Thursday, December 19, 2019

Call for Entries: New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2020

The Open Submission for the 2020 Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club (NEAC) is now open. Three big changes this year are as follows:

1) I think they've CHANGED the summary description of NEAC's purpose
The New English Art Club is an elected society of contemporary painters whose ethos resides in art informed by the visual world and personal interpretation. 
(my bold underlining)
compared to the 2019 catalogue (see below). What happened to the emphasis on figurative and drawing?
The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition is a chance to experience the very best in figurative, observational and painterly work in the UK.
It showcases paintings, drawings and prints from its elected members alongside work by emerging artists whose ethos reflects its own: informed by the visual world and personal interpretation; and underpinned by drawing. Mall Galleries Introduction

2) artists may submit to the NEAC Annual Exhibition in one of TWO ways:
    • Online Pre-selection (Route A) or 
    • Physical Selection (Route B).
The New English Art Club now offers Route B for artists wishing their work to be judged physically at the gallery for the first time, bypassing the online shortlisting process.
This is in recognition of the fact that it can be difficult for the selection committee to fully appreciate an artwork on screen, but at the same time recognising that the online pre-selection may save artists the time and expense of framing and transportation. The submission fee is the same for both options.
I wonder how much this is down to requests from artists and how much due to selectors not liking selecting online and/or not having computers which are good enough to make a decent selection...


3) They have some NEW sponsors and two NEW rather good new cash prizes - open only to either a non-member or an emerging artist under 35!

This post provides:
  • my commentary on the nature of this open exhibition
  • a reminder of the metrics associated with the annual exhibition in 2019 - 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 what you can enter AND how to enter the next annual exhibition.

view of part of the 2019 exhibition

The nature of the NEAC Annual Exhibition

There are aspects of the NEAC Open Exhibition which are worth bearing in mind when considering whether to submit art via the open entry.
  • LOTS of artists want to be a member of NEAC. For example, very many members of the OTHER art societies based at the Mall Galleries would like to be a member of NEAC - so your competition is people who have already been elevated to membership of societies belonging to the Federation of British Artists.
  • that's because historically it's had 
    • status - this art society was established by people who broke away from the Royal Academy of Arts
    • a good repuation (historically)as having lots of good quality artwork. Latterly I'd argue that this has wavered a bit
  • over £10,000 in monetary awards are now available (with two NEW prizes this year)- some of which can only be won by a non-member or an emerging artist.
  • around 75% of the artworks hung are by members of NEAC
  • around 20% of artworks hung come from the open and are by artists who are not a member of any art society based at the Mall Galleries. This is a LOT LOWER than the equivalent percentage for ALL other FBA Societies.
I'll unpick the metrics below. They are VERY IMPORTANT when thinking about how many works to submit and the competition for membership.

Ethos of exhibition

Just in case you missed it....
The New English Art Club is an elected society of contemporary PAINTERS whose ethos resides in art informed by the visual world and personal interpretation. (my capitals)
This has always been an exhibition of typically figurative art by painters, fine art printers and those who love drawing. This is one of the reasons why it attracts a lot of interest in memberhip from those who draw, paint and create fine art prints in the other FBA art societies.

I'm left wondering what the new suammry description means for  
  • the emphasis on figurative - especially since the demise of the Threaneedle
  • the scope for printmakers and people who like to draw - since apparently this is now an exhibition for painters according to the summary online.
If the new summary of intent is inadvertently and unitentionally misleading I suggest somebody gets it changed ASAP!

I like the emphasis on figurative and drawing. If it's losing these two aspects of past exhibitions then I'd venture to suggest it might end up a very different exhibition.

LOTS of drawings in the 2019 exhibition

Prizes & Awards

The exhibition's prizes and awards are open to all participating artists. You can see who won awards last year on the NEAC website.

I'm always surprised that the Prizes and Awards listed on the website are usually fewer than for some of the other exhibitions. It's struck me a while back that NEAC could do with tracking down some new sponsors!

Last year I commented on the fact that NEAC could do with tracking down some new sponsors. I'm very pleased to see that this comment 'hit the spot" and NEAC now has two new and significant monetary awards specifically directed at (1) non-members and (2) emerging artists aged 35 or under - which is good news!

They should however continue to study how many sponsored awards some of the other FBA exhibitions get!

Monetary Awards

These now exceed £10,000 for (I think) the first time in a long time.
  • The Doreen McIntosh Prize: £5,000
  • NEW The Chris Beetles Gallery Award: £2,000 for a non-member artist
  • NEW The Hermione Hammond Drawing Award: £2,000 for a drawing by an emerging artist aged 35 or under
  • The Bowyer Drawing Prize: £1,000 
  • The NEAC Critics' Prize: £250

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

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

The 2019 NEAC Exhibition + Metrics

You can read more about my number-crunching in

80% of the art hung in the 2019 NEAC Annual Exhibition did NOT come from the Open Entry.

  • A total of 300 artworks (out of 385) were by NEAC members and those associated (i.e. Honorary Members, Invited and Deceased Members)
  • Of the remaining 85 artworks 
    • 8 artworks were exhibited by the 6 artists from "other FBA Societies" (2%)
    • 77 artworks were exhibited by 61 other artists (20%) - including candidates for membership who had more than one selected

In broad terms
  • 82 (55%) artists are members or associates of NEAC and
  • 67 (45%) are not i.e. 6 other members of FBA societies who also exhibit at the Mall Galleries (4%) and 61 Artists who applied via the Open Entry (41%) 
So that's 77 artworks submitted by 61 artists via the open got selected for the exhibition in 2019.

