Friends’ Exhibition 2023 – we want your submissions!

Following a hugely successful show last year, the Friends’ Exhibition will be returning to Create Centre on Spike Island, Bristol this May. All Friends are welcome to submit work to this popular selling show – you have until 14 April to enter.

“We are proud to be associated with this superb exhibition, showcasing the wealth of talent amongst Friends members. We are hugely grateful to all involved for making it happen…”

So wrote RWA Director Alison Bevan in response to the Friends’ exhibition last year, the first after lockdown.

It was held at the Create Centre on Spike Island, which proved a fantastic venue: the large gallery space allowing us to exhibit 134 pieces of art including sculpture, print, textiles, photography and painting. Footfall and sales were excellent, with all exhibition pieces available to buy online via the RWA website during the period of the exhibition.

This year we will be returning to Create from 13 – 25 May, with a Preview on Friday 12 May. And since Friends’ membership has continued to grow we look forward to hosting an equally or even more vibrant show! The FRWA boasts a large community of very talented artists, both professional and amateur, and we know the standard will be very high.

Once again, all works will be for sale online and this time we will extend the sale period for two weeks after the exhibition closes.

The exhibition is an important fundraising event for the RWA, and we love being able to offer Friends an opportunity to show and sell their work in this fabulous space. The show is only possible thanks to the support and enthusiasm of volunteers and artists who submit their work – we are very grateful to you all, and look forward to seeing you at the exhibition. The Preview is always a buzzing event – so make sure you mark Friday 12 May in your calendars now!


We are very grateful to our loyal sponsors who have offered to donate prizes again this year: Bristol Fine Art, Coldharbour Gallery & Framing, SkyBlue Framing & Gallery, Niche Frames, and Cass Art.

This year we have a new sponsor, Laver Wealth , who have donated a very generous £500 Best in Show Prize.

The Selectors

We’re delighted that Andy Phipps, owner of the brilliant That Art Gallery in Bristol will be returning as a selector this year. Andy is not only an experienced and insightful selector, but brings invaluable expertise to the hanging of the show.

The panel will also include two Academicians, both highly respected artists in their fields. Leslie Glenn Damhus RWA has an instantly recognisable style drawing on Renaissance art.

Maxine Relton RWA is known for her vibrant paintings and for her rapid outdoor sketching and drawing in response to the world around her. She is also an experienced art tutor and leads regular artist tours locally and abroad, including to India.

Maxine said of the Friends’ Exhibition: “As a selector I will be looking, wherever possible, for a clear sense of the artist’s intention and personal vision, as well as a balance of unity and contrast that helps to resolve the composition”.

See full details and submit your works to the 2023 Friends’ Exhibition here.

Remember the exhibition is only for Friends of the RWA, so if you know a good local artist who might like to exhibit at the show but is not yet a Friend, you can encourage them to join here.

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