Unique art exhibition to celebrate 70 years of bilingual school
A unique art exhibition celebrating the 70th anniversary of Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni will let former pupils of the school take a trip down memory lane.
A very special collection of works by three prominent and divergent artist teachers, all with strong links to the town of Llangefni, will go on show in May.
The works of former art teachers Harry Hughes Williams, Ernest Zobole and Gwilym Prichard will chronicle seven decades of the secondary school – in the first exhibition to be hosted as a working partnership between Oriel Môn and Anglesey Archives.
Harry Hughes Williams was born at Mynydd Mwyn, Llandrygarn and received his education at the Collegiate School and enrolled at the Liverpool School of Art, before returning home to work as a full-time artist.
He was elected as a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and in 1938 secured a teaching post at the old Llangefni Grammar School.
He continued painting while teaching but sadly died in a tragic accident at home in August 1953, shortly before he was due to start work at the brand-new Comprehensive School.
Ernest Zobole was born in the Rhondda Valley and after graduating from Cardiff Art School was appointed art teacher at Llangefni’s new school in 1953.
He continued to develop his art but by 1957, he felt too isolated from the south Wales art scene and returned to the valleys where his professional artistic career took off.
Gwilym Prichard was born in Llanystumdwy in 1931 and started a teaching training course at Bangor in 1950, after which he enrolled at the Birmingham School of Art.
In 1954 he married artist Claudia Williams and moved to Llangefni, where he was appointed crafts teacher at the County School.
He left in 1966 and became Head of Art at Friar’s School, Bangor.
In 1973 he left teaching to become a full-time artist – the beginning of a long and successful career.
He and his family moved to Brittany and Greece before returning to Wales, settling in Tenby.
Oriel Môn and Anglesey Archives Senior Manager, Kelly Parry said: “This exhibition is the first working partnership between Oriel Môn and Anglesey Archives.
“Staff from both venues have worked closely to bring the fascinating story of Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni to life in a very imaginative and creative way.
“This exhibition is a must-see for anyone who has ever attended the school, whether they were students of these three gifted art teachers or not.”
During the exhibition, there will be an opportunity for former pupils to take a trip down memory lane by sharing stories over a cup of tea in the caffe.
Ceri Thomas the renowned art historian will also be giving a talk about the three artists.
The exhibition starts on the 27th of May until the 28th of August. Admission is free and the Oriel is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 5.00pm.
For further information please contact, 01248 724444 / www.orielmon.org
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Maybe, one day, English only medium schools in Wales will be a thing of the past. Hopefully, before 2050!