Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Call for Entries: New English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition 2023

For some reason, the opening of the Call for Entries for the next NEAC Annual Exhibition in the middle of January passed me by. This post seeks to remedy my omission and to help non-NEAC members get your entry submitted by the deadline of Friday 10th March.

This post

  • provides a summary of the Call for Entries - which is currently scattered across 3 websites and five sources of information (see FBA Calls for Entries could be improved and a lot simpler!)
  • my commentary on the nature of this open exhibition which isn't included in the details of the formal call for entries - but I think people have found very helpful in the past in terms of:
    • whether or not to submit artwork(s) to this exhibition
    • how to tell whether their artwork makes the grade for this prestigious exhibition (look at images of the Annual Open Exhibition in 2022).
  • a summary of what you can enter AND how to enter the next annual exhibition.
  • a summary of prizes and awards in 2023.
  • how to register your interest in becoming a member of NEAC - and exhibiting in this exhibition is one of the ways!
NEAC Open Annual Exhibition 2022: View of the East Gallery

Need to Know: A Very Quick Summary

This is a quick summary of what you need to know - followed by a much longer explanation of how the process works - WITH TIPS (in red)!
The NEAC (New English Art Club) is an elected society of contemporary painters whose ethos resides in art informed by the visual world and personal interpretation. NEAC About page
Note the emphasis on the word "painters"! It's not true and could be rather misleading. NEAC actually means artists - since they also accept drawings and original fine art prints in addition to paintings.

It is however an art club which is very focused on painting.

2023 Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club (NEAC) at the Mall Galleries 

  • All entries are online and digital
  • Deadline for open entries is Friday 10 March 2023, 12 noon
We recommend that artists submit well in advance of the deadline to allow time for assistance with their application if required. NEAC Open Call
  • Selected works: MUST be delivered on Saturday 15th April 2023
  • Exhibition Dates: 23rd June - 1st July
  • Call for Entries: This is what you should read before deciding to enter this exhibition and developing your submission and entry
  • Eligible artwork: Paintings, drawings, pastels, original framed prints (BUT NOT Photography OR Sculpture)
  • Eligible artists: Any artist - over the age of 18 - living anywhere in the world

What's Different This Year?

  • The NEAC website is much improved and now provides a LOT more useful and contextual information about past exhibitions. It's a pity none of this is included in the formal Open Call for Entries documentation! You have access - via the dedicated annual exhibition page - to:
    • selected works
    • a virtual view of the exhibition
    • past exhibition catalogues - which can be viewed online (via Issuu)  or ordered. This provides details of prices asked for different artworks (of varying sizes by artists with different levels of experience and reputation).
  • Three NEW awards - one worth £2,000; another is a two week residency above a Gallery in Hay on Wye and lastly free entry to more FBA exhibitions.
All the images in this post comes from the annual exhibition in 2022
You can also see more of the artwork for context and reference purposes in the following albums of images of the exhibition on my Making A Mark Facebook Page Albums Page

READ MORE after this break


The nature of the NEAC Annual Exhibition

I'll reiterate below a number of important points about this exhibition and the associated open submission that I've made in previous years - as a reminder and as important information for those new to this exhibition. 

If you are considering whether to submit art via the open entry, it's worth paying regard to various aspects of the NEAC Open Exhibition. These are:
  • LOTS AND LOTS of artists want to be a member of NEAC.  One route to membership (see section at the end) is via being selected to exhibit at the annual open exhibition - after which if selected you may be picked as a candidate for membership. (This page explains their route to membership). For example, very many members of the OTHER art societies based at the Mall Galleries would very much like to be a member of NEAC - so your competition in trying to become a member are people who have ALREADY been elevated to membership of other 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 reputation (historically) for displaying lots of good quality artwork. Latterly I've argued that this has wavered a bit at times.
  • Awards and Prizes are worth more than £10,000 - but not all are cash prizes. Some can only be won by a non-member or an emerging artist.
  • around 75-80% of the artworks hung are by members of NEAC
  • around 20-25% 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.
You can read more about the ethos of NEAC and the Metrics (numbers / performance indicators) associated with the club in my call for entries in 2019

NEAC 2022 Exhibition: View of artwork in the West Gallery

Call for Entries

This is an OPEN EXHIBITION involving three different parties. Hence you can potentially end up bouncing around between three different websites - which I personally think could be very confusing to some people (which is why I write this post FBA Calls for Entries could be improved and a lot simpler yesterday). There should be one pathway from beginning to end.

You need to understand that:
  1. NEAC is part of the Federation of British Artists 
  2. All FBA Annual Exhibitions - including NEAC's:
    • are organised by the FBA /Mall Galleries and 
    • held at the Mall Galleries 
  3. The FBA/Mall Galleries use a third party agent OESS to organise the digital application process - to the rules set by the FBA/Mall Galleries - in liaison with NEAC.
  4. They ALL produce their own version of the Call for Entries!
You can find 
To be perfectly honest, I've got fed up going round and round in circles trying to work out whether all sites say the same thing in the same way. Links to really critical bits of information can be very easily missed i.e. way down the page, not highlighted or bolded in any way

I do NOT understand why the ALL the "Call for Entries" information is not in ONE DIGITAL DOWNLOADABLE DOCUMENT available and PROMINENT on all three websites i.e.
  • NEAC - as sponsor of the exhibition
  • FBA/Mall Galleries - as organisers of the administration and hangers and host of the exhibition
  • OESS - contracted to process the digital entries and notify artists about outcomes
with the roles of relevant agencies spelt out in the digital document.

