Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sky Arts to be free to everyone from September 2020

As from September Sky Arts is to become and "Art for Everyone" channel. It will become the only space on terrestrial TV dedicated solely to arts and culture.

Apparently the channel’s audiences increased by 50 per cent during lockdown!

In the meantime it looks like more paint along sessions - see below

In a nutshell, the notion is that
  • Sky Arts will embark on an ambitious programme of activity to support and champion the arts - so far as visual arts are concerned this includes 
    • Landmark, a series in 2021 in which artists and local communities across the UK will join forces to create the next great British landmark.
    • Portrait Artist of the Week, the live-streamed paint-along version of the channel’s flagship series ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’, has been confirmed to return this Autumn both on @SkyTV Facebook and Sky Arts, following its huge success during lockdown. 
    • Complementing this, Portrait Artist of the Year will return at the same time, with new celebrity sitters including Normal People’s Paul Mescal, First Dates front-of-house Fred Sirieux, singer Ray BLK and Sir Trevor McDonald.
    • Goldie: The Art That Made Me
    • Sky Arts Late, a new monthly arts and culture show.
    • Inside Art, presented by Kate Bryan, will explore leading exhibitions across the UK.
    • (I'm still waiting to hear what happened to Landscape Artist of the Year - I suspect it might have been abandoned)
  • Sky Arts will put artists, creatives, and public participation centre stage 
Freeview reaches 18 million living rooms. How can TV be your canvas in unprecedented times? What can we create together to keep you connected to an audience that can’t reach you in person? How can we ensure that the next generation of creators – be they dancers, singers, painters, designers, or poets – can continue to be inspired by what you do? Philip Edgar-Jones CEO of Sky Arts
  • It will launch a series of bursaries worth £30,000 each, enabling arts leaders to support and mentor emerging new artists.
  • everyone across the UK can watch the Sky Arts channel on Freeview.
As a creative business, we believe it’s important to have a thriving cultural sector. By making Sky Arts free for everyone we want to give more artists and arts organisations a platform to create and share their work and to bring more art and culture to everyone across the UK.Stephen van Rooyen
EVP and Chief Executive Officer, Sky UK and Europe
There's a bit of me that thinks - OK so that probably means not having to pay anybody willing to contribute their time for free.

There again it's great to get a new free channel - especially since the BBC's arts content started to slide with the cuts.

This article provides an interesting commentary - With the BBC at bay, Sky embraces the possibilities of the arts on TV | The Guardian Mark Lawson

So pros and cons maybe - let's see what it's like.....

I'll be continuing with my Now TV subscription to the Sky Arts Entertainment Pass - in part because that sounds as if it's going to be the only way to access the "on demand" and archive context on Sky Arts.

So maybe the new free channel is a sprat to catch a mackerel?

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Fish
14" x 18", coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

PS You can see who watches Sky Arts here - fascinating numbers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mall Galleries Art Society Exhibitions are back!

The Mall Galleries will reopen on the 1st September after being closed for five and half months.

BELOW you can find the list of the Art Gallery Exhibitions which will be taking place at the Mall Galleries in September, October and November 2020. 
  • all exhibitions will be following the government's health and safety covid-19 guidelines (see below)
  • All exhibitions are from 11am to 5pm unless otherwise indicated (note the later start time in the morning)
Click on the exhibition link to see the paintings already selected for the exhibition and posted on the Mall Galleries website.

The Mall Galleries have been closed for five and half months - but are reopening in SEPTEMBER

Covid-19 precautions

  • Note that bookings will be required and taken by the Mall Galleries. 
  • Further details regarding booking an appointment will be posted on Mall Galleries website and the society website (probably!) in due course
It looks to me as if there is only going to be one exhibition at a time and works will be spread across all three galleries to enable proper spacing of visitor.

