161 Annual Open Exhibition

The Royal West of England Academy holds an annual open exhibition now in its 161st year. As the name suggests, anyone can enter their work for this mixed discipline show. A selection panel assesses every entry and last year 541 works by 351 artists made it into the final exhibition. All work is for sale, and the exhibition attracts art-lovers and art-buyers from far and wide.

Submissions are welcome from unknown, emerging and established artists, including RWA Academicians, and can include painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture and other media.

Pre-selection takes place online, after which successful artists will need to bring their work to the RWA for final selection in early November. Work can be collected from designated venues in London, Birmingham, Exeter and Penzance.

Please note that entry fees apply.

How and when can I collect my work from the RWA?

Work can be collected on the following dates:

Please remember to bring proof of ID and if possible a print-out of the storage location. This will help us to locate your work as quickly as possible. Please note that we can get very busy on collection dates and a short wait may be necessary.

If you have booked regional transport your work will be returned to the locations listed below:

Please remember to bring proof of ID so that we can release the work to you.

Terms and Conditions & Transport Regulations

If you wish to book return transport for art work you can do this online between 1 December 2013 and 24 January 2014.

If you are a member of the general public (this includes RWA Friends, Artist Network Members and Students) you should read these Terms and Conditions.

If you are an RWA Academician you should read these Terms and Conditions.

To find out more about regional transport collections please read the Transport Regulations.

If you are new to OSS or are having difficulty using the system please read our handy OSS User Guide & FAQs. It contains advice on what to do if you have forgotten your user name or password, how to book transport and lots more.

Who is on the Selection Panel?

The selection panel has traditionally included artists, art dealers, curators and critics. This year the panel includes:

Dr Janette Kerr PRWA, David Inshaw RWA, Stephen Jacobson RWA, Rachael Nee RWA, Chris Dunseath RWA, Karen MacKinnon, Invited Artist Aisling Hedgecock and Jonathan Messum.

To find out more about the selection panel please read Selection Panel Biographies.

Invited Artist - Aisling Hedgecock

This year our invited artist is Aisling Hedgecock, named The Independent newspaper’s Outstanding Young Artist of the Year, ‘Talent 2007’. Hedgecock was born in Donegal, Republic of Ireland, 1979, and moved to Dorset, United Kingdom, in 1986. After completing an honours degree in Fine Art, Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art, London, in 2001, she gained a place on the Fine Art, Sculpture MA at the Royal College of Art, London, 2004.

Hedgecock was awarded the Sainsbury Scholarship in Drawing and Sculpture at The British School at Rome, and worked in Italy until 2008. Her most recent solo exhibitions include We Are Stardust at Akershus Kunstsenter, Olso, 2013, and The Third Stellation, at Galerie Gabriel Rolt, in Amsterdam, 2011. Group shows include On Becoming a Gallery Part 3 at Angus-Hughes, London, New London School, Galerie Schuster, Berlin, and On Time, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Hedgecock is currently based in Dorset and Spain. Hedgecock also joins us on this year’s selection panel.

Dendrologics, Aisling Hedgecock


The Annual Open Exhibition provides an excellent opportunity to sell your work and for it to be seen by 1000s of visitors. We also have a number of exciting prizes that are awarded to selected works. For more information please see below or download a copy of our Prizes Information Sheet.

The Affordable Art Fair You Choose Award

£800 awarded to the public’s choice – vote for your favourite artwork.

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Evolver Wessex Artist Award

Feature article in Evolver magazine’s March - April 2014 issue.

Evolver Cover Award

Front cover of Evolver magazine’s January - February 2014 issue.

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The Bristol First Collective Award

Collective will purchase a piece of work/s from the exhibition up to the value of £1000

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The UWE Bristol Drawing prize

£300 pounds given by the University of the West of England for distinctive practice in drawing.

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Consumer Intelligence Watercolour Prize

First Prize: £250 cash

Second Prize: £150 cash

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Redcliffe Press Photography Award

Art books published by Redcliffe Press to the value of £100

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St Cuthberts Mill Work on Paper Award

20 sheets of Saunders Waterford 300gsm worth £75

St Cuthberts Mill Logo

Pangolin Editions Sculpture Award

50cm2 Bronze casting by Pangolin Editions

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New Creations Coaching Emerging Artist Award

£240 worth of creative consulting with New Creations Coaching

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The exhibition is open to the public from Sunday 24 November 2013 until Sunday 26 January 2014. To find out more about the exhibition please visit 161 Annual Open Exhibition page here.