Thursday, December 15, 2016

Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Elections 2017

The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE) is holding its elections for membership in February 2017. Membership is NOT limited to those living and/or working in the UK.
The Society seeks practising professional printmakers from the UK and abroad and intends its membership to reflect the best of printmaking as an art form in all its diversity.
The Society was originally founded - as the Society of Painter-Etchers - in 1880. Queen Victoria granted it its Royal title in 1888. It changed its name to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, so as to incorporate all methods of printmaking, in 1989. This is by way of explanation for the accepted shortened form of their name as being RE.

The deadline for submitting an application for membership in 2017 is Wednesday 8th February 2017, at 12 noon.

Home page of the website of the The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE) 

The Benefits of membership of the RE

Fine art printmakers who are elected to membership enjoy full Membership benefits including:
  • three major group exhibitions at Bankside Gallery each year
  • other opportunities to exhibit in art fairs. 
  • your work will be publicised through the Society’s website
  • opportunities to run artist demonstrations
  • your work may be used for publicity, on merchandise
  • generally become involved in Society events.
In the first instance, an application for membership can result in your election as an Associate Member. The annual subscription fee for an Associate is £190 in advance on 1st January in the second and subsequent years. (It's rebated in the first year to reflect less than a full year).

The Election Process

Artists who work in any printmaking media, including digital, are invited to apply for membership. Successful candidates invariably are those who appear equally outstanding in all aspects of their work as practising professional artist-printmakers.

What you need to know

The next elections are being held in February 2017.
  • The actual annual election of Associates (ARE) - in a secret ballot of the RE Council - will be held at Bankside Gallery on Saturday 25th February 2017.
  • The vote takes place after the members have reviewed each applicant’s prints, drawings (or other preparation work) and artist statement.
The selection process is thorough and challenging and many of our current members have undergone many elections before being successful. The Society seeks practising professional printmakers from the UK and abroad and intends its membership to reflect the best of printmaking as an art form in all its diversity.

Criteria for election as an Association

The RE Council are looking for certain significant qualities in candidates including:
  • A high degree of individuality and commitment in their work. 
  • Evidence of maturity and accomplishment in printmaking. 
  • Agreement to participate on a regular basis in exhibitions and assist with the Society's work.


  • Deadline for applications: Wednesday 8th February 2017 | 12 noon 
  • Date for sending in portfolio: Friday 24th February 2017 | 11am - 7pm 
  • Results / Collection of artwork: Sunday 26th - Monday 27th February 2017 | 11am - 6pm

Who can apply

There are no restrictions of applications for membership.

How to apply

  • Obtain the application form and conditions - information and an application pack are available by clicking here.
  • Print out the form and complete the form - you need to provide:
    • the work you are submitting; 
    • your training; 
    • details of the most significant shows you have been in and/or 
    • any work in public collections and an artist’s statement.
  • You can submit up to eight prints
  • You can also submit up to six pieces of supporting work eg sketchbooks
  • you can list up to five exhibitions of your work
  • You need to summarise your artist statement in less than 200 words.
For those who need to have a think about their artist statement you might find this section about How to write an artist statement on my Art Business Info for Artists website to be useful.
  • Complete and submit your application by the due date and, unusually these days, MUST ALLOW TIME FOR POSTAGE!
    • MUST be by post - there is no digital submission (why not accept PDFs of the completed form via email?)
    • MUST be accompanied by a cheque for the fee. (It's a great pity that the RE doesn't provide the opportunity for people to pay via PayPal or a BACs transfer - cheques are rapidly becoming an outmoded means of making payments!)
  • You then need to submit your portfolio by the due date. Pay particular attention to the commercial aspects of applications from prospective members
Monoprints and monotypes are permissible in part but candidates should note that the Society seeks Members who are practising printmakers, producing editions of prints that we can exhibit and sell for mutual support

Who selects new members

Those who become new Associate Members are elected by a panel of the RE Council.
The Society draws from a broad range of printmakers with diverse tastes and practices. Changes to the selection committee mean that rejection one year does not preclude selection on another occasion.

A suggestion for the RE

How about making life easier for the printmaker - particularly those living outside the UK, the society and its administrators by transforming this process into one which is suitable for a world where most things are now done - and filed - online?

For example, the Society could agree to:
  • EITHER make the form available as a Word document or a Google Docs document - so it can be completed via email. 
  • OR use an online form based on the website for all submissions. It's what typically required of artists when submitting their work to an art competition.
  • create a dedicated email for all correspondence, queries and submission of applications - this avoids applications getting 'lost'.
  • make arrangements so that people can submit their applications online - (it's not difficult) eg
    • send their completed form in Word via email to dedicated email address 
    • pay their fee via BACs transfer or Paypal / credit card.
In doing so you will reduce the amount of paperwork produced and enable all applications to be forwarded as online documents to the selectors in advance of the meeting.  This reduces paper wasted and printing costs.

You can still have an arrangement for those who are not digitally literate and allow applications by post and cheque as well.

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