I spotted this on the RP website - and assume it probably applies to every exhibition
  • Social distancing will apply. Please keep two metres apart from other visitors unless you are from the same household. (I'm thinking that probably needs to be changed to one metre)
  • You will be required to wear a face covering
  • There will be a one-way system in place
  • There will be sanitising points
  • Toilet facilities will be cleaned regularly
  • There will be no café or shop until 2021
  • Any payments will be by card
I'd like to know whether seats are going to be available! I can't attend without one (I have a walk/sit routine) and I'm sure a lot of the other older visitors will feel the same. 

One final point - there's no word on Private Views but I assume these will probably not be held (unless very small affairs for members only) as they're very probably close to a recipe for creating a hotspot!

Federation of British Artists Societies

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

Images in the RI 208th Annual Exhibition

Royal Society of Portrait Painters

The exhibition will include 200 portraits across all three galleries. 

See also my blog post back in January LAST CALL - Annual Open Exhibition 2020 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters - which explains why this is a great exhibition for aspiring portrait artists

from the Annual exhibition in 2019

Royal Society of Marine Artists

The deadline for entries for this exhibition has been extended. Submission now closes on 7 August at 12 noon and all selections will be made from digital entries - so nothing to lose if you enter a work. It either get in or it doesn't - and it all it costs is the entry fee!

This exhibition celebrates all aspects of the sea with themed works in a broad range of styles and media and will be seen across all three gallery spaces.

from the RSMA annual exhibition 2019

Society of Wildlife Artists

Submissions close: Friday 4 September, 12 noon - see Call for Entries: Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition 2020

New English Art Club

from the NEAC website

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition is a chance to experience the very best in figurative, observational and painterly work in the UK.

NOTE: Although there is an event notice for the Society of Women Artists on the Mall Galleries, it is apparent from the exhibition listing and the dates of the exhibitions that this is in fact a mistake.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Bankside Gallery reopens - with a new exhibition

The Bankside Gallery - home of the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) and Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE) - has reopened for a new Exhibition and viewings in person - in the gallery.

An exhibition "Summer at the Bankside Gallery" opens today
until 27th September 2020.

It comprises artwork - paintings and fine art prints - by members of both the RWS and the RE - although I think the latter has the edge in terms of quantity and quality of content.

While it says on the RE website that the exhibition is full of new work, I'm afraid I recognise a few as works I've seen before and the word "includes" might be more appropriate.

The Bankside Gallery and Exhibition are open daily (during exhibitions) between 11am and 6pm.  There are no indications of visitor controls on the website relating to
  • limits on visitor numbers
  • the need to pre-book a visit
although I do expect they will need to ask for names and addresses on entry re contact tracing.

However their email says
The safety of our visitors and colleagues is our top priority. We have been working hard to ensure that we can welcome you back to the Gallery safely, so you will notice a few changes and new measures in place on your next visit.
For the record "retail art galleries" come under the Covid-19 government guidance for Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) for retail shops and premises and section 2 indicates the type of provisions expected for "Keeping your customers and visitors safe".

There are no announcements as yet around events - and I'm guessing they might be somewhat more problematical.

Given they're three stops on the Tube for me, I may well break my duck (no public transport since March!) and venture forth to view the exhibition at some point - when I feel a bit more confident about safety arrangements. 

PS Today the Mall Galleries has posted that deferred art society exhibitions will be restarting on 1st September. I'll post more about this tomorrow.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Commission an artist: 'Home is where the Art Is' (Series 2: Episodes 5-10)

I've now watched the entire second series of Home is where the Art is on BBC1 - and I have to say I'm impressed - and will comment further in a future post (see below)

part of the mosaic mural created and customised by Jim Anderson for the clients in Episode 10

The episodes in Series 2 are 

Today's post:
  • covers the second week and the artists in Episodes 5-10 (following on from last post Home Is Where The Art Is (Series 2)  
  • identifies both the commission brief and budget
  • lists where you can see their artwork and contact them:
    • Links to the artist's website is embedded in their name 
    • Links to a max of three social media sites are then listed below the name (Note: I only ever list Facebook Pages as accounts are personal sites - not for business)
    • those with asterisks were commissioned to make an artwork
  • plus images from their social media which 
    • indicates something of the programme, 
    • enables you to see the artwork 
    • and a lot more of their work
    • read what people thought of their time in the show and what they produced - if they were selected for the final two asked to produce a commissioned artwork.
    • and THE AFTERMATH of appearing on the programme! ;) 
Tomorrow's post will do the same thing and cover the third week and Episodes 6-15. 

