UK Art Societies: Open Exhibitions 2017-18

Below is a list of KEY DEADLINES AND DATES and LINKS relating to the 2017 Annual Open Exhibitions of National Art Societies and major art societies associated with a specific gallery, subject, media, place or type of artist.

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

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 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 are links to some of my blog posts about TIPS for entering OPEN art society exhibitions and competitions.

The major advantage for artists wishing to enter the open art society exhibitions in 2017 is that some now have links to past catalogues so you can see the sort of prices put on artwork.

You can also see photos of some of the past exhibitions in my blog posts which are also listed and which highlight the nature of the exhibition, prizewinners and artists who caught my eye.

In 2017, I intend to:
  • start counting the number of open entries in each exhibition and the percentage they represent relative to the total number of works hung in the exhibition.
  • producing 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. 
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 I'm going to start articulating very clearly the differences between the various exhibitions (where feasible)!
If anybody can assist with any further relevant details please leave a comment.

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National art society open exhibitions - by month of deadline for entries


January 2017

  • 6 January 2017 - Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
  • 16 January 2017, 12 midday - Royal Watercolour Society
  • 20 January 2017 - Royal Society of Portrait Painters

February 2017

  • 1 February 2017 - The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
  • 3rd February 2017 - UKCPS - UK Coloured Pencil Society
  • 8th February 2017, at 12 noon - Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers - Annual Elections
  • 24 February 2017 - New English Art Club

March 2017
  • 23 March 2017 - The Society of Women Artists
  • Royal West of England Academy (Drawn) - precise date to be announced but around mid-March

April 2017

  • none as yet

May 2017

  • none as yet

June 2017

  • Royal Society of Marine Artists
  • Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (National Print Competition)

July 2017

  • none as yet

August 2017

  • Society of Wildlife Artists
  • Royal Institute of Oil Painters

September 2017

  •  9th September 2017 - Royal Society of Miniature Painters Sculptors and Gravers

October 2017

  • none as yet

November 2017

  • The Pastel Society (re 2018?)

December 2017

  • Royal Society of British Artists (re. 2018?)

TO BE ANNOUNCED - 2017 Open Exhibitions
The following Art Societies do not yet have dates and/or a complete page providing all relevant information for their annual exhibitions in 2017 and 2018 where the deadline occurs in 2017.
  • GAvA - Guild of Aviation Artists
  • Hilliard Society of Miniaturists
  • Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts
  • Royal Institute of Oil Painters
  • Royal Scottish Painters in Watercolour (re Summer Open 2017)
  • Royal West of England Academy (re. Annual Exhibition and Drawn)
  • Society of Botanical Artists (which has changed the date of its exhibition from Spring to Autumn)
  • Society of Equestrian Artists
  • Society of Feline Artists
  • Society of Graphic Fine Art
  • Society of Scottish Artists

TO BE ANNOUNCED - 2018 Open Exhibitions

These typically will have deadlines for entry late in 2017.

  • Pastel Society (re 2018 exhibition)
  • The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art (re 2018 exhibition)
  • Royal Society of British Artists (re 2018 exhibition)
  • Royal Scottish Painters in Watercolour (re Winter Open 2018)

In general, given how very many professional and semi-professional artists plan ahead it's 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.


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



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Mall Galleries: Annual Open Exhibitions 


A checklist of key dates and links re the 2016 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)
[See also the page UK Art Movers and Couriers on my website Art Business Info for Artists]
    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 

    Pastel Society (PS)

    • Deadline for online entries (re. 2017): 4 November 2016
    • Receiving Day: 7 January 2017
    • 100 open entries selected for 2017 exhibition
    • Exhibition Dates: 23 February - 5 March
    • Website: call to exhibit page - site currently undergoing an upgrade
    Past PS e-catalogues

    My recent posts:

    Royal Society of British Artists (RBA)


    Past RBA e-catalogues

    My recent posts:

    Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) 


    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)

    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.
    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.
    • Online Submission opens: 27th March 2017, 12 noon
    • Deadline for online entries: 30th June 2017, 12 noon
    • Receiving Day: 5th August, 10am - 5pm (pre-selected ONLY)
    • Exhibition Dates: 5th -14th October 2017
    • Website: call to exhibit page: http://www.rsma-web.co.uk/exhibition.html 
    Past e-catalogues
    My posts - see
    View of the 2016 RSMA Annual Exhibition in the Threadneedle Space at the Mall Galleries

    Society of Wildlife Artists (SWA)


    The website has yet to be updated for the 2017 exhibition - however all dates are available on the Mall Galleries page.
    • Online Submission opens: Tuesday 18 April 2017, 12 noon
    • Deadline for online entries: Friday 21 July, 12 noon
    • Receiving Day: Saturday 26 August, 10am - 5pm (pre-selected ONLY)
    • Exhibition Dates: 26 October - 6 November
    • Call to exhibit page: http://www.mallgalleries.org.uk/call-for-entries/open-exhibitions/society-wildlife-artists
    • Website: not yet updated for the 2017 exhibition (although dates are available on Mall Galleries page)

    Past SWA e-catalogues
    My post:

    Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI)


    105 works selected from the open entry in 2016.


    Past ROI e-catalogues
    My posts:
    ____________________________________________

    Bankside Gallery

    Both of the art societies based at the Bankside Gallery split their exhibitions between (1) 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.
    • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day:  Monday 16 January 2017, 12 midday
    • Exhibition Dates: Friday 3rd - Wednesday 15th March 2017
    • Exhibition Venue: Bankside Gallery
    • Website: call to exhibit page: http://www.royalwatercoloursociety.co.uk/competition/
    • e-catalogue for 2016: none
    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 8th February 2017, at 12 noon.
    National Original Print Exhibition

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    Other UK Art Societies - Subject specific


    Society of Botanical Artists (SBA)

    • Submission opens: submit digitally for pre-selection - Dates and further details about the full process will be available by late January 2017
    • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: 
    • Exhibition Dates: 13 to 21 October 2017
    • Exhibition Venue: Central Hall, Westminster
    • Website: call to exhibit page:  http://www.soc-botanical-artists.org/how_to.php
    • e-catalogue for 2015: none

    My blog posts:

    Society of Equestrian Artists

    • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: June 2016?
    • Exhibition Dates: not announced
    • Exhibition Venue: not announced
    • Website: call to exhibit page: None
    • e-catalogue for 2015: None

    The Society of Feline Artists


     GAvA - Guild of Aviation Artists

    • Annual 'Aviation Paintings of the Year' Exhibition is held in London each July and is open to both members and non-members
    • Deadline for entries / Receiving Day: Sunday May 2017 (?)
    • Summary Guidance for Exhibitors
    • Exhibition Dates: July 2017 (?). Admission is free.
    • Exhibition Venue: Mall Galleries
    • e-catalogue for 2015: none

    ____________________________________________

    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:  http://www.rsw.org.uk/pages/exhibitions.php
    • 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 http://www.rsw.org.uk/pages/latest_news.php 
    • 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:  http://www.sgfa.org.uk/events-exhibitions-entry-forms/
    • e-catalogue for 2016: none

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    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: http://www.regroyalscottishacademy.org/
    • 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 www.registrationssa.org
    • 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

    Drawn

    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: http://rcaconwy.org/exhibitions/open-art-exhibition
    • e-catalogue for 2016: none

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    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.

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