Annual Open Exhibitions

Annual Open Exhibition at RWA Bristol

Submissions to the RWA 168 Annual Open Exhibition have now closed. 

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We would like to say a huge thank you to all who applied to this year's exhibition. Income from submissions is vital to the RWA, an independent charity (1070163). It enables us to maintain our historically significant building, present our ambitious programme of exhibitions and deliver creative opportunities for young people and adults across Bristol. Your support is more important now than ever. 

If you have submitted to this year's Open Exhibition, you can view your entry here.


Key Dates

Submissions open: Friday 31 July - Tuesday 22 September 

Final Selection results out to artists: Thursday 8 October

Hand in dates for selected works: Thursday 22, Friday 23, Saturday 24, Sunday 25 October  

Exhibition opens to public: Saturday 14 November 2020 - Sunday 7 March 2021

Please see below for full Terms and Conditions.


About the RWA Annual Open Exhibition

The south west's original open exhibition will return this year from Saturday 14 November 2020 - Sunday 7 March 2021. Now is your chance to be a part of it! 

The RWA's Annual Open Exhibition is now in its 168th 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. 

A selection panel assesses every entry and last year 657 works by 451 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. 

Please note that this year, due to coronavirus restrictions, our selection process will take place entirely online. 

    Further reading on the RWA blog: Ten Reasons to Take Part in the RWA Annual Open Exhibition


    Selection Panel

    This year's selection panel includes RWA Academicians Fiona Robinson, Ros Ford, Seyed Edalatpour and Wendy Elia, alongside artist and gallerist Zavier Ellis.

    Our invited artist is RA President Rebecca Salter.



    The Academy Prizes

    • 1st Prize £5000
    • 2nd Prize £1000 (sponsored by RWA Academicians)

    Prize for Artwork by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Artists

    • £1000

    The Work on Paper Prize, sponsored by Yvonne Crossley RWA (and The Drawing Gallery)

    • £800

    People's Choice Prize

    • £500

    The Painting Prize, sponsored by Derek Balmer PPRWA

    • £250

    Watercolour Prizes

    • 1st Prize £250
    • 2nd Prize £150

    Evolver Magazine Prizes

    • Winning artist to be featured in article in Evolver Magazine
    • Winning artwork to be featured on the cover of Evolver Magazine

    The Student Prize, sponsored by The Friends of the RWA

    • Winning artist to be featured in an article in The Floating Circle Magazine



    Smith and Williamson logo

    The 168 Annual Open Exhibition is sponsored by Smith & Williamson.

    Photo credit: Alice Hendy 





    Find out more about our network of artists and how you can join them.

    168 Annual Open Exhibition

    14 Nov 20 – 7 Mar 21

    This dynamic and varied art exhibition is a showcase of some of the most exciting artists from across the country and beyond.

    Art Exhibitions at the RWA, Bristol

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