It will be followed by a further post this week in which I'll
  • highlight my conclusions about the series as a whole
  • identify some TIPS for those wanting to apply for the next series (which I'm absolutely 100% sure will be commissioned)

Episode 5 (Budget £250 - £1,000)

Commission: a buyer who was born on the weekend of the moon landings wants to mark her 50th year with something out of this world.

The artists are:
One of the most interesting pieces of artwork I've ever seen!

....and another great end for a piece of very interesting textile artwork!

Episode 6 (Budget: upto £1,000)

Commission Brief: The buyers want to celebrate the day their lives changed forever, ten years ago, when they won the National Lottery (£12.4 million!)

The artists are:
Oddly nobody highlighted the artwork made - although both were impressive in different ways!

Otis Griffith with his metal sculpture

Episode 7 (Budget upto £1,500)

Commission Brief: the buyers want something uplifting for their home after a recent cancer diagnosis.

The artists are:
Stained glass for a clerestory light above a door by Annette Jackson

This was one programme where I came away thinking the winner is going to be getting a lot of commissions. Turns out I was right!

Episode 8 (Budget: upto £800)

Commission Brief: something to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary

The artists are:

Not an untypical response from artists who made great and unusual work

Even the artist who didn't make the final cut has had lots of interest in her artwork and sales!

Episode 9 (Budget £1,000)

Commission Brief:  a young couple from Derby would like something to celebrate their upcoming wedding.

The artists are:
Ollie Hollins talking about how he created his sculpture for a couple who are about to be married

Episode 10 (Budget £700)

Commission Brief: The buyer is looking for a gift for her husband as a thank you for all he does for the family and to mark his long service to charity work.

The artists are:
This mosaic mural - created by Jim Anderson - was quite possibly one of the most customised pieces in the series to this point. I suspect if he'd' been on social media we'd have seen much evidence of people wanting one just like it for their family. Do take a look at his website!

Jim Anderson with part of the circular mosaic created for his clients

More posts about "Home Is Where The Art Is"

Series 2

Series 1

Some of you may recall my previous posts on the first series including

    Friday, July 24, 2020

    About English artist: Norman Neasom

    I don't recollect seeing the artwork of Norman Neasom RWS, RBSA (1915-2010) before - but having seen it I very much recommend you take a look too.

    He was an English painter and art teacher - based in the Midlands - who produced intense observational drawings and paintings of people in landscapes and interiors. His paintings were very often involved with recording everyday activities and normal life and life events and sometimes the very odd thing that happens. (see below for more detail)
    Norman Neasom’s paintings and drawings – like those of a number of other British artists over the past century or so, record both that old, quieter, simpler England, as well as its slow, gradual passing. In Neasom’s work, we can still discover men gathering hay by hand, two old gentlemen in tweeds out for a ride, or a farmer bringing in sheep with his dog. As his obituary in The Independent in 2010 observed, ‘Neasom’s was a benign, pastoral vision in a deeply English tradition.’
    This is precisely the type of artwork which I have been known to lament NOT seeing very often at national open exhibitions by art societies.

    I'm guessing he probably stopped being active in RWS and RBSA exhibitions before I started reviewing them as I plugged his name into my Google Search box (in the right column) and his name did not generate a reference to

    Norman Neasom - cover of Messums catalogue of his work
    Norman Neasom - cover of Messums catalogue of his work
    The Snowdon Horseshoe from Capel Curig by Norman Neasom
    gouache on a.b.
    Norman Neason obviously developed a very good reputation as his estate is being exhibited by Messums (a notable art gallery in London) - but it closes today!

