Thursday, June 13, 2013

New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2013 - Call for Entries

I always look forward to the Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club (NEAC).  It has a lot of excellent painters - and it's also an art society which is a bit more switched on to the selling side of the business.  These are not painters who are exhibiting purely for the kudos - very many of them are serious professional painters who do this for a living.  So sales matter.

I've often thought that if there were an Art Society Open Exhibition to aspire to get into, then it would be the Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club.

However, by implication, work selected from the open entry needs to meet some pretty high standards in terms of aesthetic and commercial criteria.

This week the Call for Entries has gone out for the next Annual Exhibition which will run from 29 November - 8 December 2013 at the Mall Galleries.

Paintings in the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2012
This post outlines the process for submitting work via the open entry.  Comments (as opposed to quotes) in italics are mine.

The images in this post are from the 2012 exhibition and at the end of this post are links to my reviews of previous exhibitions which also contain images of artwork selected for exhibition.

Caution!

Before I start, it's worth noting that if you just look at the Mall Galleries "website brief" for this exhibition you may not achieve a full understanding of what's required.  You MUST read the Call for Entries leaflet.  Some of the "must know" information is only in the leaflet - and there is no link to the leaflet on the website brief!  There again, some of the information is only on the website and not in the leaflet!  I've tried to make the distinctions clear below.

Who can enter?


This exhibition is open to non-members.

  • Website brief: There are no constraints on who can enter.
  • Call for Entries Leaflet: Artists must be aged 18 or over and live or work in the UK or EU. 

What sort of artwork is eligible?


The website brief and the Call for Entries Leaflet both make a bald statement about what artists intending to submit an entry need to know
Work submitted to the NEAC must have a concern for the concept, allied to craft, as this is integral to artists's pathway and career.NEAC Call for Entries
It's also relevant to note the statement on the front page of the NEAC website
The New English represents the very best of contemporary British figurative painting.
In relation to other aspects of what sort of artwork is eligible
  • Maximum number of works which can be submitted: 6. Maximum of 5 works selected. The societies vary as to how many works a member or non-member may submit. Five works from a non-member is a lot and it's very unusual for a lot of non-member works to be selected! If you've not previously been selected I'd recommend a smaller number be submitted if submission is going to be a significant expense for you.  It would be good to see societies publicising how many open entries they received, how many were selected and how many non-member artists had work selected.  
  • Age of work
    • Website: Work must have been completed within the last two years.
    • Call for Entries Leaflet: No restrictions specified
  • Size of work
    • Website: No restrictions specified
    • Call for Entries Leaflet: Works must not exceed 2.4m in size in any direction  
  • Acceptable media
    • Website: Not specified on the website - so some will assume no stated limitations or exclusions.  
    • Call for Entries Leaflet: Paintings, drawings, pastels, original framed prints (please detail edition). Sculpture is NOT admissible. I've always wondered what NEAC would do if somebody submitted a digital painting!
  • Work for sale / pricing:  
    • Website: No stipulation about work being for sale or minimum price
    • Call for Entries Leaflet - explicit that all work must be for sale.  Minimum price £300, unframed prints £120.
    • You can get a pricing benchmark to work from by checking out the NEAC Shop to see what sort of prices the members are charging for their work 
    • All prices need to allow for commission @45% plus VAT (e.g. on a work priced at £1,000 by an artist who doesn't have to charge VAT - £450  will be deducted by the Mall Galleries for commission and they then also deduct VAT @20% on the £450 (£90) and pay this over to HM Customs & Excise. The artist will then be sent a cheque for £460 being the balance after deductions.  Artists with turnover (total sales value) in excess of the VAT threshold must include for VAT on the price of the painting ie £200.  So if you sell a lot you make even less money on a sale - £350.
Paintings by NEAC members: Diana Armfield, Ruth Stage and Fred Cuming

How to enter

There are two ways to enter. The Call for Entries leaflet provides details of how both work.  Artists living in the EU and sending work from abroad are recommended to use Online Pre-selection.
  1. Online Pre-selection - This means register your work, upload a digital image file and have your artwork reviewed in advance.  This means that if your work does not meet the standards they're looking for then it will be rejected and you have saved yourself the cost of framing and the cost of delivering the work - and then collecting it again.  It's a very cost-effective way for artists who don't live near London to submit their work.  However there's no guarantee that your work will be hung if pre-selected as it still needs to be reviewed by the Selection Panel.
  2. Offline Submission - deliver work to the Offices of the FBA on the normal Receiving Days with registration form and fee payable.

