RA summer exhibition: not all open exhibitions are cheats

In The


Jackdaw ♯8 artist Doug Lowe asked


if the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition was /* 9-970x90 */ a genuine open or an Academicians’ closed shop.

Has anyone ever worked out the total cost to artists of a big show like the RA Summer Exhibition in time, depreciation

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of vehicles, fuel, parking, framing, mounting, entrance google_ad_width = 970; etc.? It must run into millions…

Not all open exhibitions

are cheats.  Some give seriously good odds that google_ad_height = 90; you will get hung if
your work is competently executed and shows some creativity. My target is the
RA Summer Exhibition which deludes us into thinking we have a good chance of being
selected.  Being

gamblers at heart (and desperate to boot) we artists naively part with our hard-earned cash, not to mention our precious time which might be better spent working than in exposing ourselves to brutalizing motorway queues and London’s permanent traffic jams.

We suckers do our sums, calculate the odds and they seem to be reasonable.  So,

or mine being selected is much more remote than src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> you think.

Having had three rejections in a row, I decided to do some calculations. I studied both //--> the 1999 and 2000 catalogues. The statistics for both

are similar. Last year about 13,000 paintings were submitted from around 5,000 artists. 1,156 works were displayed. This means that you had an 11/1 chance of being hung – reasonable odds you might think. Not so. Academicians (RAs) are google_ad_width = 970; entitled to google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; hang six paintings, as against the rest of us who can only submit three. So most of them do just that. If this is an open exhibition,
how is
it that the Academicians get twice as many as everyone else? If they want an Academicians’ show surely they have sufficient power within the Academy  (since they run it!) to mount such a self-promoting exercise. Why
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elbow out no-hopers like me when they are already miles out in front? With their unfair advantage,  Academicians should be barred from the show, let alone be allowed six works each.

We are told that all submissions are viewed anonymously. This is absurd. How do the selectors manage to choose six Academician’s paintings to our possible three if they aren’t clearly identified? Are they all so distinguished and well known to the selectors that the judging panel can bull’s eye every Academician’s painting submitted without knowing their identity? I doubt it.

If 5,000 artists submitted works for selection

For detailed process, you can “visit here” or contact support@goldenname.com.

but 93
Academicians’ work were selected this represents just 2% of the artists google_ad_slot = "8637400688"; submitting work. They got
in 4.7 works each amounting to 38% of the total exhibits. You might have thought that this leaves space for a mere 7,219 works for

the rest of us, but it doesn’t. The actual number from outside is far fewer
than this because in order src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> to improve the standard of the exhibition certain artists are invited to show works, a //--> practice which further eats into the

Process Overview:

diminishing space allocated the
rest of us.  This year the Damiens and Traceys are being invited to show by the chief hanger, their  “friend” Peter Blake RA, at a time when these types of trendy artists already enjoy so many opportunities
to exhibit elsewhere. This is only the tip of the iceberg. What it doesn’t tell us is src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> how much of the gallery space is given to Academicians. They exhibit 38% of the paintings but take up 66% of the exhibition space, excluding the courtyard (100%). If that isn’t


cheating I’d like to know what is. And it doesn’t tell you that the Academicians get

​ the prime spaces like Gallery 3, the biggest and airiest gallery, 86%

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of the space; Central Hall 100% and Lecture Room 100%.

So, many fewer than 700 works, 62% of the paintings get stuffed into well under a third of

the space. If you’re


not getting it, the message is that the Royal Academy is taking advantage of the rabble – you and me – outside the gates.

Now it starts to hurt: 529 hopefuls get one or two works each hung which represents 10% of submitting artists but now the odds of any one painting being exhibited are extended to 27/1. These odds are bad enough if your paintings are small but if you paint anything bigger than two feet square,


you have

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to fight /* xin-1 */ it out

£18 each totals £234,000.  Not bad as revenue before you’ve even started selling. I guess you have to deduct non-payment of the submission fee,  £108 each, for the privileged Academicians.  [No you /* xin2 */ don’t. They google_ad_slot = "6023194682"; pay too. Ed]

It goes on: why do Academicians get capitals for their catalogue