    What I like particularly is you can see he recorded events in his own life and he regularly pops up in his drawings and paintings.

    His work is described as belonging to the genre of British realist painting from the inter-war period. Messums suggest that this is a "somewhat underappreciated genre" whose leading light was Stanley Spencer.

    Messum comments further about the genre
    With more than a hint of nostalgia, it is a period of British art that is gaining increasing attention: in 2017 the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art even devoted a whole exhibition to the ‘movement’ (if one can call it such), showcasing over fifty British realists from the 1920s and ‘30s, including Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, Meredith Frampton, Winifred Knights and Edward Wadsworth – as well as Spencer, Fleetwood-Walker and Tucker. One might also draw Eric Ravilious into this group, with his closely-observed watercolours devoted to the English countryside of the inter-war years.
    I must confess when I first saw his work they made me think of Stanley Spencer (minus religious connotations) at one end of the spectrum and Beryl Cook at the other (particularly in relation to a lot of interior scenes.

    Perhaps the artist these works most closely resemble is Beryl Cook, and her comical paintings of hen nights and tea parties. It is interesting to note then, that when the mayor of Redditch met Neasom towards the end of the artist’s life and remarked that some of his work reminded him of Cook’s, Neasom replied, ‘She copied me.’

    More about Norman Neasom

    Wednesday, July 22, 2020

    Trump increased the trade tariff for Prints by 25%

    I had an interesting enquiry on my art business news blog - which struck me as potentially relevant to a lot of people. Or at least those producing prints.....

    Here's the question
    can I please ask whether you are currently aware of the latest situation regarding the recently imposed 25% US import tax on printed works from the EC, including on lithographs and photographs?

    I work with the photographer [name] and we have contacted several sources regarding this, including our own government, and none have been able to confirm whether this tax still applies now that the UK has left the EC.

    We would therefore very much appreciate your understanding of the situation.
    Bottom line it appears that prints and postcards will now attract 25% import tax when imported into the USA.  Making them 25% more expensive.

    I won't go into the whys and wherefores bit it appears that this is a retaliatory trade tariff strike by Trump who is annoyed that the EU subsidised the airbus and undermined the competition from whatever aircraft the US was producing. Which is ironic given that airlines have grounded so many planes recently and many people are completely rethinking the wisdom of air travel in relation to the planet.


    I started to look into this and found various articles with some alarming headlines and content
    A decision in a 15-year trade dispute between the United States and the European Union about the manufacturing of airplanes could result in a price hike for American buyers of certain types of photographs and prints.
    Starting October 18, the U.S. will impose a 25 percent import duty on all of the following coming in from the U.K. and Germany: printed books, brochures, leaflets, printed matter in single sheets, lithographs on paper or paperboard created in the last 20 years, and pictures, designs, and photographs printed in the last 20 years. Such import costs could potentially be passed along to buyers. (Art News)
    Now the trade tariff applies to the EU (as I understand it) but the UK has left the EU - so does it apply to UK prints, photos?

    Moreover should it apply to UK prints and photos made in the last 20 years?

    I wasn't entirely certain about this - primarily because the website of the US Office of the United States Trade Representative is opaque beyond a joke and how anybody makes any sense of anything is beyond me. Any official publications seem to delight in saying what they mean in plain English as opposed to tortuous legalese (which has its place - but as the only explanation is a complete nonsense!)

    However I'm an ex-government bod used to inspecting, auditing and digging around in official documents to work out what's going on and it would appear that there is indeed a very real issue of substance.....

    ....and maybe a way out!

