During the 19th Century, North Wales was home to the first Artists’ colony in Britain. Artist David Cox began spending his summers painting and drawing in and around Betws y Coed in the mid 1800s, and by 1881, the Conwy Valley was both home and holiday resort for a large number of artists.
This group of around 30 members came together and established The Cambrian Academy of Art in Conwy, with the purpose of exchanging ideas and exhibiting collectively. A year later it was given ‘Royal’ status on Queen Victoria’s orders and became the Royal Cambrian Academy we know today. Over the years, the Academy has had some illustrious presidents: Augustus John and Sir Kyffin Williams included. And since 1994, the has occupied its own purpose-built gallery on Crown Lane, where you can view (and buy) the work of its members at regular changing exhibitions – as well as the work of non-members during the annual Summer Exhibition.