UK Art Societies: Open Exhibitions

WHAT YOU CAN FIND ON THIS PAGE: Below is a list of 
  • KEY DEADLINES AND DATES and LINKS relating to the 2020 - 2021 Annual Open Exhibitions of National Art Societies and major art societies associated with a specific gallery, subject, media, place or type of artist.
  • Links to recent Exhibition Catalogues on Issuu where these are available. These past catalogues provide some guidance on the sort of prices put on artwork.

In 2017, I started
  • counting the number of open entries selected in each exhibition i.e. the percentage they represent relative to the total number of works hung in the exhibition
  • commenting on how "open" each exhibition actually is in reality i.e. how transparent each organisation is about number of entries received/hung and whether open submissions are mixed in with members' work - or segregated
  • to produce a 'league table' (at the year end) - with rankings based on the percentage coming from the open entry  - and a commentary on just how open every exhibition is.
For subsequent Calls for Entries I started commenting on what exhibition metrics reveal re. the chances of an open entrant getting your artwork hung.

Latterly, I've started counting sales and looking at the price ranges which sell best in these exhibitions - for both members and non-members

In other words I'm no longer going to mutter in blog posts about the ratio of entries hung via the open relative to members' work and where they are hung. 

Instead I've started to articulate very clearly:
  • the differences between the various exhibitions (where feasible) and 
  • what sort of artwork gets selected (eg is open work selected only smaller works?) and 
  • whether numbers of works / artists being selected from the open entry is going up or down
  • where the open entry artwork gets hung! (i.e. one exhibition or two?)
  • commenting on sales in review posts - in particular in relation to the price bands which generate sales
  • what might reasonably be concluded about level playing fields for selection between members and open entries.
In general, given how very many professional and semi-professional artists plan ahead, it's very much recommended that art societies provide the details for the next open exhibition as they take down the page relating to the last open exhibition i.e. provide as much detail as possible as early as possible - even if precise dates have yet to be worked out.

Listings of National Art Society Open Exhibitions

At the beginning is calendrical list of the open exhibitions by month of deadline of various art societies. (Those that not have announced deadlines as yet are also listed.)

In the middle of the page are summary details of
the national art society open exhibitions grouped by:
  • FBA Societies at the Mall Galleries
  • Societies based at the Bankside Gallery
  • Other UK Art Societies - subject specific
  • Other UK Art Societies - media specific
  • Other UK Art Societies - artist specific
  • Other major UK Art Societies not based in London

    Current and Future Tips

    At the end of this page are links to my TIPS for entering OPEN art society exhibitions and competitions.

    See photos of some of the past exhibitions in my blog posts (also listed) which highlight the nature of the exhibition, prizewinners and artists who caught my eye.

    If anybody can assist with any further relevant details please leave a comment.

    View of the Private View of the 2016 Annual Exhibition by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

    National Art Society Open Exhibitions
    Calls for Entries / Deadlines

    • in the name of the art society - this goes to the official page providing information about Calls for Entries. 
    • links are also provided (where available) to the catalogue for the previous exhibition where this is available on Issuu
    • SEE THE NEXT SECTION FOR MORE INFORMATION about each individual art society


    Entries down and become speculative (on basis of previous year's deadline) when the exhibition has been held.

    February 2020

    March 2020

    May 2020

    August 2019

    November 2019

    January 2020

    A view of the 2016 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in the Main Gallery

    Mall Galleries: Annual Open Exhibitions 

    A checklist of key dates and links re the 2019 Annual Open Exhibitions of the FBA Art Societies - who exhibit at the Mall Galleries.

    Mall Galleries

    This is the Call For Entries page on the Mall Galleries website which contains details about the various Call for Entries for all the art societies which are members of the Federation of British Artists (listed below)
      PLEASE NOTE that:
      • Digital submission: ALL work must be submitted on-line and  
      • VAT: overseas exhibitors are required to register for VAT in the UK if they wish to sell in the UK. You must be registered before you submit online and registration can take up to four weeks. (see terms and conditions)
      • E-Catalogues: the Issuu e-catalogues listed below for every FBA art society exhibition include images of artwork in exhibition plus artists, titles, media and prices. It's a good place to start if you're wondering about how to price work you're thinking of submitting.
      View of the 2016 Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society
      Each of the art societies are listed below, with FBA Societies going to the end of the list as their exhibition finishes

      Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI)

