Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen
If you’ve just scanned the QR codes outside Oriel Myrddin, notice how much of the frontage is glass. The building was erected in 1892 as the home of Carmarthen School of Art, and the large stylised Arts & Crafts windows admitted voluminous light to the drawing, engraving and painting classes. Inside the building you can see a rare surviving original window made of mineral-stained glass, also in Arts & Crafts style (pictured right).
British artist David Cox championed a number of art schools in Wales via his yearly visits to Betws-y-coed. Among them was Carmarthen School of Art, established in 1854. At first the school resided in makeshift wooden buildings, and a purpose-built school was needed.
A plot of land was purchased and a movement to build the school began by public subscription in 1890. The School of Art was designed by local architect George Morgan. It’s similar in stature to his red-brick Pentrepoeth School in Carmarthen, now demolished.
One of the longest-serving principals of Carmarthen School of Art, from 1945 to 1967, was the artist Stanley Cornwell Lewis MBE (1905-2009).
The doors to the art school closed in 1977. The school of art merged with its Llanelli counterpart to become Dyfed College of Art and moved to new premises in Job’s Well Road.
After a short campaign to save the building in the 1980s, Oriel Myrddin Gallery opened here in December 1991. The gallery features a range of innovative exhibitions of fine art, design and applied art and crafts. It also has a busy arts education schedule.
With thanks to Chris Ozzard
Postcode: SA31 1LH View Location MapFurther information about Carmarthen School of Art – Carmarthen Museum website