In 2017 the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery celebrated 20 years since it first began its annual competition, The Swansea Open. The exhibition is about community and celebrating art and the vibrancy of the Swansea art scene. And following the recent reopening of the gallery, it saw over 370 entries from local artists.
“The works were laid out in the gallery atrium, where the selectors looked for works that interested or moved them,” says the gallery’s exhibition officer, Katy Freer.
This year’s winner was artist Francisco Centofanti. Trained in Florence, Italy and seller to the stars – including The Who’s frontman, Roger Daltrey – Centofanti was delighted with the unanimous win following his recent relocation to the Swansea area.
“With all the wonderful entries with different moods and techniques, I was really happy to have won. I’ve been making art full-time for over 20 years, and it’s not an easy path, so any reward along the way, for the countless hours, is much appreciated,” says Centofanti.
Freer admits, “All three selectors loved the winning piece because of the juxtaposition between the robot and the mountains, and the idea of technology and the environment that came from it.”
In spite of Swansea narrowly missing out on the acclaimed title of ‘City of Culture’ in recent days, such a prestigious competition as the Swansea Open, with the legion of local talent pouring through Glynn Vivian’s doors, will continue to build in Swansea being recognised as a ‘City of Culture’, now, and in future time to come.