    I'm reproducing below extracts from the documents I finally tracked down. (Thank goodness for press releases! 2019-10-02 U.S. Wins $7.5 Billion Award in Airbus Subsidies Case)

    The penalty paragraph relating to lithographs and prints

    This identifies very clearly that the UK is in the frame for penalties relating to certain products including various printed items.

    extract of Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 9, 2019 / Notices 54249 
    [Docket No. USTR–2019–0003]
    Notice of Determination and Action Pursuant to Section 301:
    Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute

    Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2020) Revision 15 re. trade tariff 4911

    This is the document which explains the additional penalty being imposed by the US in relation to the enforcement of WTO right relating to the large Civil Aircraft Dispute.

    Basically they are seeking a VERY long list of PENALTY trade tariffs to make-up for the damages they have been awarded amounting to $7.5 billion.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020

    A Digital Renaissance for Online Art Collections

    It's become very apparent that in a world starved of external stimuli, people turned to art online for a visual feast. Covid-19 has changed a LOT of things and art is not least among those activities that will be changed forever.

    Bye bye, blockbusters: can the art world adapt to Covid-19? - back in April - suggested that online might well become the NEW norm for consuming art.
    “We’re going to talk in terms of before and after. The virus will change a lot of things for art.” Frances Morris, director of Tate Modern,
    The Art Galleries and Museums are now re-opening (slowly).

    However, it's noteworthy that the old world of viewing in art galleries has changed in a very marked way. They are having to be
    • very, very careful with pre-booking, 
    • choreographed routes through an exhibition and 
    • lots and lots of sanitiser.
    I think it's very definitely going to be a long time before we again see the usual hordes associated with blockbusters. What we might get instead is
    • a more civilised viewing of an exhibition or a gallery - so long as you don't want to wander from a prescribed route or retrace your steps!
    • a continuing upward trend in viewing art online - now people are more aware of what is out there.

    If you don't know what's online

    For those of you who are not aware of what is out there, there's a lot more than in the past - although there have been some sad losses along the way.

    Here's a list of places where you can view art online.

    I'm an inveterate surfer and I know there's a lot more out there. I'm going to keep coming back and adding to this list - in future posts. (see the side column for how to subscribe to this blog)

    In the meanwhile, you can get started.........

    Tate: ways of viewing art in the permanent collection online

    Online Art Websites (i.e. online is the norm)

    • Google Arts and Culture which has interesting offshoots such as
      • Collections - at museums around the world. One wonders whether Google outdoes the museum's own website when it comes to viewing art given you can get in VERY close to some artwork on Google's website
      • Art Selfie
    Install the app, take a selfie and search thousands of artworks to see if any look like you.
    • Web Gallery of Art created by two retired Hungarians Emil Krén and Daniel Marx. This website has been aroundsince 1996 and looks precisely the same as when I first visited many moon ago. It has an  alphabetic list of artists giving basic information on artists
    • - Visual Art Encyclopedia - nearly - but not quite - as good as Google for high resolution images. However the selection is more boring. Essentially a vehicle for shifting reproduction oil paintings
    • Art cyclopedia: The Fine Art Search Engine - another ancient website which does the job if you are searching for art or want to explore an art movement but isn't the best at delivering an indulgent visual experience
    • Art UK - the digitisation of the public collections of art in the UK's art galleries and museums and other public collections

    Sadly, The Athenaeum has disappeared - see Goodbye to the Atheneaum Art Database? I keep testing the original URL but keep getting the sorry this site cannot be loaded message

    The remainder of this post is devoted to some of the main museums in the UK and USA. Starting this post has made me realise - yet again - how much progress has been made in making art more accessible online.

    Take this to be the first of a number of future posts which will explore the online art offerings of different art galleries and museums around the world

    - because this is going to be a major way of consuming art for some time to come......

    Art Galleries and Museums - UK

    Each museum takes a different approach to how they make their collection accessible - which makes it somewhat irritating as the first thing you need to do is make sure you understand what is available and what unique method for making it available and accessible is adopted by this gallery!

    However I'd added more than few pointers and examples below....

