170 Annual Open Exhibition

170 Annual Open Exhibition

9 Sep 2023 - 14 Jan 2024


RWA, Queen's Road, Bristol


9 Sep 2023 - 14 Jan 2024


The RWA's renowned Annual Open Exhibition is now in its 170th year, and - as always - offers a stunning variety of work from emerging and established artists.

This dynamic, varied and uplifting exhibition includes a stunning array of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation and mixed media artworks, and is a showcase of some of the most exciting artists from across the country and beyond.

All work is for sale, making the Annual Open a perfect opportunity to discover new artists or invest in well-known names. You can browse - and buy - the artworks in our online shop

Thank you Signs of Art for this fantastic BSL welcome to the Annual Open Exhibition. This video has been created to allow for Deaf and hard of hearing audiences to learn more about what we have to offer.

Find out about our upcoming British Sign Language (BSL) tour for this exhibition, happening on 13 January 2024, here

We also offer Described Tours, or Touch Tours, for Blind and partially sighted adults. Our next Described Tour will take place on 16 December. Find out more here

Join us on 16 December for our first Gallery Social for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. More info here 

A selection panel assessed every entry and this year over 600 works made it into the final exhibition. The panel this year included Charmaine Watkiss and Meryl Ainslie together with RWA Academicians Fiona Robinson PRWA, Dallas Collins VPRWA, Lucy Austin RWA, Angela Lizon RWA and Karl Singporewala RWA.

We are delighted to announce that this year's invited Artist is Charmaine Watkiss.

Prizes this year included:

  • The Academy Award, awarded to a single work in any medium that has particularly appealed to the selectors (not open to RWA Academicians) | Prize: £5000 

  • The Other Art Prize, awarded by Tony Steele | Awarded to a non-figurative work or works in any medium concerned with pattern and repetition | Prize: £4000
  • Houghton Art Prize, sponsored by Houghton Art | Awarded to Any artist | Prize: £500 in cash 

  • The Watercolour 1st Prize, sponsored by Consumer Intelligence | Awarded to any watercolour painting | Prize: £250 in cash 
  • The Watercolour 2nd Prize, sponsored by Consumer Intelligence | Awarded to any watercolour painting | Prize: £100 in cash
  • The MPB Award, sponsored by MPB | Prize: The winner will receive a £500 MPB voucher to spend on used photography and videography equipment on the MPB website 

  • The Creativity Award, sponsored by Niche Frames | Awarded to any work showing an innovative use of medium, subject matter or composition | Prize: £250 in printing and framing, and £250 cash 

  • The Painting Prize, sponsored by Derek Balmer PPRWA | Awarded to any painting | Prize: £300 and a copy of Derek Balmer: A Singular Vision, by Andrew Lambirth

  • The Drawing Prize | Awarded to any drawing | Prize: £300 in cash  

  • The Floating Circle Prize, sponsored by Friends of the RWA | Awarded to a student | Prize: Interview to be featured in Floating Circle magazine, as well as a £250 cash prize 

  • St Cuthberts Mill Work on Paper Prize, sponsored by St Cuthberts Paper Mill Awarded to any work on paper | Prize: 20 sheets of Saunders Waterford 300gsm 56x76cm paper worth over £120 

  • Cass Art Materials Award, sponsored by Cass Art | Awarded to: Any artist | Prize: £100 voucher to spend at Cass Art  

  • Cass Art Solo Show Award, sponsored by Cass Art | Awarded to any artist | Prize: Solo Show in Cass Art, Bristol Park Street store 

  • Evolver Cover Award, sponsored by Evolver Magazine | Awarded to any work | Prize: A cover image for the November/December issue of Evolver magazine 

  • Evolver Feature Award, sponsored by Evolver Magazine | Awarded to any artist | Prize: A feature article in the November/December issue of Evolver magazine 


You can get your ticket on the day you visit from our Welcome Desk or you can get a year's worth of art with our Art Pass!

     The 170 Annual Open Exhibition is sponsored by

    Image: Monkey and the Cock Helmet, Leslie Glenn Damhus RWA (detail) 

     Prize donors logos


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