Saturday, February 07, 2009

Society of Botanical Artists - Annual Exhibition entry details

I very much enjoy attending the Annual London Open Exhibition of the The Society of Botanical Artists at Westminster Central Hall each year. This year I'm going to try and enter some work before I realise the deadline has passed!
Botanical art is a centuries-old traditional art form, enjoying a wonderful renaissance, and The Society of Botanical Artists is its best showcase. The exhibition will feature some 700 selected works, embracing a wide variety of styles and technique.
Society of Botanical Artists - Flowers and Gardens Exhibition
The key dates for the 2009 Annual Open Exhibition are as follows:
  • Receiving Day: 23rd February (11am - 4pm) - which is held in the basement of the Westminster Room at Westminster Central Hall. (Nearest underground stations are St James's Park and Westminster).
  • Collection of unaccepted work:24th April or 5th May (latter is also for collection of unsold work)
  • Exhibition: 24th April - 3rd May
Medium and material: Works in any medium and on any material may be submitted: pictures, sculpture, miniature work, glass engraving, ceramics, jewllary, carving, metal-work or other. Watercolour, pastel and oil are perennial favourites as media used but coloured pencil and pencil work are becoming increasingly popular.

Subject matter in general can be anything connected with flowers, gardens, horticulture or plant habitat. Candidates for entry into the Society must submit work which is suitably botanical.

Number of works: Up to five works may be submitted which are all subject to selection and must be for sale. The minimum price of hanging work (excluding miniatures, three dimensional works or etchings) must be £150.

Presentation: All pictures must be presented in wooden frames which are strong enough to accept mirror plates at the back for hanging purposes. On the back of frames, there should be no hanging hooks or any projections or any already fitted mirror plates to prevent damage to other pictures in the stacks - other than flat D rings (which should be covered with masking tape). Types of frame which are inadmissable are metal frames and works framed with clips.

Bad presentation may prejudice the acceptance of a picture. Artists are recommended to pay special attention to mounts, framing, firm backing and cleanliness (in particular inside the glass) of the work submitted.

Fees are split between submission fees and hanging fees - a practice that I wish more societies would adopt!
  • miniatures and miniature sculptures: submission fee: £2.50 per work; hanging fee of £10 per work
  • Pictures and sculpture: submission fee of £5.00 per work and hanging fees of £14.50 (up to 24" longest dimension); £16.00 (up to 29"); £18.50 (30-35" ) £22 (36-41") £26 (42-48") with the highest rate being charged where there are no dimensions given on the schedule.
Details for people seeking Associate Membership are detailed on the website How to become an Associate Member / How to exhibit
To become an Associate you must have submitted five works and had ALL five works accepted for two consecutive years: that is 10 out of 10 paintings accepted in total over two successive years. The Selection Committee sits once a year at the Annual Open Exhibition and Associate Membership is automatic for those applicants who fit the criteria above.

Full Membership of the Society is ONLY by election and is not automatic. The Selection Committee Council elects new Members from the Associate Members and this is solely at the discretion of the Selection Committee.
How to become an Associate Member / How to exhibit
Full Exhibition Entry Schedules You can check out more details via their website - The Society of Botanical Artists and the Exhibition page. Exhibition entry schedules are available by request for UK artists to Executive Secretary SBA, 1 Knapp Cottages, Wyke, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4NQ with a stamped addressed envelope and overseas artists can email their request to the Executive Secretary SBA (see website for more details).

The 'flyer' for the Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition displays Summer Blues by Brigitte E M Daniels SBA GM. Her awards from the ‘Society of Botanical Artists’ include Certificates of Botanical Merit in 1997, 2006 and 2008, The Joyce Cuming Presentation Award 2007 and The People’s Choice 2007 and six gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society. Her work is held in the RHS Lindley Library, The National Gallery and Museum of Wales, the Dr Shirley Sherwood collection and many private collections worldwide. Her work has been used to illustrate step-by-step projects in the Art of Botanical Painting and in The Botanical Palette.

Links to previous posts about the Society of Botanical Artists:
Links to my "resources for artists" information sites:


  1. You have quite a lot of beautiful work to choose from, Katherine. I'll be interested to see what you pick.

    How I'd love to be able to see this exhibition and the demonstrations.

  2. Lucky you going to see this. I too will be interested in what you pick.


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