    Monday, July 20, 2020

    #Museums Unlocked and lockdown art

    We've had a number of innovative lockdown art projects during the Coronavirus Lockdown. One of these was created by #MuseumsUnlocked - and this blog post is about that initiative

    #Museums Unlocked - The Facts

    1. It's a project developed by Dan Hicks (@profdanhicks) - who is a professor of contemporary archaeology at the University of Oxford and a curator at the city’s Pitt Rivers Museum
    2. It ended earlier this month after running for 100 days. 
    3. It was a Twitter project - run through the hashtag ##MuseumsUnlocked
    4. The project had themes - one for each day (see below for the themes for Days 1-100)
    5. People responded and posted images in response to the set themes (see examples below)
    6. Most of the themes were to do with history and archeology - but some were related to Art.
    7. People were invited to share their own pics of the museum in question
    8. It produced what has been termed a "curatorial endeavour" by the culturally engaged Twitterati.
    Please share your photographs of exhibitions, objects, architecture, events and more—so we can make a "virtual" visit tomorrow and see the museum through each others' camera lens.

    Below are the themes for each of the days

    Four pics provide the themes for 25 days at a time.

    How to see what got posted

    To view what people posted for specific topic you need to:

    Here's a few I found on various museum topics

    Thursday, July 16, 2020

    Why every artist should check your State Pension forecast

    I worry about artists who don't pay any attention to their need to provide for a pension - even their State Pension - until it's much too late.

    This week I claimed my State Pension - which made me feel a lot older - but made my mother feel very much older!!  ;) You have to stake your claim before they will pay it to you in the four months prior to when it becomes payable. Mainly so they can check it's really you and also where to pay the money too. 

    The fact it's going to be paid five years and 11 months after it was originally due is a source of much discontent among women of my age - see WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality).  It's also moved backward over two years from the date I was given when I took early retirement from my job. It's going to keep moving too...

    One reason why I'm mentioning this now is that at the end of last month I paid some voluntary contributions on my self-employment income which means I now max out on my (contracted out) State Pension - and I have to say I was greatly impressed by the difference those contributions made. It was well worth persevering and getting to the bottom of what I needed to pay to improve my pension as much as I could.

    Artists in the UK and the State Pension

    Basically artists are self-employed.  You can have a basic minimum State Pension if you have at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record.

    To accumulate qualifying years you must pay National Insurance Contributions. This is NOT OPTIONAL for those making profits over a certain level i.e. you cannot avoid them just as you cannot avoid paying tax - via the Self Assessment tax system.

    An artist (in the UK) - being self-employed - usually pays two types of National Insurance contributions:
    • Class 2 if your profits are £6,475 or more a year
    • Class 4 if your profits are £9,501 or more a year
    Most people pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance through self-assessment.

    However if, like me, you have a nice steady small income from self-employment which never reached the base threshold for Class 2, it was more than a little difficult to see how you could pay contributions on a voluntary basis.

    I knew that, although I had retired early, I was either at or very close to the maximum number of years for the State Pension. Initially I could never see the benefit of paying additional contributions as I thought I had enough years paid in already.

    Then two things happened which CHANGED MY MIND!

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020

    Artists and the Brexit Transition

    Are you an artist with a current, ongoing or prospective business relationship with the European Union?

    What will 2021 mean for you?

    If you are are, you need to be aware that the UK government put its foot on the accelerator this week in terms of publishing details of transition arrangements.
    The UK is leaving the EU single market and customs union, and the end of the transition period will affect citizens, businesses, as well as travel to and from the EU.
    I've written a blog post on Art Business Info for Artists: News - about Brexit Transition Info. for Artists which is relevant to all artists who want to:
    • stay living in the UK if you are an EU Citizen
    • continue living and working in the EU if you are a UK citizen
    • travel within the EU in relation to art business matters (eg. exhibitions, teaching on art holidays etc)
    • send (or receive) artwork across borders with the EU
    It provides you with the links to where you will find the relevant information - plus how to sign up for tailored updates for your needs.

