In 2003 Glasbury Village Hall was looking to raise funds and, having spotted that there were a couple of artists living in the village, John Fitzgerald suggested they hold an art exhibition in the space.

"I thought there might be a few more in the area who'd like to get involved," says John. "And something like 15 came out of the woodwork and we put the exhibition on.

"I look back and cringe," says John as he prepares for the 2019 edition of the exhibition, "because we had no proper stands and had to beg and borrow what we had, but we had a lot of visitors and people really enjoyed it."

Intended as a one-off fundraiser, John was then taken aback to be asked 'are you going to do it again next year?'. "I said 'no, it was a one-off', but here we are, 16 years later!"

In the early days, the exhibition only featured local artists - "We had more and more as time went on, and found some interesting people, including John Darlison, one of the best watercolourists in Wales, living in Glasbury, and Caitriona Cartwright, a stone cutter with an international reputation. Then others came along, including recent HCA graduate Kate Freeman, an abstract painter who "got involved and stayed involved". Although Kate has moved away she continues to exhibit in Glasbury and returns every year to run a painting workshop for young people.

The exhibition further extended its scope when they were introduced by the Contemporary Arts Society for Wales to Kenny Powell, the curator of Cyfarthfa Castle, home to a collection second only to that of the National Museum and Art Gallery in Cardiff. "They agreed to lend us two pictures from their permanent collection," says John. "It was supposed to be a trial, but somewhere along the way we forgot it was meant to be a trial."

Among the artists loaned to Glasbury have been Alfred Janes and Sir Kyffin Williams, one of whose paintings will again feature in this year's show. As John observes, "suddenly the whole tenor of the exhibition rose."

Another unique element of Glasbury Arts' annual art exhibition is the inclusion of A level students from nearby Gwernyfedd High School, where the art department consistently sees a phenomenal standard, regularly going on to leading art colleges. One lecturer from a Welsh university has observed that Gwernyfedd students regularly produce work of a standard that is much higher than degree students. "He told me," says John Fitzgerald, that if he could get his students to that level, he'd 'be a happy man'."

"They always produce something unusual, something different and they have become part and parcel of the exhibition. Every year we welcome phenomenal artists, old and young, and that's what makes it for us. And why we want to keep it going."

Glasbury Arts annual art exhibition runs from Friday, March 1 to Tuesday, March 5. Open: Friday, 6 -7.30pm, Saturday/Sunday 11am – 4.30pm, Monday/Tuesday 10.30am – 4pm.