Friday, June 19, 2020

Call for Entries: Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition 2020

The Royal Society of Marine Artists wants to see submissions of art inspired by the sea and marine environment for its annual exhibition in October 2020.
You can submit work inspired by the sea and tidal waters - shipping, sailing, harbours, beaches, creeks, coat and marine wildlife.
RSMA Annual Exhibition last October - A corner of the main gallery at the Mall Galleries
I've had a niggle for a while that there was a blog post I intended to do - but could not remember what it was. I'm sure there must be a condition called "lockdown brain" in which your "to do" list gets lost!

It turns out I was right. I've forgotten to do the Call for Entries for the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists - but have remembered just before the deadline for the call for entries!

As I indicated last year - there are three good reasons to consider an entry if you like painting anything marine-orientated
  • This is an exhibition which:
    • ALWAYS attracts a lot of people interested in buying marine artwork. 
    • ALWAYS has a LOT of decent prizes
  • In addition, in the past, prizes have been dominated by strong work by non-members - which is always good to see for those who submit work via the open entry.
they'd sold c.10% of their exhibition by the end of the first day it was open to the public my comment when posting photos of the exhibition to Facebook
You can see my photos of last year's exhibition on Facebook. They provide:
  • inspiration for those who can produce work in a tight timescale
  • confirmation for those not sure whether or not their work is good enough
  • information about standards for those seeking to be candidates for members
North Gallery - view of part of the annual exhibition last October

Call for Entries

This is an OPEN EXHIBITION which tends to display paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints.

Below you can find
  • a summary of how to enter the next annual exhibition.
  • a list of prizes
  • an archive of posts about past exhibitions - which contain a lot of images of the type of artwork that gets selected for exhibition.
You can also see two videos of the 2018 Exhibition on my (public) Facebook Page
Royal Society of Marine Artists - Annual Exhibition 2018 - in the Main Gallery (only) at the Mall Galleries.
Another VIDEO of the 73rd Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. - a quick pan around the Threadneedle Space.

What sort of artwork can you submit?

The RSMA seeks submissions of art inspired by the sea and marine environment. It makes two statements about the scope
The RSMA seeks submissions of painting and sculpture that involve the sea and the marine environment, including harbours and shorelines, traditional craft and contemporary shipping, creeks, beaches, wildlife - in short anything that involves tidal water.
Subject matter must be essentially marine in nature, relating in some way to tidal waters of the world; topographical, historical, still life, and figure painting are all welcomed. Works relating to non-tidal rivers, inland lakes and waterways etc are not permissible.
In terms of media and size and number of works:
  • Acceptable media: 
    • Oil, acrylic, watercolour, original prints of any media, mixed media, drawings, pastels, or sculpture. 
    • Fine art prints must be from a limited edition not exceeding fifty.
  • All paintings should be completely DRY at the time of delivery / handling (that's code for "they won't get hung or even make it out of the basement if they are not")
  • Size constraint: artwork must not be larger than 2.4m along longest dimension
  • Maximum number of works: 6 (submitted); 4 (hung) i.e. if you enter more than 4 you'll have a lot of journeys back and to

main gallery wall

Who can submit work?

Any artist over 18 may submit - both members of the RSMA and those submitting via the open entry are invited to submit artwork for consideration.

Money: Prices, fees and commission

Submission fee:
  • Submission fees are non-refundable.
  • £18 per work (or £12 per work for artists aged 35 or under)
  • This includes Free Admission to the exhibition (normally £5).
Selling Price / VAT:
  • All work must be for sale.
    • Minimum price: £300
    • Minimum price for prints - unframed £120, framed £200.
  • Not registered for VAT: All prices must include commission of 45% + VAT @20% 
  • Registered for VAT: All prices must include VAT on the total selling price including the commission.
  • International Artists (i.e. not domiciled in the UK; MUST register for VAT before they submit an entry if they want to exhibit their work as they must account to H.M. Revenue & Customs for UK VAT received if the work is sold. Note note: the registration process can take up to 4 weeks - so any international artists reading this you're too late for this year unless already registered.
  • Sculpture only: where applicable, foundry fees are deducted before commission is calculated
Pricing example: a £500 price if sold generates £212 less travelling/courier costs for the artist after (1) commission of £225 (2) VAT on commission of £45 (3) entry fee of £18