So now here's the fourth version i.e. mine - which tries to look at it from the Artist's perspective (not as an organisational contract) and the main questions you need answers to

Eligible Artists: Who can Submit?

Artists are invited to submit work for exhibition alongside members of the New English Art Club at the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2023.
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.

International artists do submit and do get selected!

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?" immediately below.
  • the second is the standard/universal Generic Terms and Conditions relevant to submissions to ANY FBA member exhibition at the Mall Galleries (i.e. by a society which is a member of the Federation of British Artists) re. "How to Submit" - further down the page 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) - so NOT JUST ABOUT PAINTINGS despite the description of what NEAC is about!
  • Age of Artwork: Work must have been completed in the last two years
  • Size: Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension. The size is the exterior of the FRAME size (i.e. NOT the artwork)
TIP: Small artworks are very acceptable. They take up less space and are more likely to sell - especially if priced to sell.  Priced under £500 qualifies as an impulse buy.

Small works in the cafe area
  • Previous Exhibitions?: Work must NOT have been previously exhibited in London (i.e. it can have been exhibited elsewhere in the country). As it's not defined, you are safe in assuming the legal definition i.e. "London" means within the boundaries of the areas recognised as falling into one of the London Boroughs (Inner or Outer).
  • Dry / Ready to Hang: Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery (or they won't be hung)
  • Framed and Exhibition Ready: i.e. ready for the exhibition organisers to hang using mirror-plating (if you're unclear what this means see my post How to hang a painting - using mirror plates - which shows you what happens when mirror plates are applied to a cheap wood frame)
  • Number: You can submit a maximum of six works - of which a maximum of THREE will be selected and hung.  
TIP: If submitting more than one work, make sure that the works are coherent in style terms and representing you eg similar subject matter / palettes / frames - which makes it more likely they will be hung together if selected. It also suggests you have a mature style and know what you're doing!
  • The entry fee is 
    • £20 per work payable at the time of submitting
    • £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under)

  • For Sale: All work must be for sale (I'm wondering whether the King will be exhibiting this year - he was the only person exempt from this rule when he exhibited as Prince of Wales)
TIP - Aim to Sell Your Art: There should be no vanity hang submissions for the CV - this is a selling exhibition. Art Societies are impressed by artists who sell. My recommendation is to send artwork which is original, representative of you and more likely to sell.
  • Price on the Wall: The minimum "on the wall / charged to the customer" price is £300 EXCEPT for:
    • framed prints: £180, 
    • unframed prints: £120). 
[Note: I've had people report to me in the past 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 info@mallgalleries.com and ask them why the form does not work]
  • Price: Including Commission and VAT: If your work sells both commission and VAT will be deducted. How much depends on your status - which needs to be made clear to the organisers/sellers
    • NOT REGISTERED FOR VAT: The price of works must include 45% commission + 20%VAT on the commission only i.e. for every £1,000 you get £460 and the Mall Galleries keeps £540 (£450 + £90)
    • REGISTERED FOR VAT (includes all International Artists): Price of the work must include 45% commission plus 20% VAT on the total sum (money for artist + gallery's commission for sale)  i.e. for every £1,000 you get £350 and the Mall Galleries gets £450 commission + £200 which is passed on to Customs & Excise)

BOTTOM LINE TIP: I frequently advise artists to view open exhibitions as MARKETING only - meaning
  • either a career move with a view to getting "noticed" by art galleries and/or art collectors - who may contact you following the exhibition.
  • or becoming a member of an art society. 
Most who submit don't do it for income from sales per se given 
  • the costs involved in submitting (and recovering the artwork) and 
  • the costs if an artwork sells. 

HOW do you submit

The exhibition's entry process is 
  • organised by the Mall Galleries on behalf of NEAC. 
  • managed on a third party basis by OESS who process digital submissions and notify artists of the results of selection.
The process is TWO stage for UK artists
  • digital submission - which leads to pre-selection after which you send artwork for review
  • physical submission - for pre-selected ONLY
The process is ONE stage only for all international artists i.e. artworks are selected for hanging from the digital submission only.

Generic Information re. submitting to the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2023

The General Call for Entries: Terms and Conditions are applicable to ALL FBA exhibitions at the Mall Galleries. 

These cover:
  1. Definitions
  2. General Conditions
  3. Size
  4. Presentation
  5. Delivery of works
  6. Submissions
  7. Collection of Works
  8. Commission
  9. Intellectual Property Rights
  10. Liability
  11. Indemnity
  12. Personal Data
  13. Disqualification
  14. Anti Money Laundering Legislation which is of particular relevance to all those selling at high prices or to the same collector.
The NEAC Exhibition 2023 Digital Submission and Detailed Entry requirements - specific to this exhibition is located at http://mallgalleries.oess.uk. But first you have to register and/or login to the site.

