We are John Faulkner and Margaret Welsh and we established our gallery, Art Matters, in 2001, starting by showing a selection of about 12 artists' work on a regular basis. We also showed a new exhibition by an individual or a group every three weeks, ran an art club and organised a programme of Spring and Autumn day art workshops being tutored by practising artists.
Our annual Open Art Competition which we started in 2001 was judged by professional artists and attracted an enormous number of entries. Originally restricted to artists from Pembrokeshire and the neighbouring counties, our last competition in 2008 brought entrants from across the UK and even from China! By then our regular artists numbered about 80 and our exhibitions ran for a month with the programme fixed for two years ahead.
Now we are in a different location, having moved in Spring 2009 to our very own premises in White Lion Street, just round the corner from the 'old' gallery but nearer the sea and generally smarter and more visible. Two windows flank the entrance to the ground floor where a 'shop' area with books, cards and the newest paintings leads to the exhibition area on the same level. A continuous slideshow of all the work here runs for visitors who do not wish to go upstairs where we have our regular artists' gallery and most of the unframed original prints. We have been able to increase our selection of ceramics and sculpture.
Many of our current artists have national and international reputations, have shown in Royal Academy Summer exhibitions, London galleries, major Art Fairs and have won prizes in prestigious competitions. At the same time we keep our feet on the ground by selecting from the best of our local artists.
We encourage a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the gallery, open to a wide range of visitors from the occasional browser to the discerning art collector, many of whom have become good friends. We enjoy long standing relationships with our regular artists. We know them well through visits to their studios and discussion of their latest projects and are very happy to talk with visitors about any aspect of their work.