Tuesday, January 07, 2020

RA Summer Exhibition 2020: Call for Entries (SHORT version)

The Call for Entries for the Summer Exhibition 2020 at the Royal Academy of Arts was published yesterday - and this post should have been published yesterday as well but instead I was at the dentist having a complicated procedure!

I write a guide to the Summer Exhibition Call for Entries every year. Here is

  • This is the summary/short version (today) - for those who don't like long reads and 
  • You can read the long version (tomorrow) where I 
    • summarise my perspective on the call for entries and 
    • highlight all the aspects bits you might miss which might trip you up and waste your entry/money!


Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2019 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
Photo © Royal Academy of Arts David Parry

Summer Exhibition - The Short Version

  1. If you've never entered before I recommend you read the long version too!
  2. You NEED TO READ carefully:
  3. Who can enter: any 
    • artist living or dead (or their representative)
    • artist collaborations
    • under your own name or a pseudonym
  4. How to enter - and get screened:
    • Register for an artist account and sign in (or sign into one you've previously registered)
    • Purchase an entry form one or two works, for a fee of £35 per work
    • Enter the details and upload digital images of the ORIGINAL artwork as per prescribed image limits
    • make sure your price takes account of both commission and VAT due to the RA if a work is sold
    • complete application, payment and upload prior to the deadline
  5. Deadline for Entries23:59 (GMT) on 17 February 2020 
  6. Results of Round 1 screening12 March- first round (digital images)
  7. Account Status re. your Entry moves through:
    • Submitted
    • Shortlisted OR Not selected
  8. Judges invite 4,000 artists to Stage 2 Judging - and to deliver actual work. You are sent an entry pack containing labels and barcodes to affix to it re. delivery of your artwork to the RA.
  9. Delivery of shortlisted works 
    • Architecture (Models and Wall-Based Works) 5 May 8am-5pm 
    • Artist’s Book, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Photograph, Print Wednesday 6 May 8am – 7pm
    • Sculpture 7 May 10am-5pm 
  10. Results of Round 2 Judging of actual entries23 May- final round (shortlisted works)
  11. Attend Exhibition Varnishing Day Reception (on your own / no guests) Monday 1 June 2020
  12. 2020 Exhibition: 9 June — 16 August 2020
  13. Collect unselected artwork by 20 June 2020
  14. Handle any sales of your artwork - for duration of exhibition (i.e. why you MUST read the Guide to Selling)
  15. Collect exhibited but unsold work - between Saturday 22 August and Friday 11 September 2020. You MUST present the hard copy of the Removal Order issued by the RA to collect work or go home empty handed!

Coming up - The Long Version


Tomorrow I'll be posting the Long Version of the Call for Entries which will include:
  • commentary on the Summer Exhibition and reasons why it is/isn't a good idea to submit work to this open exhibition
  • observations about the Judges
  • tips and details you may miss about the process for entering your artwork into the largest open exhibition in the work.
This is particularly relevant to:
  • anybody who has not submitted before
  • anybody who is unclear about what ORIGINAL means
  • anybody who has not sent artwork to an open exhibition before
  • anybody who hasn't spotted that this open exhibition is different when it comes to sales
  • any international artist who hasn't spotted to the two major hurdles you must clear if you want artwork accepted for exhibition

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