Annual Open Exhibition Artist Information 2018

We are now open for submissions to the 166 Annual Open Exhibition - click here to submit. Submissions will close at 5pm on Tuesday 21 August.


What is the Annual Open?

The Royal West of England Academy holds an Annual Open Exhibition, now in its 166th year. Anyone can enter their work for this mixed discipline show - previous years have included painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, film, sculpture and illustration, and attracted entries from artists across the UK and beyond. All work is for sale and the exhibition attracts art-lovers and art-buyers from far and wide.

A selection panel assesses every entry and last year 624 works by 421 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.

2018's Selection Panel includes Stewart Geddes PRWA, Stephen Jacobson VPRWA, Fiona Robinson RWA, Elizabeth Turrell RWA and Chris Dunseath RWA, alongside gallery director, curator and artist Zavier EllisLaura Gascoigne, art writer and critic and Curator of the Jerwood Collection Lara Wardle.

We're also delighted to have Jock McFadyen RA and Carol Roberston as this year's Invited Artists.

Awards and Prizes

Prizes include The Academy Prize of £1000, The Watercolour Prize (First Place £250, Second Place £150), The Painting Prize of £250, sponsored by Derek Balmer PPRWA, The Evolver Wessex Cover and Artist Awards, The Sculpture Prize sponsored by Pangolin Editions, The Creativity Award sponsored by Niche Frames, Bristol and The arTag Award (a Blue arTag Membership and an Orange arTag Membership). See attached document below for more information.

How do I Submit Work?

All applicants must apply online using the Online Exhibition Submission System (OESS). Please read the OESS User Guide available to download as a PDF below if you are experiencing difficulty registering online.

How much does it cost to submit work?

Submission fees are charged per item:

£20 per item for General Public
£15 per item for Students
£15 per item for Friends of the RWA
£10 per item for Artist Network members
Free for Academicians

Do I have to submit images of my work online? Yes - please read the Terms and Conditions (available to download below) for further guidance on size and image labelling.

How many works can I submit? Artists (with the exception of RWA Academicians who may submit up to 4) may submit up to 3 works each.

What happens once I have submitted my work? The closing date for online submission is the 21 August at 5pm. After this date no changes can be made to your application. Pre-Selection results will go live on 31 August. If you have had one or more works Pre-selected, you will need to deliver them to the RWA before final selection (see dates below). Final selection results will go live on 28 September.

Dates to Remember

  • Monday 2 July, midday - Tuesday 21 August, 5pm: Submissions open
  • Friday 31 August, 1pm: Pre-selection results live
  • Monday 17 September, 10am - 5pm: Hand in day (Academicians only)
  • Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 September, 10am - 5pm: Hand in day (general public)
  • Friday 28 September, 1pm: Final results live
  • Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 October 10am - 5pm: Collection unselected works
  • Friday 5 October, 2 - 5pm: Varnishing Day Lunch
  • Saturday 6 October, 3 - 6pm: Private View
  • 6 October - 25 November: Exhibition open
  • Friday 19 and Saturday 20 October, 10am - 5pm: Collection unselected works
  • Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December: Collection all works
  • Sunday 16, 11.30 - 4pm and Monday 17 December, 10am - 5pm: Collection all works
  • Friday 11 and Saturday 12 January 2019, 10am - 5pm: Collection all works



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