Graduate art show focuses on community wellbeing in Pontypridd

Branwen Draper

Branwen Draper

Creative and Therapeutic Arts students from the University of South Wales (USW) have showcased their final year artwork, in various locations across Pontypridd town centre, as part of their annual graduate show.

The show, pART of Pontypridd, exhibited student artwork which was informed by the community, or which invited participation from the public.

The work was on display from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 May at locations across Pontypridd, including the town’s market, library, park, cafes, and shops. The artists developed relationships with local organisations which inspired their work, and sought to demonstrate their passion for supporting community wellbeing.Sign at Pontypridd Market

The show was supported by Pontypridd Town Council, Your Pontypridd BID (Business Improvement District), Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Website Sorted, and Plaingraffic.

Third year student, Sue Jones, whose work was exhibited at Pontypridd Museum, said: “I created my work to encourage people to take notice of the wonderful places around Pontypridd. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to connect with people.”

Branwen Draper showcased a selection of artwork which was created in locations across the town. She said: “We’ve been developing professional relationships with local businesses to get us ready for when we go out as artists on our own. It’s been about gaining connections and uplifting businesses and the local community.”

Becky Davies, module leader for the project, said: “Year on year, the pART of Pontypridd Art Trail is a truly special opportunity for students to immerse themselves in their local community of Pontypridd. As Community, Socially Engaged and Participatory Artists, or Arts in Health and Wellbeing Practitioners, they respond to Pontypridd as a place, by making meaningful connections with people who live, visit and work there, they address some of the town's needs in relation to their wellbeing, and they explore its history.

“Our partnership with Pontypridd Town Council and Your Pontypridd BID opens doors for students to exhibit in a collaborative way with a range of independent businesses, landmarks, venues, organisations, and charities who are as passionate about the town as we are. An exciting challenge for the students is working together with their exhibition venue and members of the local community to design a series of artistic interventions that are mutually beneficial, resulting in creative outputs that belong to Pontypridd as much as they do to our student artists.

“We believe it is important to have this unique opportunity and set of challenges that brings art out of the white-wall gallery context and into everyday spaces where the people of Pontypridd can easily visit, enjoy, and engage with it (and even see some of their own work incorporated!)."

The exhibition is available to view online, with an interactive map that links through to a selection of photographs, videos and audio clips created by each artist.

More information about the project can be found on the pART of Pontypridd Facebook page.