TIP: In terms of pricing you can still see some of the 2018 artworks - with details of medium, size and prices - on the Mall Galleries website - although unfortunately you can't see the sold prices except by matching them up with the online catalogue of last year's exhibition

How to submit an entry

  • Register to enter - if not previously registered 
  • Stage 1 Submission: ALL work must be submitted online (digital images only) 
    • Upload images of work at by 12 noon on Friday 26 June 2020
    • Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB
Selection Process has 3 stages:
  • Stage 1: Pre-selection from online entries - notification available Friday 12 July 2019, 12 noon
  • Stage 2 - Receiving Day: Artists who pass Stage 1 are invited to deliver their artwork to The Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD for final selection (on Saturday 8 August 2020 10am to 5pm)
  • Stage 3: Final Selection of actual artwork in front of a selection panel of RSMA members. Results will be announced online on at 12 noon on 11th August 2019
You have to check the Mall Galleries website to see if you work got pre-selected and then selected for the exhibition. 

You can find full details of:
wall in the Threadneedle Gallery


This year's exhibition - assuming all is well - will be between 1st and 10th October 202 at the Mall Galleries.

I was trying to work out why I'd not done a review of last year's annual exhibition by the Royal Society of Marine Artists - then looked at the date on my photographs and realised that it was because I saw it on the Thursday and then went home to start packing to fly to New York on the Saturday! Hence no blog post!

So what I did instead was put 65 photos from last year's exhibition in an album on Facebook - VIEW RSMA Annual Exhibition 2019
Views of the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists at the Mall Galleries. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - very high quality painting - and they'd sold c.10% of their exhibition by the end of the first day it was open to the public
Lots of red dots

Prizes & Awards 

You can see which artists and artworks won awards last year in my post last October - Review: 73rd Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists

The Awards presentation this year will be on 10th October 2019 - in the afternoon.

Note: Well done to the RSMA for having a PROPER Page on their website for links to their sponsors - with external links to their websites Facebook Page and Twitter account! I'm always bemused by art societies who bemoan the fact they struggle to get sponsors and then fail to give them a proper 'payback' via their website and a profile in terms of announcements re prizes. Lots of other art societies would do well to follow the lead of the RSMA.

Awards by Marine Organisations

  • The Baltic Exchange Award (£2000) - For an outstanding work in the exhibition, selected by the Society’s President on behalf of Baltic Exchange, a membership organisation at the heart of the maritime community providing services relied upon worldwide.
  • The Murray's Commercial Fishing Award (£500) For a work in any medium depicting commercial fishing
  • The Topbond Marine Award (£250) - For works depicting marine engineering or construction activities in harbours, estuaries or marine waters within the UK.
  • The Classic Boat Prize - The winner will take home a handsome, hand-crafted sculpture by Astins Sailing Sculptures, given for the most atmospheric depiction of a classic boat.

Awards by RSMA & Members

  • The Kenneth Denton Award (£500) - For a work on the theme 'The Sea in all its Moods'. Made possible by the generosity of long-standing member Kenneth Denton.
  • The Charles Pears Award (£500) - For an outstanding work, in any medium, by a non-member. To be judged by the RSMA Selection Committee.
  • The RSMA Award for the Best Small Painting (£300) - For a work in any medium measuring no more than 30cms (12") along its longest length (excluding frame). Made possible by the generosity of a member.
The RSMA Award for the Best Small Painting
won by Benjamin Mowll PRSMA
  • The RSMA New Generation Award (£250 and a dedicated page in the catalogue featuring the winning work and a short biography) - Open to all artists aged 35 or under at the close of submissions.

Publicity Awards (Galleries & Magazines)

  • The Artist Magazine Award (Feature article in The Artist magazine) - For the most deserving work, as judged by the Magazine. The winner will be interviewed for a feature in The Artist magazine, print and digital edition.

Media Awards

  • The Winsor and Newton Oil Prize ( £250 worth of Winsor & Newton materials to be chosen by the winner) - For a notable oil painting.

Archive of posts about past annual exhibitions

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