RWA Academicians

RWA Academician's work on display in the Kenny Gallery, RWA Bristol

As a Royal Academy of Art, the RWA has professional artists at its heart, with a membership of around 150 Academicians who are elected by their peers. The current President is Fiona Robinson PRWA.

The process of becoming an Academician is by application and selection.

Academicians are elected on the basis that they are:

  • Practising artists or architects of exceptional ability and experience with a proven track record of exhibitions
  • Creators of art works judged to be of a consistently high standard
  • Willing to undertake the commitments and responsibilities of elected membership of the Academy
  • Live in a location which will allow them to be actively involved in the life of the Academy and have some knowledge of the Academy and its aims, eg. by attending previous exhibitions or having been selected for the Annual Open exhibition

Elected members are expected to contribute to the activities of the Academy. They are expected to exhibit in the Annual Open Exhibition, attend Private Views and social events and assist in the work of the Academy through involvement in exhibitions, events and educational activities.

Academicians' entitlements include:

  • Use of RWA after name
  • Free entry to all RWA exhibitions
  • Free entry and automatic selection into the Annual Open Exhibition
  • Invitations to all RWA Private Views
  • A profile on the RWA website
  • Invitations to quarterly networking events and talks
  • The ability to propose and elect new Academicians, and to elect Council members, President and Vice-President
  • A quarterly newsletter
  • Discounts to RWA Drawing School courses and in the RWA shop

Application Process

The next deadline for applications to become an RWA Academician is 12pm (Midday) 31 January 2025.

Please read the supporting ‘Becoming an Academician’ document at the bottom of this page before applying.

If you have any questions regarding application please email

The Academician Council is particularly seeking applications from currently under-represented artists, for example those from Black, Asian and UK Minority Ethnicity communities, and those working in digital media, photography and architecture.

Kenny Gallery

The Kenny Gallery is a dedicated space for exhibiting the works of RWA Academicians. 

The Kenny Gallery is named in honour of Tony Kenny (1961-2021), who was a keen art lover and philanthropist, and with his wife Sarah generously supported the RWA as Patrons, as well as by buying art from our Annual Open Exhibitions.

Through a programme of changing exhibitions, the Kenny Gallery celebrates the work of our Academicians - outstanding professional artists, elected by their peers - and is free for everyone to visit.


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