    Here's a taster in the official Cabinet Office Video

    [NOTE: All my posts about the Brexit Transition are STRICTLY informative and apolitical - I just tell you what exists which might help.]

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    What is an emerging artist?

    what is an emerging artist?
    Do you know the definition of an emerging artist?

    "Emerging artist" is a term which is often used by various art competitions which, one would like to think, are serious about helping to develop the careers of those who are starting out and beginning to 'make their mark' and be recognised.

    Today's post was prompted by a message sent to me via Facebook by an artist querying the definition of an emerging artist. It struck me that:
    • a lot of would-be artists are confused by the term "emerging artist"
    • I know a lot of people get puzzled about who/why certain people get selected for competitions
    • The points worth making probably would benefit from a wider audience than just the young lady who asked the question
    So first the question, then my view as to the definition plus other views on the definition and finally some comments about art competitions.

    The Question

    Hello Katherine,  
    First of all, thank you so much for creating Making a Mark - it's such a valuable resource for all artists!  
    I actually wanted to seek your thoughts on something I noticed in the world of art competitions as it seemed a bit odd. 
    Recently, a UK competition titled "[sponsor name] Emerging [deleted] Painter Prize" announced its finalists, and I was surprised to see that amongst those selected was an artist who has in fact been practicing art for at least a decade and gotten a major commission (for the Olympics back in 2012) as well as winning first prize at major international art competitions in previous years (these were not geared towards emerging artists). 
    I'm still new to the world of art competitions so I was wondering if this is the norm, where clearly well-established artists are generally accepted as fair game at such emerging artist competitions? I understand that all competitions value quality, and in that sense those with years of experience would have an advantage over emerging artists. But to my mind, these competitions (especially if titled as such) are aimed to spotlighting artists who are relatively inexperienced and could really benefit from some extra attention on their work.  
    If in your experience as a critic/judge/curator, the above situation (established artist selected in emerging artist competition) is in fact quite acceptable, then perhaps it is I who need to adjust my thinking about art competitions for emerging artists. I really hope you can offer some thoughts on this.  
    Thank you in advance! 

    Warm regards etc
    I comment further about this particular competition - and how it fails emerging artists at the end of this blog post. 

    DEFINITION: What is an emerging artist?

    My definition

    Here's my definition of an emerging artist. (E) means essential; (F) indicates happens frequently
    An emerging artist:
    • aims to be professional artist - having gone well beyond 'hobby artist' status while not yet an 'established' or 'mid-career' artist (E)
    • is committed to his/her practice and has worked seriously over the last 5 years (or less) to develop and promote a career as a professional artist  (E)    
    • has developed an original body of work with a clear identity and/or one (or more) theme(s) (E) 
    • is not defined by age - because people develop second careers and take up art at various ages (E) 
    • demonstrates potential AND has had some notable success - in terms of sales or awards/prizes and/or getting their art noticed and/or selected for significant exhibitions (E) 
    • has a career on an upward trajectory (E)
    • may operate on a semi-professional basis - but has another job which helps pay the bills (F) 
    • graduated with an art degree within the last five years (F)

    I require emerging artists to have demonstrated some level of success because otherwise they are what I call "aspiring artists". Some might call them "wannabes". (Think 98% of the people who turn up on TV talent shows)

    An "established artist" for me (in the UK) is no longer "new" and has gone beyond "emerging". He or she is somebody who has been writing "Artist" as their main or one of their main occupational activities on their self-assessment tax return for 5 years or more AND paying tax and Class 2 National Insurance from their profits (i.e. because they're generating enough profit to be required to do so - because people have recognised value in what they do).

    If you're not doing either then from my perspective you may well be an 'aspiring' or 'hobby' artist.  (However see below for what others have to say on this topic!)

