24 October to Sunday 1 November.