Friday, May 10, 2019

Call for Entries: Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition 2019

Entries from non-members are now welcome for the 56th annual OPEN exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists.

You have until 12 noon on Friday 26 July 2019 to get your digital entry ready and upload it and complete your submission online.
The Selection Committee of the SWLA seeks to encourage all forms of three and two-dimensional artwork (see 'Acceptable media' below) that is based on representing the world’s wildlife. The Committee is particularly keen to encourage all artists with fresh visions to submit work to the Annual Exhibition that shows imagination, artistic ability, originality and genuine creativity.
The exhibition includes wonderful prints and drawings as well as drawings and paintings

Why wildlife art is important and the role of the wildlife artist

The wildlife artist has never been more important in:
  • highlighting the diversity of wildlife in the UK and abroad 
  • recording all those species which are under threat
  • helping conservationists make the wider public aware of the threat to both species and ecosystems - and consequently humanity - caused by the failure to stem the practices which are leading to a massive decline in species.
Earlier this week, a summary of a report - due to be published in six volumes later this year - was published which is the most comprehensive assessment of its kind. It indicates
  • the rate of extinction is increasing
  • some 1,000,000 species are under threat from the activities of man and climate change.
Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary, meeting last week (29 April – 4 May) in Paris.
To increase the policy-relevance of the Report, the assessment’s authors have ranked, for the first time at this scale and based on a thorough analysis of the available evidence, the five direct drivers of change in nature with the largest relative global impacts so far. These culprits are, in descending order:
  1. changes in land and sea use;
  2. direct exploitation of organisms;
  3. climate change;
  4. pollution and
  5. invasive alien species.

Pangolin - "the most trafficked creature you've never heard of"

Call for Entries: 56th annual exhibition of SWLA

View of the 2018 Exhibition in the Main Gallery

The SWLA call for entries is administered by the Federation of British Artists at the Mall Galleries and you can find more information below and on their website

For full terms and conditions, click here.

You should also note a comment from my Review: Society of Wildlife Artists 55th Annual Exhibition in 2018 (my bold)
the 2018 annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists at the Mall Galleries is emphatically not an exhibition of photorealistic artwork.
You can see images from previous exhibitions in all review blog posts listed at the end.

Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)

There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:
  • The Terravesta Prize: £2,000 for the best work exhibited
  • Birdwatch Artist of the Year Award: £1,000 plus Swarovski equipment
  • RSPB Award: £500
  • Birdscapes Gallery 'Conservation through Art' Award: £700 split between the artist and a conservation charity of their choice
  • Mascot Media 'Nature in Print' Award: For the most original, unusual or effective interpretation of the natural world using traditional printmaking techniques. The winning artist will receive £200 and their choice of 10 current Mascot Media books
  • Dry Red Press Award: The winning work reproduced as a greetings card

Eligible artists

Any artist over 18 may submit.

Eligible artwork

The artwork must be of wildlife. 
Work should be based on representing the world’s wildlife.
Wildlife includes any non-domestic animal such as birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, crustaceans and insects. 
In summary, the SWLA Selection Committee is looking for:
  • two and three dimensional artwork inspired by the natural world
  • work that displays a deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, based on ‘in the field’ observation
  • work that reflects a personal, original, and creative response
  • work that displays a high level of technical skill
  • work that showcases interesting approaches and emerging new talent
Works likely to be rejected include:
Works depicting domestic animals or purely botanical subjects are not permissible. 
Works depicting wildlife divorced from its environment or without place, setting or context are rejected in many cases. 
Biological or scientific illustrations are in most cases not permissible.

If you've not submitted before the best thing to do is 
  • visit the show first. 
SWLA 2018 Catalogue Cover
The next best thing is to review
  • the online catalogues - which includes photos of members' artwork
  • my blog posts reviewing past exhibitions (see end) which provides images of artwork selected for the show from the open entry as well as artwork by members

Number and size of artwork
  • Maximum of six works submitted. Maximum of six works selected
  • Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.
  • All work must be for sale.
  • The price of works must include commission of 45%+VAT
  • However if foundry fees are applicable, the commission is 33.3%+VAT) .
  • Minimum price: £200 (except for prints: framed £120, unframed £95).

Ineligible work

Work will not be accepted IF it meets one or more of the following criteria
  • NOT for sale
  • NOT completely dry
  • NOT completed within the last three years
  • larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension
  • previously exhibited in London
  • a botanical subject
  • portrayal of pets and/or domestic animals,
  • decorative wares (such as vessels or tiles),
  • work in metal frames, poorly framed or badly presented.
  • Photographic reproductions or mechanical prints, giclĂ©e prints of original artwork etc., (i.e. COPIES which are often promoted as ‘limited edition prints’ are not acceptable).

Eligible media

In addition to the usual art media of painting, sculpture and original prints (if prints, please detail edition and how many are available) the SWLA is keen to embrace new and innovative medium.

SWLA will accept computer-generated images as ‘original prints’ but ONLY if the digital print only exists as an original print and was created by the artist to be realised specifically as a print.

How to submit an entry

This is the detailed call for entries.

To enter an exhibition you need to login or register as a new artist.

Advice on photographing

It is very difficult to assess work from poor photographs. When submitting work for pre-selection, please ensure that the photographs are accurate and show the work at its best. It is worth noting that sometimes work is let down by very poor photography including reflections on the glass, out of focus images or images that are angled from being propped against a wall when photographed. The lack of care reflects badly on the artist and does not help the task of selecting work. Sculptors in particular should use plain backgrounds and make the most of the option to add more views of the submission.

Advice on framing

Artists are encouraged to choose simple plain frames and mounts that will suit the exhibition and not detract from the work itself or interfere with adjacent works when exhibited in the galleries.

Cost of entry

Submission fee: £18 per work (£12 per work for artists aged 35 or under).


  • 12 noon on Friday 26 July 2019: Deadline for digital entries: Upload images of work (in JPEG format / under 5MB) at
  • Friday 2 August, from 12 noon: Check to see if your work has been pre-selected
  • Saturday 31 August, 10am to 5pm: Deliver your work to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
  • Tuesday 3 September, 12 noon: Check on , to see if your work has been accepted to the exhibition. Please note that selectors' decisions are final and no feedback is offered - other than general comments
  • Thursday 5 September, 10am - 5pm: If not selected for exhibition, collect your work from Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
  • Thursday 24 October, 10am: Exhibition opens
  • Sunday 3 November, 1pm: Exhibition closes
  • Thursday 7 November, 10am - 5pm: Collect unsold work
Note: some dates have been updated since publication.

If you do NOT live in the UK

INTERNATIONAL Artists, who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU or elsewhere in the world are welcome to submit work. However you MUST read and make a careful note of the instructions on the website
International Entrants

Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU or elsewhere are welcome to submit work. 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. 0300 200 3700 or Outside UK: +44 2920 501 261.

Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art - Tel: 0044 (0)1302 711011 / Mobile: 07833 450788 / Email:


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    2016 - Review - Society of Wildlife Artists 53rd Annual Exhibition

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