Monday, March 11, 2019

Call for Entries - Royal Society of British Artists 302nd Exhibition

This is a reminder that you have until Friday 15th March 2019 to submit an entry to the 2019 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA)

This post is about the Call for Entries. It covers
  • how to become a member of the RBA
  • who can enter
  • how to enter
  • the exhibition
Last year, the RBA selected a record number of 174 works from the open submission.

a view of part of the main gallery at last year's exhibition
Artists are invited to submit works for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Society of British Artists at their Annual Exhibition 2019.
This then is your opportunity to exhibit with the Royal Society of British Artists whose past exhibitions have included works by past members such as
  • James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - who was RBA President 1886-1888
  • Walter Richard Sickert, RA (1860-1942) - Elected RBA President 1928 - 1930
  • LS Lowry, RA (1887-1976) - RBA Member 1935
  • amongst a number of other well known artists
You too could have work selected from the open entry as Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) did when four of his works, each priced at £160, were included in the winter show of 1887/8!

303rd Exhibition in 2019

The 303rd exhibition in 2019 will be held in July 2019 at the Mall Galleries. It's usually held across all three galleries due to its size.
  • Opens on Thursday 4th July  2018 
  • Open to the public every day from 10am - 5pm (except the last day)
  • Closes at 1pm on Saturday 14th July 2019.
  • The Private View will be on Wednesday 3rd July 2018, 11am – 8pm - with speeches at 6pm.

How to become a member of the RBA

The RBA is a society where membership is often seen as a complement to membership of other national art societies. Indeed this was its original intention.
A group of painters met at Lincoln’s Inn Fields on May 21st 1823, to form the ‘Society of British Artists’, whose manifesto stated, ‘This organisation was not formed to rival existing societies but that every Member was to be at liberty to assist and support any other society.’
Those wanting to join the Society are invited to submit to the annual exhibition. You'll need to submit and be selected for several annual exhibitions before you are accepted as a member.

This is how to join the RBA

Candidates for membership are exhibited in one part of the exhibition (and of the five people who exhibited at the 2018 exhibition who I said I hoped to see as members of the RBA after the exhibition, four of the five now are!)
On average, there are 110 members elected to the RBA, all of whom are entitled to exhibit in the Annual Exhibition which is held at Mall Galleries in London. The membership procedure is competitive; candidates will normally be expected to have previously exhibited several times with the Society after which they may apply for election to the RBA.
artwork in the north gallery last year

Call for Entries Royal Society of British Artists 2019


There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:

Cash Prizes

  • The de Laszlo Foundation Prize: The de Laszlo Medal and £1,500 will be awarded to the artist aged 35 or under for the best art work from life
  • The Patron's Prize: £500
  • The Stuart Southall Print Prize: £250
  • The Gordon Hulson Memorial Prize for Draughtsmanship, Variety & Exploration: £200
  • The Nathan David Award for Sculpture: £150
  • The Davison Award for Oil Painting: £100
  • The Geoffrey Vivis Memorial Award: £100
  • The Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award: £50

Tuition Prize

  • The LARA Prize for a Young Artist: Short course at London or Bristol

Publication Prizes

  • The Artist Magazine Award: The winner will be interviewed in The Artist magazine, print and digital editions
  • 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

Art Materials Prizes

  • The Michael Harding Awards: Two awards of £500 worth of Michael Harding art materials, and 10 painting starter sets
  • The Winsor & Newton Painting Award: Art materials to the value of £500
  • Hahnemuhle Fine Art UK Award: A prize of artist paper, worth £250
  • Frinton Frames Award: £200 of picture framing at Frinton Frames bespoke handfinished picture frame makers

Who can Submit?


Any artist - over the age of 18 - living anywhere in the world can submit artwork to this exhibition.
I recommend you also have a read of my review of last year's exhibition before deciding on your submission. It has LOTS of images of the exhibition.

What can you submit?

  • Acceptable media: Any medium including sculpture and original prints.
  • Age of artwork: no requirement
  • No. of artworks: up to six - of which up to four will be selected
  • Previous exhibitions: Work must not have been exhibited previously.
  • Dry: Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery (or they won't be hung)
  • 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).
I'm a big fan of art societies who refuse to allow people to exhibit work they have previously exhibited elsewhere - it makes for a better exhibition of work which is fresh to the eye.

the RBA Exhibition in the Threadneedle Space last year

How to enter

Entry is digital - after the preselection, artists will be invited to submit work for the second stage review.

  • All entries are via digital submission online. (You cannot bring your artwork to London to enter)
  • Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]
  • 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 all artists SUBMITTING work to the exhibition (normally £4).


HMRC define you as an overseas seller if you sell goods stored in the UK to UK consumers and do not have a business establishment in the UK.  In this instance the Mall Galleries acts as your agent.

Those submitting from outside the UK must decide 
  • whether they need to register for VAT in advance (see Overseas business and VAT)
  • engage an art carrier to deliver their work

Timeline - submission to exhibition

  • Submission closes: Friday 15 March 2019, 12 noon
  • Pre-selection: Monday 18 March, 10am to 5pm
  • Pre-selection notification: Friday 22 March, 12 noon
  • Receiving Day: Saturday 27 April, 10am to 5pm
  • Selection Day: Tuesday 30 April, 10am to 5pm
  • Acceptance notification: Wednesday 1 May, 12 noon
  • Collection of unaccepted work: Friday 3 May, 10am to 5pm
  • Private View: Wednesday 3 July, 11am to 8pm (speeches at 6pm)
  • Exhibition open: Thursday 4 July 10am to 5pm
  • Exhibition closes: Sunday 14 July, 1pm

TIP: This is a link to images and details of the artwork in last year's exhibition which is on the RBA website. I've ordered it by price - starting with the lowest priced. You can see which ones sold.

I expressed the view last year that some of those who were exhibiting were using very silly prices.

I recommend you study carefully the price ranges for different sized work - and work in different media - and which sold.  That gives you some sort of context for a submission this week.

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