About the Friends of the RWA

As well as existing to support the RWA, the Friends are a thriving arts community in our own right. We’d love you to join us.

Established in 1993, the Friends of the RWA is a community of hundreds of artists and art enthusiasts in Bristol and throughout the West Country.

We are an active charity raising vital funds for the RWA, though becoming a Friend is so much more than just a donation…

Artists can benefit from discounted art classes and have the chance to show and sell work in prestigious venues. Culture vultures can join like-minded people on organised visits to the UK’s best venues. Art lovers can enjoy free entry to exhibitions, exclusive preview days, special artist talks and much more.

Cultural visits across the UK

Join our Trips and Visits team on organised cultural outings – from walking tours of Bristol’s blue plaques to coach tours and residential visits around the country. Meet like-minded people and enjoy special guided tours and more.

Exhibitions and benefits for artists

If you are an artist you can benefit from the chance to show and sell your work in professional galleries; save money on classes at the RWA’s Drawing School; and receive the friendship and support of a network of fellow painters, printmakers and creators.

Exclusive previews and talks

Friends receive unlimited free entry to RWA exhibitions, plus invitations to preview showings and special talks given by Academicians and other professional artists.

Benefits of becoming a Friend of the RWA

For just £35 per year, you can enjoy:

  • Free, unlimited entry to all RWA exhibitions
  • Monthly email newsletters and regular printed newsletters – so that you’ll be the first to hear about RWA artists, exhibitions and events
  • Updates from The Floating Circle, the online art magazine of the Friends of the RWA
  • 5% discount on RWA Drawing School courses
  • 10% discount on RWA-branded shop stock and Exhibition Catalogues
  •  Friends’ Trips and Visits to galleries and museums all over the country
  • Lectures from artists
  • Discount at Bristol Fine Art
  • Opportunity to submit work to the next RWA Friends’ Exhibition

Plus the satisfaction of securing the future of Bristol’s oldest art gallery and supporting the arts in the West Country.


Single Friends membership – £35 per annum 

Joint membership (two people) – £50 per annum

Student membership – £15 per annum (please send a photo of your student ID to friends@rwa.org.uk)

Gift a Friends membership

Friends memberships make the perfect gift for the art lover in your life. If you are purchasing a joint membership, please let us know the name of the other person who will be benefiting from membership. If you are buying membership for someone else, please also let us know their name. Contact friends@rwa.org.uk 

The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity (1107149)