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

  • 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.

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