The new Ruthin Craft Centre was opened on Friday 25th July 2008 by acclaimed Welsh actress, Siân Phillips, before a host of well-known figures from the arts world and Welsh culture. A spectacular one-man show, ‘An Artistic Adventure’ by Andrew Logan, the famous sculptor, jeweller and organiser of the Alternative Miss World contest, was unveiled at the same time.
The event marked the culmination of a four-year project to create a contemporary applied arts venue with exhibition, studio and educational facilities that can more than hold its own against similar institutions across Europe.
Since it was founded in the early 1980s, Ruthin Craft Centre has established an impressive reputation as perhaps Britain’s foremost venue for the display and creation of contemporary craft. In 2005 it was decided to replace its old premises with a purpose built building containing three large display galleries, a retail gallery, six artist studios, an education suite and café. An alluring design by architects Sergison Bates won the commission and the £4.4 million project, made possible by a major capital lottery grant from the Arts Council of Wales, has now been delivered as planned.
“The new Ruthin Craft Centre opens this summer and” says Grant Gibson (Editor of Crafts Magazine who had a sneak preview) “its visitors are in for a bit of a treat.” “… in many respects this is a very brave building … set against the Clwydian Hills (Sergison Bates) have come up with an unashamedly contemporary building that never seeks to overwhelm its context and contains a genuine sense of warmth. … Craft has a new home of which it can be proud …” “The new Ruthin isn’t a glass box, it’s something much, much smarter.”