Thursday, December 10, 2015

Call for Entries - UK Open Art Exhibitions 2016

I've just completed my 'end of year' update of this page - UK National Art Societies: Open Exhibitions 2016 on my blog. It provides summary details of all the major open art exhibitions in the UK in 2016 by:
  • national art societies
  • major regional art societies
These summary details are:
  • Deadline for online entries - Most submissions are now digital - hence the description. These are all highlighted in red where know. Most are known. 
  • Receiving Day - again where this is known it is highlighted
  • Exhibition Dates - exhibition dates are stated where known. Most societies know that they need to book up well in advance of the date required and for many the date can be known more than 12 months in advance of the exhibition - so, in principle, it should be possible to have all the dates.
  • Website: call to exhibit page URL - I've included the most helpful webpage on art society websites when it comes to telling people about the Call for Entries. 
    • I have to say I find enormous variation in the ease of finding this page and how accessible it is to non-members. Some seem to delight in putting key "things you need to know before you submit" on various pages and downloads. 
    • I recommend every society should get a blind test their website every year using an artist who knows what to look for - but does not know the website well. I guarantee some art societies will be surprised just how difficult it is to find the core data.  
    • Every page should be approached from the perspective of the consumer and what they need to know - not what the art society wants to tell them and where they'd like to put the information. 
    • I'm thinking of maybe running a test against the clock next year of how long it takes to find the core data......
  • e-catalogue for 2015 - a number of art societies have recognised the sense of having a virtual exhibition online at the same time as the annual exhibition - and continuing with it afterwards online. 
    • This last year has seen some societies branch out into e-catalogues (i.e. the printed catalogue digitised and made available online for free) as part of their marketing strategy. 
    • Links to these are highlighted where they are available
The FBA e-catalogues - via Issuu - were very impressive in 2015

My blog also has summary details of the Major Art Competitions in the UK.

Art Societies

The art societies covered are grouped according to where they exhibit or the type of art society

  • Federation of British Artists / Mall Galleries
  • Bankside Gallery
  • Subject Specific
  • Media Specific
  • Artist Specific
  • Regional
I still need to add in the Scottish Art Societies and aim to do that before the end of the year.

Federation of British Artists - exhibiting at the Mall Galleries

Annual Exhibition 2015 of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour
Those national art societies that comprise the Federation of British Artists who exhibit at the Mall Galleries - namely:

The 2015 exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters
- currently on at the Mall Galleries until 13th December

Societies exhibiting at the Bankside Gallery

RWS Competition got non-members in 2015

Other UK Art Societies - Subject specific

A group of drawings by Susan Christopher-Coulson2015 Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists

Other UK Art Societies - Media Specific

Cases of miniature paintings in the 2015 annual exhibition of the
Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers

Other UK Art Societies - Artist Specific


  1. do you need help with the scottish exhibitions? email me if so - can give you a hand if needed! (

  2. Thanks Jane - any help gratefully received - I just ran out of steam!

  3. OK, have internet back and have time to post stuff :) - do you want me to email you or post here re: scottish shows?

  4. OK, well, the RSA Open for small works is probably the biggest show and it is on at the moment - Their building in Edinburgh is lovely and is where quite a few other society's show - not unlike the Mall Galleries, except it also where big museum shows are held as well, like the recent Bailey Stardust show. Presently the RSW have their show in there, but that ends today - Next up is the SSA - and after them, the VAS
    Over in Glasgow the RGI was the equivalent of the RSA - - but they haven't had an annual show for a couple of years for various reasons, not least the art school using the premises the show was held in, since the fire. The PAI was the very first show I ever took part in - - and has been particularly popular over the last couple of years with some amazing work - it's generally held in May.
    Aberdeen also has an artists society - - which also didn't have an open last year.
    That's all I can think of at the moment as far as societies/open shows go presently!


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