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 and is open to all, regardless of where they are based.  

Academicians are elected on the basis that they are:

  • Practising artists or architects of ability and experience
  • 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

Elected members are expected to contribute to the activities of the Academy. This includes exhibiting in the annual Autumn Exhibition and assisting in the work of the Academy with 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 Wednesday 1 March 2023.

To find out more about Becoming an Academician, or to request an Academician Application Form please contact

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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Annual Open Exhibitions

Important information for artists who have submitted their work to the 168 Annual Open Exhibition