      2018 Exhibition
      • Deadline for digital submission: August 2018?
      • Exhibition: November / December 2018?
      2017 Exhibition
      • 300 paintings exhibited in Main and North Galleries only
        • 184 artworks were by 47  members (of the 64 total members) and 
        • 116 artworks were by 74 non-members
      • Ratio of members' work to non-members was 61.3% : 38.6%
      • Average number of paintings per non-member artist selected was 1.5
      • Website: call to exhibit page:
      • Deadline for online entries: 25 August 2017
      • Exhibition Dates: 29 November - 10 December 2017 (11.5 days)
      • My review: Review - Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2017
      Past Exhibitions

      Past ROI e-catalogues
      My posts:

      Royal Society of British Artists (RBA)

      2020 Exhibition:

      • Exhibition dates: 20-20 February 2020
      • deadline for entries is Friday 29 November, 12 noon

      Recent Call for Entries Posts

      Past RBA Annual Exhibition e-catalogues (on Issuu)

      Reviews of RBA Annual Exhibitions

      Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI)

      2019 Exhibition

      2018 Exhibition
      2017 Exhibition
      Past RI e-catalogues:
      My recent posts:
      A panoramic view of the 2016 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

      Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP)

      The good news and the bad news
      • the good news: around half the artwork in the show is NOT by a member
      • the bad news: less than 5% of the open entry gets selected for the exhibition
      • the good news: which is better than the percentage selected for the BP Portrait Award!
      • the bad news: however this open entry is now more competitive than the RA's Summer Exhibition!

      2019 Exhibition

      Private View of the Annual Exhibition 2017 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

      You can still see selected works by members from the 2018 annual exhibition online
      2017 Exhibition
      Past e-catalogues (none)

      My recent posts:

      New English Art Club (NEAC)

      The website refers those interested in exhibiting to the Mall Galleries Call for Entries page.

      2019 Exhibition
      this exhibition has typically had by far the lowest percentage of non-member works of all the FBA Societies
      • 2018: c.74% of works by members (75% in 2017); 63% are also members of other FBA Societies (65% in 2017);
      • 2018: c.26% are by non-members (24% in 2017) : 11% of which were also members of other FBA Societies (12% in 2017)

      2018 Exhibition

      2017 Exhibition
      This is perhaps the most uneven exhibition I've ever seen in terms of the hang. By which I mean biased in a scientific sense. I think the best way of describing it is:
      • essentially an exhibition of artwork by the members 
      • a very low key and small "open" exhibition - in terms of nature and format of work selected
      Past Exhibitions

      Past e-catalogues
      My recent posts:

      Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA)

      The RSMA has an excellent and comprehensive page devoted to its Call for Entries and annual Open Exhibition.

      2019 Exhibition

      2018 Exhibition

      2017 Exhibition
      Previous Exhibitions

      Past e-catalogues
      My past posts - see
      View of the 2016 RSMA Annual Exhibition in the Threadneedle Space at the Mall Galleries

      Society of Wildlife Artists (SWA)

      2019 Exhibition
      2018 Exhibition

      2017 Exhibition
      Past Exhibitions
      My post:

        Pastel Society (PS)

        2020 Exhibition

        2019 Exhibition
        2018 Exhibition
        2017 Exhibition:
        Past Pastel Society Exhibitions

        Bankside Gallery

        Both of the art societies (RWS and RE) based at the Bankside Gallery split their exhibitions between:

        • Members Only Exhibitions and 
        • Competition Exhibitions where the artwork hung is 100% selected from the open entry. Consequently the latter get listed under both the Art Society Open Exhibitions and the Art Competitions page!

        View of some of the artwork hung in the Royal Watercolour Society 's Open Exhibition 
        100% of the works selected for the RWS Contemporary Watercolour exhibition
        are selected from the open entry

        Royal Watercolour Society (RWS)

        The open exhibition is run as a competition (100% open entries) and is separate from the process of electing new members which happens round about the same time.
        The judges are looking for pieces that push at the boundaries of watercolour, promote water-based media at its most accomplished and ask audiences to see the medium in a new and contemporary light.
        My blog posts:

        Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE)

        The Society separates application for membership from its open exhibition which it holds as the National Original Print Exhibition Annual Election
        • Deadline for application for membership (re. Annual Elections 2017) - Wednesday 7th February 2018 | 12 noon
        National Original Print Exhibition

        Other UK Art Societies - Subject specific

        Society of Botanical Artists (SBA)

        My blog posts:

        Society of Equestrian Artists

        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: June 2017?
        • Exhibition Dates: September / October 2018
        • Exhibition Venue: not announced
        • Website: call to exhibit page: None
        • e-catalogue for 2015: None