How to Submit

The process works as follows

Artwork MUST be submitted online.

  • Login Page to the NEAC 2023 Open Exhibition Entry website - for those who have previously registered
  • Submit your entry online prior to the deadline: 12 noon on Friday 10th March 2023. 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 the submission site https://mallgalleries22.oess1.uk/ after 12 noon on Friday 17 March to see if your work has been pre-selected


The entrance to the basement
where you deliver your artwork
Deliver your work for selection IF PRE-SELECTED ONLY 
  • on Saturday 15th April
  • between 10am to 5pm
  • to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD. 
IMPORTANT NOTE:  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.


The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the New English Art Club. The selectors' decisions are final and no feedback is offered. It will 
  • view the works submitted via the open entry on screen and 
  • decide which works they would like to see in the final, physical selection for hanging at Mall Galleries. 
TIP: Do not be tempted to "improve" your entry as a digital image - because if the real thing does not look like the digital image 
  • either it will get weeded out at the final selection for hanging 
  • or just not hung if received from overseas.

Collection of unaccepted: 

  • Check mallgalleries.org.uk 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 opens to public: Friday 12 June, 10am to 5pm
  • Exhibition closes: Saturday 20 June, 5pm

Collect unsold work: Thursday 6 July, 10am to 5pm 
(A tad insensitive IMO to those who have a job and work on weekdays! Why not at the weekend?)

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

Special Note for Artists living/working outside the UK

  • Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. 
    • Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (FBA do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art - Tel: 07833 450788 / Email: info@picturepostcompany.co.uk
TIP: My Art Business Info. for Artists website also provides useful information about transporting art - see UK & Ireland Art Movers & Couriers & Fine Art Transport Services
  • If you are not a UK resident and your work is sold at the exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs at www.hmrc.gov.uk (HM Revenue & Customs Reference: Notice 700/1). 
TIP: You do NOT want to find out about the fines for failing to do this!


Prizes and Awards

The exhibition offers over £10,000 worth of prizes and awards to win, including two new awards for 2023 (subject to final confirmation)
The various prizes and awards include the following - categorised by the nature of the award.
You can review who won prizes and awards in 2022 in a news post Prizes and Awards 2022

The £10k mentioned above is "worth" and not "money" i.e. it includes the value of other things you might win instead of cash.

Monetary Prizes and Awards

In 2023, the total CASH value of monetary awards and prizes is £8,350. 
  • The Doreen McIntosh Prize (£3,000): In order to reflect the best in figurative painting in British Art, The Doreen McIntosh Prize is for an artist whose work fulfils the New English Art Club’s ideals of rigour, immediate engagement with the visual and a searching attitude.
  • The Hermione Hammond Drawing Award: £2,000 for a drawing by an emerging artist aged 35 or under
  • NEW The Val Harris Prize: £2,000 for an outstanding work in the exhibition as judged by curator and gallerist Val Harris
  • The Bowyer Drawing Prize (£500): Selected by the Bowyer family
  • The Milner Prize for an Emerging Artist (£500)
  • The NEAC Critics' Prize: £250
  • The Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award: A certificate and cheque for £100


This award does have a cash value but it's indeterminate. 
Personally, I think it might well be useful and helpful to artists - and the promotion of the open exhibition - to provide an indicative value of what it has been worth to past winners. i.e. facts not speculation.
  • The Dry Red Press Award: The winning work will be published as a greetings card in the Dry Red Press 'Prize Winners' range, with royalties from the sale of the cards going to the artist.
There is no award for articles in Art Magazines - as negotiated and retained by some of the other FBA Societies - which seems odd to me.

Art Materials

The total value - in terms of retail cost - is £1,500. Much less than that secured by other art societies. I've done that job before now for another art society. It's not difficult.
  • The Michael Harding Award: £500 worth of art materials
  • The Winsor & Newton Award: £500 worth of art materials
  • The Peter Ashley Framing Prize: to the Value of £500 - a bespoke handmade picture frame created for the winning work by The Artistic Framing Company

Other Prizes

TWO NEW PRIZES this year which are wholly innovative. I'm wondering if the FBA Award is going to be an offer made by all FBA Societies (as this is the first time I've seen it) or just NEAC.
  • NEW The Table Residency Award: A two-week residency at The Atelier, above the art gallery, The Table, in Hay-on-Wye
  • NEW Mall Galleries / FBA Award: Ten free submissions to exhibitions by the Federation of British Artists at Mall Galleries (worth up to £200) for a first time exhibitor with the NEAC.

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 page
A selection panel consisting of NEAC members views the portfolios anonymously.

The shortlist of candidates for membership comprises:
  1. A select number of the long-listed artists chosen on the strength of their online portfolio, and
  2. Existing candidates* who also have work selected for the Annual Exhibition of the election year.

More about the New English Art Club

My past blog posts about past exhibitions can be found below:

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