    A "new artist" / one just starting out is also to me distinct from "emerging" in that
    • there's LOTS of artists who are new to competitions and the art market - 
    • but very few will become recognised as "emerging artists" (according to my definition) and 
    • even fewer will become "established artists".
    One might debate the number of years. I have a very clear view as to why I use 5 years as a benchmark. In my opinion, if - within five years - you're
    • NOT making some significant progress in creating a unique identity and body of work 
    • NOT getting noticed 
    I'd begin to doubt whether you ever will or whether you really want to be an artist as a career.

    Some other definitions

    Here are some others who have commented on what an emerging artist is

    Monday, July 13, 2020

    Call for Entries: Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2020

    The Call for Entries for entries to the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in November 2020 has opened and closes on Friday 2nd October (12 noon).

    Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters at their Annual Exhibition 2020.
    The ROI seeks work in oils and is the only national art society devoted exclusively to oil painting.
    This post highlights the following:
    • 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
    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!  These also provide visual evidence of what type of paintings got selected for this exhibition in the past.

    Entrance to the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters at the Mall Galleries

    Exhibition - a summary of venue and number of paintings to be exhibited

    Around 300 paintings - from member artists and those whose work was selected from the open entry will be hung at the Mall Galleries in London in November. 

    Around 750 artists will submit nearly 2,000 paintings of which just over 100 will be chosen. Exhibiting artists typically average between 1 and 1.5 paintings in the exhibition 

    The exhibition DATES are Wednesday 25 November until Sunday 6 December (when it closes at 1pm). That's 12 days in total (plus the Private View day). Hours are 10am - 5pm but the exhibition closes at 1pm on the last day .

    PLEASE NOTE: At present there is nothing on the Mall Galleries website to indicate when it is reopening.  I do know they are planning to reschedule some of the exhibition dates for those which have not been held. It's unclear whether there is a knock-on effect for any who have dates scheduled for later in the year.

    SUMMARY: 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 (95% of artwork in the exhibition will be Oils only)
    • The deadline for submissions is Friday 2 October (12 noon)
    • "Reflections" is the special theme for 2020
    • Entry for the 2020 competition is Digital ONLY.
    • Selection for the exhibition will also be Digital Only 
    To make the process of submitting and selecting work simpler and safer, the Society will select works for exhibition from online only this year.
    • 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
    This is the Call for Entries Page

    I RECOMMEND that:
    • 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. In excess of two works is probably not cost effective - so long as you're really good at knowing which are your best works. 
    • You note 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
    • International Artists: make sure you read the Mall galleries/FBA Notice notice about the need to register for VAT to get your artwork through Customs and into the UK! You might also find my page about International Art Shipping: How to ship / export art to other countries useful.

    What you can enter

    • Eligible media includes: oil. Acrylic paint or water based oils are eligible if framed like an oil painting.
    TIP: I think I think all those thinking about entering ought to take a long hard look at the statistics - and then paint in oils ONLY! i.e. 95% of the elected artworks are oil paintings 

    Number and percentage of works - by medium - in the ROI Annual Exhibitions 2014-2019

    • 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



    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!

    Part of the themed display on "London" at ROI 2019.

    Special theme in 2020

    The ROI has a mini-theme (i.e. optional only) for its show each year and then hangs artwork relating to the theme as a special display within the show.  It worked really well last year when the theme was London - as I think it always does when the topic is very precise.

    In 2020, the theme will be ‘Reflections’. The ROI states this can be interpreted literally or otherwise, 
    “giving the artist an opportunity to create a site-specific painting or perhaps a piece that has a more contemplative focus” (Tim Benson, ROI President).
    Threadneedle Gallery at last year's show

    Prizes & Awards

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

    These are listed below. I've categorised them according to the type of prize.

    ROI 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
    • The Tony Merrick Memorial Prize - An award of £250 in memory of the late Tony Merrick ROI (1948-2018)
    • 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
    • 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)

    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.