I wonder what that is as a percentage of the total work submitted by the total number of non-FB member artists?

RECOMMENDATION: The bottom line is that, unless applying for membership of NEAC, your best bet is probably to enter your best artwork and leave it at that. This is because it's virtually guaranteed that anything you enter in excess of 1 artwork will not be selected to hang in the exhibition.

If artists do this, this will of course greatly reduce the income from submission fees - which might then lead to a review of what is an open exhibition and how open do you need to be to get people to submit more than one artwork

There again I have heard it said (more than once) that NEAC is not really an open exhibition

Which makes me think why is it so very different to every other FBA art society?

Call for Entries

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

Eligible artists: who can Submit?

Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the New English Art Club at their Annual Exhibition 2020
Any artist - over the age of 18 - living anywhere in the world can submit artwork to this exhibition. Both members of NEAC and other international or British artists are invited to submit artwork for consideration.

NEXT there are two DIFFERENT sets of information.
  • The first are the terms of entry which are specific to this NEAC exhibition are in "What can you submit?" below
  • the second is the standard/universal Generic Terms and Conditions relevant to submissions to ANY exhibition at the Mall Galleries by a society which is a member of the Federation of British Artists re. How to Submit and other Terms and Conditions of Entry.

Eligible artwork: what can you submit?

These are the Entry Requirements SPECIFIC to the NEAC Exhibition - for ALL artworks.
  • Acceptable media: Paintings, drawings, pastels, original framed prints (Photography, sculpture are NOT eligible)
  • Age: Work must have been completed in the last two years 
  • Previous exhibitions: Work must NOT have been previously exhibited in London (i.e. it can have been exhibited elsewhere in the country). I assume "London" means within the boundaries of any the areas recognised as falling into one of the London Boroughs (Inner or Outer).
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • For Sale: All work must be for sale (unless you are the Prince of Wales!)
  • Price: The minimum price is £300 (framed prints: £180, unframed prints: £120).
 [Note: I've had people report to me recently that the online form refuses to accept any amount less than £300 despite the indicative minimums for fine art prints. If this happens to you I suggest you contact the Mall Galleries direct at and ask them why the form does not work]
  • The entry fee is 
    • £18 per work payable at the time of submitting 
    • £12 per work for artists aged under 36) 
    • BOTH fees include free admission to all artists SUBMITTING work to the exhibition (normally £4).
  • artists may submit to the NEAC Annual Exhibition in two ways
    • Online Pre-selection (Route A) or 
    • Physical Selection (Route B).

How do you submit

Generic Information about submitting to the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2020

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

The General Call for Entries Terms and Conditions are applicable to ALL FBA exhibitions at the Mall Galleries. These cover:
The NEAC Exhibition 2020 Digital Submission and Detailed Entry requirements - specific to this exhibition is located at

How to Submit

The process works as follows
  • Read the general terms and conditions
  • Read the Specific Entry Requirements for this exhibition carefully - including Entry pricing (including concessions for artists under 35)
  • Register for digital submission - (See Artist Registration if you have never entered before) which you need to do even if intending to bring your artwork to London for selection - becuse the administrators still need a digital image of your artwork for administration purposes (i.e. this is not a way of getting out of producing a digital image of your artwork!).

ROUTE A Online Pre-Selection

Artwork must be submitted online. The NEAC judges will view the works on screen and decide which works they would like to see in the final, physical selection at Mall Galleries:
  • Login Page to the Open Exhibition Entry website - for those who have previously registered
  • Submit your entry online prior to the deadline: 12 noon on Friday 28 February 2020. 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
  • Check on Friday 6 March, from 12 noon, to see if your work has been pre-selected

Route B | Physical Selection

Works must be registered online, following which works should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for physical selection
  • Upload details and images of work (in JPEG format, under 5MB) and pay your submission fee at before 12 noon on Friday 28 February 2020 [Note: In the case of Route B, artists’ images are for administration purposes only; works will be judged physically at the gallery for the first time, not from online beforehand]
  • Check between Friday 6 March and Saturday 28 March (which you will be reminded to do by email) to download your form and labels to deliver with your work


  • RECEIVING DAY: Deliver your work (Route A: pre-selected only and Route B: all works) for selection on Saturday 28 March, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD.  
    • Those receiving artwork are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping materials for any works being returned. 
    • Packaging from delivered works cannot be retained and must be taken away at the point of delivery.
  • Final selection: in front of a Panel of Members of NEAC (see photo near top)
  • Acceptance / Collection of unaccepted
    • Check page on Friday 3 April, from 5pm, to see if your work has been accepted to the exhibition
    • If not accepted, collect your work from Mall Galleries on Sunday 5 April, 10am to 5pm
  • Exhibition open: Friday 12 June, 10am to 5pm
  • Exhibition closes: Saturday 20 June, 5pm
  • Collect unsold work: Thursday 25 June, 10am to 5pm* (A tad insensitive to those who have a job and work on weekdays! Why not the weekend?)

You can find details of carriers in the UK on my website under UK Art Movers & Couriers & Fine Art Transport Services


The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the New English Art Club. The selectors' decisions are final and no feedback is offered.

To register your interest in becoming a member of NEAC

Submitting artwork via the open entry is one of the ways you can become a member of NEAC. To submit an interest in becoming a member read and complete this form

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 professional art courier
  • 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

More about the New English Art Club

My past blog posts about past exhibitions - and this year's call for entries can be found below:

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