Hywel Pontin, Director

 7 June 2018

Hywel Pontin, Director, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre.

Making art isn't enough - you have to make sure its noticed
Making art isn't enough - you have to make sure its noticed

Where is your hometown?

The centre is in Cwmbran, Torfaen and I live in Ledbury, Herefordshire. 

What job do you do?

I am responsible for the ongoing development and smooth running of the centre for the applied arts.  
I have full curatorial responsibility for the organisation. Deciding what exhibitions and displays are going to be presented in our galleries. Working with artists to decide how we are going to present their work. We link up with other galleries across the country to maximize the opportunities to show the art work. 
I oversee my colleagues in the Education and Learning department, to make sure we are delivering a programme of activities alongside the exhibitions. We work with schools, young people and members of our local community. We run classes, courses and workshops. 
As director I am also responsible for the writing, implementation and monitoring of the art centre’s business plan and financial control; setting and monitoring of budgets and targets, day to day financial operation. My job involves managing the 10 staff who work at the centre; administrator/craft officer; senior education officer; marketing officer; administrative assistant; café manager and casual catering staff.

Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre receives funding from the Arts Council of Wales my role involves writing the reports and how we meet the conditions of our funding agreements as one of the key members of the Arts Portfolio Wales. 

What previous jobs have you done in the sector?  

  • Director of Highland Printmakers Workshop and Gallery in Inverness. Running the Gallery that presented contemporary print and managing the studio workshops that the public and artists could access to learn and develop printmaking skills. 
  • Exhibitions Officer – Scunthorpe Museum and Art Gallery. Managing the temporary exhibitions programme in a local authority museum. 
  • Freelance Researcher for the BBC, working on a magazine programme for a local radio station. 
  • Freelance writer working in collaboration to produce comedy drama shows for stage and radio.
  • Artist. Making and selling my own art work. 

What qualifications do you have?

Postgraduate diploma in Arts Administration from City University London 

2:1 BA Hons Fine Art from Winchester School of Art

What’s the best thing about your job?

Presenting exhibitions and engagement projects to the public. Meeting artists and makers. 

And the worst thing about the job?

Financial juggling.

What piece of advice would you give a young person hoping to work in your sector?

Research, research, research. Map out a plan. Do not spend all your time making art, you will need to make sure it is seen.

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