        The Society of Feline Artists

        • 300 pictures by 50 Feline Society artists in oil, watercolour, acrylic, pastel, and pencil - held in a commercial art gallery
        • Submission subject to being a member or associate of SOFA i.e. THIS IS NOT AN OPEN EXHIBITION
        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: ??
        • Exhibition Dates: August/September 2017
        • Exhibition Venue: Llewellyn Alexander Gallery
        • Website: call to exhibit page: none
        • Photos of the 2017 exhibition:
        • e-catalogue for 2015:  none

         GAvA - Guild of Aviation Artists


        Other UK Art Societies - Media Specific

        Royal Scottish Painters in Watercolour

        The RSW website is not very helpful in terms of providing information for people wanting to submit to open exhibitions.  137th Open Annual Winter Exhibition
        • No information about how to exhibit on the website (i.e. IMO this is NOT an open exhibition of this basis)
        • No digital submission
        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: 21 April 2015
        • Exhibition Dates: 9 - 28 January 2017
        • Exhibition Venue: The Upper Galleries, The Royal Scottish Academy Building, The Mound, Edinburgh
        • Website page:
        • e-catalogue for 2016: None
        4th Annual Open Summer Exhibition
        • No digital submission
        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: 21 April 2015
        • Exhibition Dates: 26 April – 25 May 2015
        • Exhibition Venue: The Maclaurin Art Gallery, Rozelle Park, Monument Road, Ayr KA7 4NQ
        • Website page:  No details online other than basic dates - see 
        • e-catalogue for 2016: None

        Royal Society of Miniature Painters Sculptors and Gravers

        Hilliard Society of Miniaturists

        UKCPS - UK Coloured Pencil Society

        My blog post:

        The Society of Graphic Fine Art

        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day for Draw 17:
          • Closing date for digital entries: ?
          • Closing date for paper entries: ?
        • Exhibition Dates: 2 – 14 October 2017
        • Exhibition Venue: Menier Gallery
        • Website Page:
        • e-catalogue for 2016: none

        Other UK Art Societies - Artist Specific

        The Society of Women Artists

        This website has an excellent and informative section dedicated to the open exhibition.

        Other major UK Art Societies - not based in London

        Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture

        this exhibition showcases around 400 works annually and features a wide range of small and medium sized works (max. 80cm in any direction) selected through open submission including paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and photographs.
        Details of the next RSA Open Exhibition of Fine Art will be available in Spring 2017
        • Deadline for Online Digital Selection for non Members: 
        • Registration/submission website:
        • Regulations and FAQ’s - link removed
        • Exhibition Dates: (based on 2016) July - August 2017 (?)
        • Exhibition Venue: RSA Upper and Lower Galleries
        • Website Page: (2015) Non-members regulations Click Here 116.04KB
        • e-catalogue for 2015: none

        The Society of Scottish Artists

        The Society of Scottish Artists 119th Open Annual Exhibition
        • call for entries published around July 2017 ?
        • digital submissions via
        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day:
        • Exhibition Dates: ?? December 2017
        • Exhibition Venue: Scottish National Gallery, The Academy, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
        • Website Page: This is the page for the 2015 exhibition and the 2016 exhibition
        • e-catalogue for 2015: none

        Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts

        This year the annual exhibition held by The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, insisted that all entries were submitted online, which was perhaps the reason behind the bleak contemporary mood to the show. The Fountain
        The Royal Glasgow Institute organises the largest and most prestigious Annual Exhibition in Scotland, which is open to all artists, with some 17 awards of cash prizes. The Galleries they normally show in art not currently available due to the fire at the Glasgow School of Art.
        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day:
        • Digital Entry: Yes
        • Exhibition Dates: 
        • Exhibition Venue: 
        • Website Page: 
        • e-catalogue for 2016:

        Royal West of England Academy

        The RWA runs two open exhibitions: the Annual Open Exhibition and Drawn. Annual Open Exhibition

        The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists

        There are various call for entries each year which are either open to all artists, open to the Friends of the RBSA or open to Members and Associates. However the pathway to information on what you need to do is not as clear as it could be.

        The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art

        • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: 2 December 2016
        • Exhibition Dates: 7 January - 4 February 2017
        • Exhibition Venue: Royal Cambrian Academy Crown Lane, Conwy, Conwy, UK, LL32 8AN (open 11am - 5pm)
        • Website Page:
        • e-catalogue for 2016: none

        TIPS for entering OPEN art exhibitions and competitions

        If you're considering entering an open exhibition

        Framing and Shipping

        What stage are you at?

        You're selected - now what?

        You need to tell people generally and also tell those you are trying to get your work in front of e.g. art galleries.