Monday, November 27, 2017

Call for Entries - New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2018

Entries are now being accepted for the 2018 Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club. The exhibition is an OPEN exhibition - however I suggest those wanting to enter review my analysis and comments below prior to submitting an entry

You have three months get your entry ready because the deadline for entries is noon on Friday 23 February 2018.

Below you can find
  • my commentary on the nature of this open exhibition
  • a review of the metrics associated with the annual exhibition in June 2017 - including the number of works selected from the open entry, the number of non-member artists who got to exhibit and the average number of artworks hung by a non-members.
  • a summary of how to enter the next annual exhibition.
    Members' paintings in the Main Gallery of the Mall Galleries at the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2017

    The annual exhibition in 2018 will be held at the Mall Galleries (15 - 23 June 2018). It opens at 10am and is open every day (10am - 5pm ) until 5pm on 23 June 2018

    You can also follow my summary of the Calls for Entries for the various exhibitions of the national art societies in the UK on my blog PAGE UK Art Societies: Open Exhibitions.

    The New English Art Club

    This is how NEAC explains its purpose and remit as follows
    The New English Art Club is a group of around ninety professional painters whose work is based principally upon direct observation of nature and the human figure. We aim to foster excellence in all our activities and continue to assist and encourage the art of painting to develop even more expressive possibilities.

    Our Annual Exhibition is a showcase for our members and gives aspiring artists an opportunity to be seen alongside some of the best figurative artists painting today.
    In relation to its annual exhibition, it states
    The New English Art Club seeks work which demonstrates excellence in both concept and draughtsmanship.
    The NEAC website has also recently had a makeover since I last looked at it and is greatly improved.

    Exhibition Metrics re. Open Exhibition 2017

    If you're thinking of entering the 2018 exhibition, I suggest you take a look at the numbers I crunched for last year's exhibition and my comments below.

    I think NEAC needs to be a lot more explicit about
    • the purpose of the Open Entry and 
    • what the benefits are to those who seek to exhibit - in terms of the practical reality. 
    The organisation of the exhibition and the number of works being exhibited by non-members in recent times does not persuade me that the open entry is seriously seen as a route through to membership of NEAC.  Candidates for membership need to be seen to be exhibiting more than one work - as they do in some of the other FBA Societies. (see the Artist Membership Application Process).

    Just two people were elected to membership in 2017. Both are established professional artists who were already members of other FBA Societies. One is the Treasurer of another society.  It's also very clear that NEAC sees itself as a community of professional artists.

    Suggesting that the route to entry of NEAC is via another FBA Society and becoming an established and professional artist and NOT via this particular open submission.....  Which may well come as a surprise to some people who have submitted in the past.

    Personally I'm also of the opinion that hanging just 25% of the exhibition from the open entry is not a great way to encourage people to enter. It makes it look like the open entry is being used to subsidise an exhibition which is overwhelmingly (75%) about members' works.

    Also hanging all the members work in the main galleries and most of the open submission in the North Gallery is somewhat pointed. Is this one exhibition or two?

    Frankly, in my opinion, the aim of an open exhibition should be to fund the majority of the cost of an exhibition by selecting artwork of merit - by whoever - that generates a healthy number of sales - OR charging a premium to members whose work does not sell.

    After all, let us not forget that art societies started out as a way of creating scale economies when putting on group exhibitions that enabled artists to raise their profile and have careers as a professional artist.

