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Friday, July 20, 2012

Youngsters' art on show in Llan

Visitors to Y Capel in Llangollen and the studios at Ruthin Craft Centre are in for a treat over the next few weeks, as they will have the opportunity to view the results of a series of art masterclasses undertaken by primary school children in Denbighshire.

The 25 children are Denbighshire's first Criw Celf group and come together once a month to develop their artistic skills with specially selected professional artists.

Sian Fitzgerald, Arts Development Officer for Denbighshire said: 'Criw Celf originated in Gwynedd in 2007 and has been a partnership between Conwy County Borough Council and Gwynedd County Council for the past two years. In 2012 Criw Celf was developed across all the North Wales counties, making it the first pan-North Wales visual art project targeted at more able and talented year 5 and 6 pupils.

'A series of 6 masterclasses with professional and experienced artists have been undertaken in Denbighshire venues this year, giving an opportunity for those children who have shown talent and/or a special interest in art to develop their skills and experiences.' The Criw Celf members come from primary schools all across Denbighshire, from Llangollen and Corwen in the north of the county, to Rhyl and Dyserth in the south (and everywhere in between).

The first masterclass took place in January at Bodelwyddan Castle where the group worked with Cefyn Burgess to develop their drawing skills. In February, the young artists visited Ruthin Craft Centre and an exhibition of mythical beasts and creatures made from clay by Catrin Howell. Visiting the exhibition accompanied by the artist offered a privileged opportunity to ask questions about her inspiration and work before creating their own mythical creatures from clay. The group developed natural forms using recycled materials with Ticky Lowe at Rhyl Library in April.

They returned to Ruthin Craft Centre in May to explore the Japanese textile exhibitions with artist Mai Thomas. Mai set the group a challenging brief: to invent 10 new textile pieces to be bound in a book! Back at Bodelwyddan Castle in June, artist Jan Gardner worked with the group to develop their colour skills and knowledge. The last of the six masterclass will took place at Loggerheads Country Park in July where pupils finalised their work with Jan. A visit to Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno completed the artistic experience.

Jo McGregor, Criw Celf Co-ordinator for Denbighshire said: 'The members of Criw Celf have all worked hard to develop their skills with this diverse range of inspirational artists and have created some wonderful work, of which they should be very proud.

'Working with them over the last six months has been fantastic and I've seen a strong development in their work. I'm really pleased that nearly all of them are going to continue with Criw Celf next year, when they will get to work with some more exceptional artists and to further develop their skills'.

The programme was funded by the Arts Council of Wales and Denbighshire County Council with support from Ruthin Craft Centre.

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