The RSMA seeks submissions of art inspired by the sea and marine environment, including harbours and shorelines, traditional craft and contemporary shipping, creeks, beaches, wildlife - in short anything that involves tidal water.
The Society's Annual Exhibition offers several prizes and awards, including The Charles Pears Award for an outstanding work by a non-member (see 'Prizes & Awards' below). It is widely recognised as a showcase for the best in contemporary marine art, with selected work from the open entry hung alongside the work of RSMA members.
How to Submit
All work must be submitted online. Pre-selection from online entries will take place, after which pre-selected works should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for final selection:
- Upload images of work at mallgalleries.oess1.uk between Monday 10 May and Friday 9 July, 12 noon [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]
- Check mallgalleries.oess1.uk from 12 noon on Friday 16 July to see if your work has been pre-selected
- If pre-selected, deliver your work for final selection on Saturday 14 August, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
- Check this page from 12 noon on Tuesday 17 August to see if your work has been selected
- If unaccepted, collect your work on Thursday 19 August, 10am to 5pm
Submissions open: Monday 10 May, 12 noon
Submissions close: Friday 9 July, 12 noon
Pre-selection notification: Friday 16 July, 12 noon
Receiving Day (if pre-selected): Saturday 14 August, 10am to 5pm
Notification of final selection: Tuesday 17 August, 12 noon
Collection of unaccepted work: Thursday 19 August, 10am to 5pm
Exhibition opens: Thursday 30 September, 10am to 5pm (7pm on Thursdays)*
*closed all day on Sunday 3 October for the London Marathon
Exhibition closes: Sunday 10 October, 1pm
Collection of unsold work: Thursday 14 October, 10am to 5pm
- Any artist over 18 may submit.
Subject matter must be essentially marine in nature, relating in some way to tidal waters of the world; topographical, historical, still life, and figure painting are all welcomed. Works relating to non-tidal rivers, inland lakes and waterways etc are not permissible.
- Acceptable media: Oil, acrylic, watercolour, original prints of any media, mixed media, drawings, pastels, or sculpture.
- Submission fee: £20 per work (or £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under).
Maximum of six works submitted, maximum of four works selected.
- Works should be no larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.
- All work must be for sale. The price of works must include commission of 45%+VAT (please note that where foundry fees apply, foundry costs will be deducted before commission is calculated).
- Minimum price: £300, except for prints - framed £200, unframed £120 (buyers will not be charged for postage and packaging of unframed prints, so please ensure the price of unframed prints allows for this).
Works may be from a limited edition not exceeding fifty.
Artists are strongly urged to submit new work not previously exhibited.
The Society advises the use of plain, simple framing in a light or medium colour. Frames and mounts of an unusual colour, size or design may prejudice the chance of acceptance. The following are inadmissible: metal frames, unprotected glass edges and clip frames.
Frames or stretchers should be sufficiently substantial to withstand mirror plating with 12mm size 6 screws.
Delivery & Collection
- Works should be delivered without hanging fittings.
- Packaging from delivered works cannot be retained and must be taken away at the point of delivery.
- We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping materials for any works being returned.
- Paintings should be completely dry at the time of delivery.
Any work uncollected on the specified collection date/s will be stored at a separate location and the artist will be charged a storage fee.
- The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the Society and is rotated annually.
- Please note that selectors' decisions are final and we are unable to offer feedback.
- Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU or elsewhere are welcome to submit work. If your work is sold at the exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs. Artists without a UK residence (known as 'NETPs' - non-established taxable persons) can find further details on 'NETP' status and how to register for VAT at www.hmrc.gov.uk (HM Revenue & Customs Reference: Notice 700/1, Mar 2014) under the heading 'Should I be registered for VAT?' Please note: the registration process can take up to 4 weeks. Please address any questions you may have to the VAT Helpline on tel. no. 0300 200 3700 or Outside UK: +44 2920 501 261.
- Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art - Tel: 07833 450788 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terms & Conditions
- For full terms and conditions, click here.
If you are unable to deliver or collect your work in person, you may wish to use an art courier:
Art Moves of Chelsea (London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Bristol) - email@example.com / 020 7352 7492
Picture Post Art (Scotland, the North of England and Birmingham) - firstname.lastname@example.org / 07833 450788
South Hams Express (Penzance, Totnes, Exeter and Southampton) - email@example.com / 07502 041139
For a fuller list of Art Couriers, click here.
Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)
There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:
Baltic Exchange Award: For an outstanding work related to the maritime industry, selected by the Society’s President and the Chairman of the Baltic Exchange. Including works related to trade (ports, cargo vessels, etc), ship building, safety at sea / the crew, the RNLI or NCI. The Baltic is an historic membership organisation at the heart of the international shipping industry, providing services relied upon by shipping markets worldwide. Value £2,000.
The Charles Pears Award: For an outstanding work, in any medium, by a non-member. Presented by the RSMA in memory of Charles Pears, founding member and first President. Value £500.
The Kenneth Denton Award: For a work on the theme 'The Sea in all its Moods'. Made possible by the generosity of long-standing member Kenneth Denton. Value £500.
The Murray's Commercial Fishing Award: Two prizes for works in any medium depicting commercial fishing. First Prize £500, Second Prize £100.
The RSMA Award for the Best Small Painting: For a work in any medium measuring no more than 30 cm / 12 inches along the longest dimension (excluding frame). Made possible by the generosity of a Life Member. Value £300.
The RSMA New Generation Award: Awarded by the Society, the successful artist will receive £250. Open to all artists aged 35 or under at the time of submission.
The Topbond Marine Award: For works depicting marine engineering or construction activities in harbours, estuaries or marine waters within the UK. Value £250.
The Winsor & Newton Oil Prize: £250 worth of Winsor & Newton art materials for a notable oil painting.
The Artist Magazine Award: The winner will be interviewed for a feature in The Artist magazine.
The Classic Boat Award: The winner will take home a handsome, hand-crafted sculpture by Astins Sailing Sculptures, given for the most atmospheric depiction of a classic boat.