    Exhibition Metrics 2017

    Here's my summary of the 2017 exhibition (from my review)
    This is perhaps the most uneven exhibition I've ever seen in terms of the hang. By which I mean biased in a scientific sense. I think the best way of describing it is:
    • essentially an exhibition of artwork by the members 
    • a very low key and small "open" exhibition - in terms of nature and format of work selected
    Here's my summary of the metrics - the performance indicators - for the exhibition.
    • 415 artworks were exhibited in the 2017 open exhibition - across all three galleries of the Mall Galleries. Paintings included oils, acrylic, watercolour and mixed media. Drawings included charcoal, pastel and graphite.
    • Of these 415 exhibited artworks:
      • 312 (75.2%) artworks were by 79  members and 
      • 101 (24.3%) artworks were by 84 non-members plus 2 watercolour paintings by HRH Prince of Wales
    • Of the 84 artists from the open entry, 
      • 10 were members of other national societies (most of which are based at the Mall Galleries). 
      • Leaving 74 artists with no affiliation to a national art society
    • The majority of the 84 non-member artists only had ONE WORK selected from the open entry for the exhibition, with a few having two works.  
    • Average number of works exhibited by non-member - 1.2 artworks.
    Virtually all of the artwork selected from the open submission can be seen in the North Galleries. Most of the work hung in these galleries is small to medium size paintings. Review: New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2017
    • Most of the sales after four days of the exhibition had come from smaller works (see my review) - and not a lot appeared to be coming from members' works.
    [Note: By way of comparison, back in 2015 some 1,000 entries resulted in 94 paintings, drawings, prints and watercolours (i.e. 9.4%) were hung alongside the 293 works by members. 

    Disappointingly, the number of entries in 2016 and 2017 were NOT highlighted in the catalogues.]

    Many artists are concerned about the cost of entering art competitions. Digital entry has totally eliminated the cost of framing and transporting work to London for all those who are unsuccessful in the first screening of their artwork. 

    However, given that entry fee and framing costs escalate with the number of works entered, I'd suggest people think carefully about the number of works entered. 

    Given that it's unlikely that more than one artwork will be selected and hung, I recommend that you consider entering no more than two works.  

    It also seems unlikely a large work will be selected based on the 2017 exhibition - since most works by non-members were small or medium sized works.

    You also need to ensure you enter two works likely to be compatible with the artwork hung in an exhibition like this!  (That's where reviewing artwork in person or online comes in!).

    You can find out more about the 2017 exhibition as follows:

    Call for Entries

    This is an OPEN EXHIBITION. Both members of NEAC and other artists are invited to submit artwork for consideration.
    • Eligible artwork: Paintings, drawings, pastels, original framed prints. Photography and sculpture are NOT admissible.
    • Artwork MUST:
      • be completed in the last two years 
      • not have been previously exhibited in London.
      • not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension
    • All entries are via digital submission online(You cannot bring your artwork to London to enter)
    • The deadline for entries is 12 noon on Friday 23 February 2018
    • The entry fee is £18 per work payable at the time of submitting (£12 per work for artists aged 35 or under) and includes free admission to the exhibition (normally £4)
    The entry fee is £3 more than other FBA Societies exhibiting at the Mall Galleries.
    • How on earth an art society justifies an increase in the entry fee by saying you won't be charged an artist entry to the exhibition is beyond me. 
    • Exhibiting artists should NEVER be charged entry to the exhibition they are exhibiting in!
    FEE UPDATE: I'm pleased to revise a misunderstanding on my part re changes to the entry fee arrangements. The Mall Galleries have clarified that 
    • the entry fee payable for ALL exhibitions as from 1 January is £18 (an increase of £3 from the £15 payable in 2017) 
    • the fee paid will also permit free entry to the exhibition for all artists SUBMITTING work (i.e. only exhibiting artists have previously had free entry to the exhibition).
    Details of how artists can apply via the open entry process are set out below.

    For full terms and conditions, click here.

    Who can Submit?

    Any artist - over the age of 18 - living anywhere in the world can submit artwork to this exhibition.

    (Note: the names of those artists whose work was selected for the exhibition are noted on the NEAC website) 

    Artwork exhibited in the North Gallery mainly comes from the Open Submission

    What you can submit?

