Since the 1970s the community of artists in the Usk Valley, centred on the towns of Crickhowell, Brecon and Abergavenny, has grown exponentially, attracted early on by spectacular scenery and empty farmhouses. The Tower Gallery was founded in 2014 to provide a showcase for some of the leading lights of this community. The gallery is run as an artists’ collective with members giving up their time each month to look after the exhibition spaces. There are currently eight exhibiting members of the collective and two non-exhibitors, William Gibbs and Abigail Keane, who were both instrumental in setting up the collective, and provide invaluable backup for the artists.
The eight exhibiting members are Hannah Firmin, Graeme Galvin, Veronica Gibson, Lesley Lillywhite, Kath Littler, Harriet Lloyd, Robert Macdonald and Philippine Sowerby. Philippine is the only sculptor while the other artists include painters, printmakers and painter/printmakers. Members have national and international reputations.
As well as giving members of the collective regular solo exhibitions the Tower Gallery also offers space to guest artists and hopes to encourage young artists of talent. Crickhowell has become known in recent years for its promotion of open studios and other artistic events, and along with its neighbour Oriel CRIC the gallery has helped to make Crickhowell a national centre for art lovers.