Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Call for Entries: Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2019

The Call for Entries for entries to the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters has been open for over six weeks.  It closes on Friday 30 August (12 noon) in just over six weeks time.

This post highlights the following:
  • An increasing emphasis on oil painting
  • Exhibition - a summary of venue and number of paintings to be exhibited
  • Summary of the Call for Entries process
    • who can enter
    • what you can enter
    • how to enter
    • the timetable
    • a summary of the prizes and selection process
  • Reflections on statistical data relating to previous years - which many will find interesting
Plus what this exhibition has looked like in the past. At the end are links to all the blog posts I've written in previous years about the exhibition, who won prizes and who got selected - and links to their websites!

An increasing emphasis on oil painting?

Pete Brown's palette - from last year's talk!

I think I detect a new emphasis in the Call for Entries for the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters on oil painting!
The Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) seeks work in oils and is the only national art society devoted to oil painting
That might seem an odd point to make, however it has been conventional in the past to treat acrylics as if they are oils - and quite simply they are not!

BELOW are some statistics on the topic of the media for works in the exhibition over the last five years
Number and percentage of works - by medium - in the ROI Annual Exhibitions 2014-2018

In 2018 there was a marked change in media selected for exhibition. There was a new President and this is how the numbers changed
  • the number of paintings exhibited INCREASED from the previous year (but were similar to 2015 and 2016)
  • the number and percentage of paintings in acrylic DECREASED (i.e halved)
  • a tiny number of artists continue to mix oil with other media (5 or fewer paintings each year)
  • none of the young artists worked other than in oil - as per previous years
I regard this as a very positive move. My view is that if you are going to have a media based society then you should stick to that media! (I'd like to see an exhibition by an art society of acrylic painters)

It should be noted that those producing acrylic paintings are primarily existing members.

I'm guessing that it is now 'de rigeur' that you MUST consistently paint in oils if you want to become a member


The exhibition will be held at the Mall Galleries between Wednesday 27 November and Sunday 8 December 2019 - making 11.5 days in total. Hours are 10am - 5pm but the exhibition closes at 1pm on the last day .

Last year it was only held in the Main Gallery and the Threadneedle Space. My challenge to the ROI is to join the "premier league" of those societies who exhibit at the Mall Galleries and....
  • use the whole gallery and increase works hung; and 
  • generate more sales for their exhibiting artists.

The Private View in 2018

I like to provide feedback about the exhibition metrics associated with the previous year's exhibition and the success of non-members in getting their work hung

Below is a table of the numbers relating to last year's exhibition from my analysis of last year's exhibition

ROI 2018 Open Entry Exhibition statistics - for artists and artworks

The key points are as follows
750 artists submitted 1,900 artworks to the exhibition this year. Of these
  • 16% of artists got 10% of the artwork past the initial digital screening stage - and submitted work for final selection.
  • 10% of the artists who submitted work have work hanging in the exhibition
  • Only 6% of the artwork submitted was selected for the exhibition
  • This suggests that quite a lot of artists submit a lot of artwork.
The Good News - this is a competitive open entry but at least a third of the exhibition will be by artists and artwork from the open entry.

The CALL FOR ENTRIES - Process and Key Points

What follows is a summary of the KEY POINTS
  • Submit artwork in oils - framed or as box canvases but not matted or glazed
  • The deadline for submissions is Friday 30 August (12 noon)
  • "London" is the special theme for 2019
  • Entry for the 2019 competition is digital and ONLINE.
  • Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB
  • Submission fee which includes Free Admission to the exhibition (normally £4)
  • £18 per work at the time of submitting
  • £12 per work for artists aged 35 or under
  • Make sure you read ALL the Terms and Conditions if you don't want to be disqualified

  • You review the images from past exhibitions (see blog posts reviewing past exhibitions at the end of this post)
  • Have a go and enter two of your best works. The cost relative to the achievement and the experience is negligible
  • This exhibition is particularly supportive of Young Artists and all those oil painters under the age of 35 should feel encouraged to apply

Who can enter

  • The competition is open to all artists over the age of 18.
  • It is also open to international entries - you don't even have to be live or work in the UK. However 

