Wednesday 15 July 2015

Oriel Wrecsam Contemporary Art Gallery

Quite by chance I happened upon a lovely gallery/shop one Saturday morning a few weeks ago, whilst visiting the in-laws. Oriel Wrecsam (Wrexham Gallery) is in Wrexham, North Wales and is currently at a temporary location on Chester Street having moved from within the library. What a lovely find this was! There are plans to develop a creative arts hub, with the Oriel calling itself the 'Premier Venue for Contemporary Visual and Applied Arts in North East Wales'. They are in the process of developing a centre that will include gallery and studio space, for artists and other creative industry, performance space and even a curated cinema programme. It sounds brilliant! Since I visited they have had the front of the shopfront painted by talented artist Jonny Hannah. I look forward to visiting again to see it!

Inside is a print lovers paradise, I could happily have browsed for hours! There are racks of beautiful editioned prints, stationery, bags, ceramics and jewellery, plus a very impressive magazine selection. The space itself as been beautifully designed too, and the displays well put together. I was pleased to pick up some Norman Ackroyd postcards (one of my favourite printmakers).

I wouldn't have stumbled upon this gallery if my 2 year old hadn't spotted the vending machine out the front. I'm sure she was hoping it contained Sponge Bob toys, but to my surprise it was an ArtVend machine. ArtVend is a brilliant initiative whereby local artists produce 50 pieces of original art for £50, each unique piece being packaged into a plastic egg and sold 'self-service' for £1. Also included inside was a note from the artist, and a link to their website or contact information. I was pleasantly surprised to find a lovely original print in mine, small but perfectly formed!

If you find yourself in the north west you should go take a look. A little treasure trove in the heart of Wrexham.

Oriel Wrecsam
11 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8BE
Open Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm
Free admission
Twitter @orielwrecsam

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