NEAC dates re entries / delivery / exhibition

  • Online Registration - for Online Pre-selection: Opens Thursday 13 June (noon) and closes Thursday 12 September (noon)
  • Notification of Pre-selection Posted on the registration site from Thursday 17 October (noon). 
  • Receiving Days  Friday 4 & Saturday 5 October, 10am-5pm. There are options to deliver on earlier dates to regional handing-in points
  • Notification of selection to the exhibition: Thursday 10 October (noon)
  • Collection of unaccepted work: Saturday 19 October, 10am-5pm
  • Collection of unsold exhibition work: Thursday 12 December, 10am-5pm
  • Exhibition dates:  Friday 29 November - Sunday 8 December, 10am-5pm (daily) except last day
Note that the Call for Entries Leaflet states that the dates quoted for the delivery/collection of work are the ONLY days that work can be delivered / collected from 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD.  Miss these dates and you will need to arrange collection from long term storage outside London.


Paintings in the NEAC 2012 Exhibition

Presentation Standards required 


I don't quite understand why the webpage brief for this exhibition gives some but not all the information you MUST know as to how work must be presented.  At present information is split between a webpage and a leaflet - and some is contradictory!
  • Works delivered for selection must be exhibition-ready. If you don't want your work to be rejected because of its frame (which happens more often than you might think) it's advisable to (a) review the images of work hanging on the wall in past exhibitions to see the styles on work which is selected and (b) to use a neutral coloured frame
  • Metal and clip frames are inadmissable.  Frames or stretchers should be substantial enough to withstand mirror plating and 12mm, size 6 screws for hanging purposes. Note "or stretchers" i.e. recognition that not all work must be framed.  In practice it means gallery wrapped canvas with nice edges!
  • All work has to be submitted unwrapped and no packing materials will be stored.  The artwork goes straight from delivery to being stacked. If using an independent courier you need to ensure that you make arrangements about the packing material, otherwise you could end up with needing to retrieve a picture with no packing material.
  • There should be no projections whatsoever from the backs of the frames to prevent damage to other work.  This is to prevent one frame damaging another frame while stacked.  No liability is accepted should this happen and artists are advised to take out Insurance.  My advice is to make sure you use hard rather than soft wood for your frame and your frames will stay in good shape for longer!  The really great thing about the "no projections" rule is you don't have to remember where you put your D rings and picture cord!

Exhibition Awards/Prizes

NEAC has some significant prizes.  You can see images of the work which won prizes last year on the NEAC website and in my review.
  • The Doreen Mackintosh Critics' Prize (£5,000), 
  • The David Messum Prize (£5,000), 
  • The Arts Club Charitable Trust Award in association with The Arts Club (£500), 
  • The Manya Igel Prize (£500), 
  • The Prize of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, 
  • The NEAC Critics' Prize.

New English Art Club Drawing School Scholarships

Drawings by NEAC Drawing Scholars in the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2012
NEAC runs a Drawing School and has sponsored Drawing Scholars for some time.  If you;re interested this is what you need to do.
  • Apply by delivering a portfolio of works to the Mall Galleries with a covering letter, your address, email address and a CV.
  • The portfolio may include sketchbooks and small photographs of work, but no paintings on canvas or framed works.
  • Receiving Days Friday 4 or Saturday 5 Oct, 10am-5pm 

Websites

Read more about the Annual Exhibitions of the New English Art Club on Making A Mark

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