What you can enter

  • Eligible media includes:
    • oil
    • acrylic paint or water based oils are eligible if framed like an oil painting.  
    • BUT I think they ought to make the point that other media also needs to be used like oil paint can be 
    • AND I think all those thinking about entering ought to take a long hard look at the statistics - and then paint in oils!)
  • Presentation:
    • Wide mounts between painting and frame, as in watercolours, are not acceptable.
    • Glazed work is not encouraged.
    • Unframed work can be accepted if on a well-presented box canvas.
    • Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery.
  • Size: NEW The combined measurement of works accepted will not exceed 8 feet maximum per artist.
  • Age: Work must have been completed in the last three years and NOT exhibited in London previously.
  • For Sale
    • All work must be for sale (except for portraits). 
    • Minimum sale price: £300
  • Number: Maximum of six works submitted. (Maximum of four works selected)

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that anybody proposing to enter work for the exhibition -- whether member or open entrant has a READ of my Review: ROI Annual Exhibition 2018 + commentary on pricing

You'll see why when you read it - assuming you'd like to boost your income! However I'll give you a clue....
nearly 75% of the sales relate to small and small/medium works which are selling for under £2,000 - with most selling for less than £1,000

Special theme in 2019

Brilliant idea! People who live and/or work in London buy paintings of London - as do tourists!
This year’s Annual Exhibition will include a 'show-within-the-show’ of paintings on the theme of “London”, to which members and non-members alike are invited to submit works for consideration. It is hoped that the display will capture the country’s capital city in all its character and complexity through the eyes of contemporary artists, and complement the broader exhibition of more varied subjects in the same medium.

Prizes & Awards

There are many prizes and awards available to win, including those listed below. I've categorised them according to the type of prize.

Entries are reviewed and assessed by The Selection Committee
. This comprises artist members of the Society and membership is rotated annually - which means the tastes influencing who gets chosen will also change on an annual basis and your submission may find favour this year!

There are many prizes and awards available to win - and winning prizes enhances your CV re getting a Gallery!

NEW Prizes

I congratulate the ROI on introducing three new prizes for 2019

The Small Works Wall in 2018
  • NEW The Tony Merrick Memorial Prize - An award of £250 in memory of the late Tony Merrick ROI (1948-2018)
  • NEW The ROI Emerging Artist Prize - A prize of £250 and the opportunity to spend a day with one of the Institute's members, for an artist aged 30 or under at the time of submission
  • NEW The Small Painting Prize - An award of £250, open to members and non-members, for the best small painting on display (maximum dimension of 12 inches / 30.5 cm, excluding frame)
In my view, other art societies could well adopt the latter two prizes as well!

Cash prizes

  • The Phyllis Roberts Award - An award of £2,000 for an artist aged 30 or under
  • The Alan Gourley Memorial Award - An annual prize of £1,000, awarded for a painting of outstanding merit
  • The Stanley Grimm Prize - Two awards totalling £700 (first prize £400, second prize £300), to the painters whose work receive the most votes from visitors to the exhibition
  • The Menena Joy Schwabe Memorial Award - An award of £250 for an outstanding oil painter

Art Materials Prizes

  • Winsor & Newton Young Artist Awards (for artists aged 30 or under) - 
    • First Prize: £1,000 Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials 
    • Second Prize: £600 Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials 
    • Third Prize: £400 Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials
  • Winsor & Newton Non-Member Award - £150 worth of Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials
  • L. Cornelissen & Son - An award of a contemporary version of a Victorian Oil Painter's equipment
  • Frank Herring Easel Award - An award of a versatile easel

Publication & Other Awards

  • The Le Clerc Fowle Medal - In memory of Anne Le Clerc Fowle, presented annually for an outstanding group of paintings
  • The Artist Magazine Award - The winning artist will be featured in a forthcoming issue of The Artist magazine, print and digital editions
  • The Dry Red Press Award - The winning work will be published as a greeting card by Dry Red Press in their 'Prize Winners' range

Previous Exhibitions

You can find links to my previous reviews of exhibitions below.

Top tips for travelling artists - oil painters 15 Aug 2011
The Best Books about Oil Painting

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