Many great artists have taken inspiration from the beautiful countryside, wild coast and unusual architecture that Wales has to offer and Swansea is no exception. Whether your preference is for old Masters, contemporary sculpture, modern art or something a little more out-of-the-box, Swansea has a lot to offer.
Glynn Vivian Gallery
One of Wales’ most famous galleries, the Glynn Vivian Gallery was named after its benefactor and founder Richard Glynn Vivian 1835-1910. Born into a wealthy copper smelting family, Richard chose to pursue his love of art after inheriting a quarter share of the family business. The dividends allowed him to indulge in his greatest passion. A prolific collector of art, he spent many years on the continent and counted some very famous names amongst his friends, including artist Gustave Doré from whom he bought a conferrable number or works. In 1908, he offered his art collection to the people of Swansea and the foundation stone was laid in 1909. Housing everything from old masters to contemporary modernist sculpture, the galley very recently re-opened after a multi-million pound refit. You can also see works by several Welsh painters, as well as more famous painters: Monet and Pissarro to name but two. There is also an extensive collection of Swansea pottery.
The Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea, Wales, +44 1792 516900
The Mission Gallery
This gallery was founded in 1977 by a group of like-minded artists as Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery. Housed in a grade two listed building in Swansea’s maritime quarter, it has been described as one of the most inspiring places in Wales for contemporary arts. With an internationally renowned character, the gallery has built up a strong reputation for nurturing fledgling artists and is now funded by The Arts Council in Wales. Working alongside Swansea School of Art, it has forged its way into the arts world, often showing ambitious and rather diverse works. With an ever-changing schedule of exhibitions, be prepared to be amazed and dazzled by the marvellous talent on display here.
The Mission Gallery, Swansea, Wales, +44 1792 652016
The Attic Gallery
The Attic Gallery was founded in 1962 and offers some suburban contemporary exhibitions. Its aimed to demonstrate the value of Welsh art within the British contemporary art scene. The annual Winter Exhibition which is held between the 11th November and 23rd December is certainly something not to miss. As Wales’ longest established private gallery and supporting both print makers and traditional artists with one-off pieces, it is the prefect place to indulge and search for that piece that really speaks to you.
The Attic Gallery, Maritime Quarter, Swansea, Wales, +44 1792 653387
The Gower Gallery
This lovely little gallery in Mumbles, a neighbourhood just outside the city, offers a diverse variety of arts and sculpture. From panoramic paintings of the stunning coastline to jewellery and ceramics inspired by the are, the Gower Gallery is a great place to visit. With a collection of accessible works, it is the ideal location to buy a more unusual souvenir of your trip. Whether you fancy a piece of Welsh-inspired sculpture, to buy a greetings card or speculate on some fine arts, The Gower Gallery is the place to visit. Mumbles is great place for an afternoon’s potter and who knows, you may even be inspired to get the paints out and have a go yourself.
The Gower Gallery, Mumbles, Swansea, Wales, +44 1792 368669
The Elysium Gallery
The Elysium Gallery has just celebrated its 10th birthday and is located in central Swansea. It offers 83 studio spaces over three venues (College Street, Mansel Street and Orchard Street) across the city and actively supports new arts business within the creative sector. With constantly changing exhibitions you’re bound to find something to stimulate and amaze; there are painters, printers, photographers, illustrators, designers and writers – a hotbed of talent with a dedicated artistic collective consciousness. Who knows, you may even discover a future Barbara Hepworth or Lucien Freud?
The Elysium Gallery, Swansea, Wales, +44 7980 925 449