    • Number: You can submit a maximum of six works - of which a maximum of three will be selected and hung. (This is one less than the number for other art societies)
    • Type: (referencing the website)
      • work based principally upon direct observation of nature / human figure. 
      • work which demonstrates excellence in both concept and draughtsmanship. 
    • Media: Paintings, drawings, pastels, original framed prints (Photography, sculpture are NOT eligible)
    • Dry: Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery.
    • Size: Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.
    • For Sale: All work must be for sale. 
    • Price: The minimum price is £300 (framed prints: £180, unframed prints: £120).
    • Exhibitions: Work must not have been exhibited previously in London (i.e. it can have been exhibited elsewhere in the country)
    The notion that artwork should not have been exhibited in London before seems sensible. Exhibiting it elsewhere should not rule it out of an exhibition in London - although a definition of London would seem wise.

    Generic Information about submitting to the Annual Exhibition 2018

    The exhibition and entry process is organised by the Mall Galleries on behalf of NEAC.

    Below is the standard information relevant to any exhibition at the Mall Galleries by a society which is a member of the Federation of British Artists. The Generic Terms and Conditions are universal. The ones which are specific to this exhibition are in "What you can submit" above

    You can find Information about the exhibition on the Mall Galleries Website

    The Call for Entries Terms and Conditions are applicable to ALL FBA exhibitions at the Mall Galleries. These cover:

    The NEAC Exhibition 2018

    Digital Submission and Detailed Entry requirements - specific to this exhibition is located at

    With respect to the NEAC Annual Exhibition you need to use:

    How to Submit

    The process works as follows
    • Read the general terms and conditions
    • Read the specific entry requirements 
    • Register for digital submission - if you have never entered before 
    • Login to the Open Exhibition Entry website 
    • Submit your entry online prior to the deadline: 12 noon onFriday 23 February 2018. You need to complete the form, pay the fee and upload images of work. [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB] 
    • Pre-selection is based on online entries and associated digital images 
    • Notification of Pre-selection: Friday 2 March, 12 noon 
    • Deliver pre-selected entries ONLY to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD for final selection on Saturday 7 April, 10am to 5pm 
    • Final selection: in front of a Panel of Members of NEAC> 
    • Notification of Acceptance: Tuesday 10 April, 12 noon - check this page to see if your entry number is listed Collect work not accepted for exhibition from Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD on Thursday 12 April, 10am to 5pm 
    • The selectors' decisions are final and no feedback is offered. 
    • Collect unsold work: Thursday 28 June, 10am to 5pm

    Special Note for Artists living/working outside the UK

    • Artists from outside the UK may need to register for VAT, please check with HM Revenue and Customs:
    • Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. 
    Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU, if your work is sold at the exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs. Artists without a UK residence (known as 'NETPs' - non-established taxable persons) can find further details on 'NETP' status and how to register for VAT at, (HM Revenue & Customs Reference: Notice 700/1, Mar 2014) under the heading 'Should I be registered for VAT?'. Please note: the registration process can take up to 4 weeks. Please address any questions you may have to the VAT Helpline on tel. no. 0845 010 9000 or, if your call is from outside the UK, +44 2920501 261

    Prizes & Awards

    The Prizes and Awards listed on the website are fewer than for some of the other exhibitions - however the final listing will be confirmed nearer to the opening of the exhibition.

    Changes this year are that
    • the £1,000 Contemporary Arts Trust Prize has been discontinued
    • there is a new sponsor for the Drawing  Prize this year - and the award has been upped from £300 to £1,000

    Monetary Prizes

    • The Doreen McIntosh Prize: £5,000
    • NEW The Bowyer Drawing Prize: £1,000 (replacing sponsorship which seems to have been discontinued)

    Art Materials

    • The Winsor & Newton Award: Art materials to the value of £500, voted for by visitors to the exhibition.
    • The Peter Ashley Framing Prize: Presented by The Artistic Framing Company: A bespoke handmade picture frame will be created for the winning artwork, to the value of £500
    • Jackson's Art Prize: £300 worth of art materials, awarded to an outstanding work by a non-member

    Publication Awards

    • The Dry Red Press Award: The winning work will be published as a greeting card in the Dry Red Press 'Prize Winners' range, with royalties from the sale of the cards going to the artist

    Previous posts about the Annual NEAC Exhibition

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