The Royal Institute of Oil Painters was founded in 1882 and is the only major British art society that promotes and exhibits work of the highest standard exclusively in oil paint.
The ROI Annual Exhibition showcases work by many exciting emerging painters alongside the work of more established names.
This year’s special theme is ‘Urban Life’, which can be interpreted widely, and for which The ROI Themed Painting Prize is on offer to the best interpretation (N.B. The theme is optional, one aspect of a larger exhibition, to which oil paintings of all subjects, in any style, are welcome for consideration).
Successful applicants can expect:
- To have their selected work included in the ROI Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries in central London
- Eligibility to win prizes and awards, worth over £7,000, including the Winsor & Newton Young Artist Awards (see 'Prizes & Awards' below)
- Their selected artwork to appear on the Mall Galleries website before, during, and after the exhibition
- To be part of a network of present and past exhibiting artists, dating back to 1882 when the ROI was founded
- An invitation to the Private View, at which fellow exhibitors will be present and the prizes and awards will be presented
- The chance to sell their work to new buyers and collectors
- The possibility of election to membership in future*
Submissions are now closed
*If you are interested in becoming a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, please visit the ROI website for more information
Installation image of the ROI Annual Exhibition 2022. Photo by Mark Sepple
How to Submit
A single-stage virtual judging of all submitted works will take place, after which selected works should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for inclusion in the exhibition:
- Upload images of work at mallgalleries22.oess1.uk before 12 noon on Friday 6 October 2023 [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]. The judges will make their decision based on these images, therefore please submit good quality photographs.
- Check mallgalleries22.oess1.uk from 12 noon on Friday 20 October to see if your work has been selected
- If selected, deliver your work on Saturday 18 November, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD. Works should be delivered unwrapped with the relevant form and labels, which are downloadable from the OESS upon notification of selection.
Submissions open: Monday 17 July 2023, 12 noon
Submissions close: Friday 6 October, 12 noon
Notification of selection: Friday 20 October, 12 noon
Receiving Day (if selected): Saturday 18 November, 10am to 5pm
Private View (invite only): Tuesday 28 November, 2pm to 8pm, official opening at 3pm
Exhibition opens: Wednesday 29 November, 10am to 5pm daily
Exhibition closes: Saturday 16 December, 5pm
Collection of unsold work: Tuesday 19 December, 10am to 5pm
- Any artist over 18 may submit, in the UK, EU, and outside the EU.
- Acceptable media: Oils. Acrylic and water-soluble oil paint is acceptable if framed as an oil, so as not to spoil the general appearance of the exhibition.
- Wide mounts between painting and frame, as in watercolours, are not acceptable.
- Glazed work is not encouraged.
- Unframed work can be accepted if on a well-presented box canvas.
- A maximum of six works may be submitted, from which a maximum of three works may be selected.
- The combined total of the longest dimension of each painting accepted will not exceed 8 feet maximum per artist.
Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.
- This year’s mini theme is ‘Urban Life’, which can be interpreted widely. Artists are encouraged to contribute a work on the theme, however it is not compulsory. If a work is on the theme, please elaborate on how in the artwork description box when applying.
- Work must have been completed within the last three years and must not have been previously shown at Mall Galleries.
- Work must be for sale, except portraits which may be not for sale.
- Works that are poorly presented or differ significantly from the photograph entered will not be exhibited.
- There is a non-refundable submission fee of £20 per work for standard entries and £14 per work for artists aged 35 or under. The entry fee includes free admission to the exhibition, normally £5.
Presentation, Delivery & Collection
- All selected works must be exhibition-ready. Works should be sufficient to withstand mirror plating for hanging purposes.
- No hooks are required and there should be no projections whatsoever from the back of the works. This is to prevent damage to other works.
- Metal frames and clip frames are inadmissible. Glazed works with unprotected glass edges are inadmissible. Diffused picture glass is unacceptable. Frames and mounts of an unusual colour, size or design may prejudice the chance of selection.
- 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 uncollected works may be removed from the gallery after the collection day and stored by an independent courier company at the artist's expense.
- If works are not collected within 12 months of the collection day, the gallery will be entitled to destroy, sell, or otherwise dispose of the works without consent, prior notification, or compensation to the artist.
- Artists are responsible for the full costs of delivery and collection.
- 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
- The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the Institute and is rotated annually. Selectors' decisions are final and we are unable to offer feedback.
- Unless otherwise advised, the gallery will charge a commission on the total price paid for works, including commissioned works, before, during, or as a result of the exhibition.
- Once work has been submitted, any sale made by the gallery before or during the course of the exhibition shall take precedence and supersede one made privately. Any private sale will incur the normal commission.
- The price of works must include the commission of 45% plus VAT. If an artist is registered for VAT, then the VAT due on the selling price of the works should be included in the price submitted.
- The minimum sale price is £500.
- The price provided is the selling price and is the price that the work must be sold at. This price can only be changed by prior written agreement between the gallery and the artist of the relevant work. The gallery reserves the right to query the price of works.
- International Artists: 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 http://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.
Intellectual Property Rights
- All works must be an original creation by the artist.
- The copyright and all other intellectual property rights will remain with the artist. If any rights are owned by a third party, that third party will remain the owner.
- The gallery has the right to reproduce works in connection with the exhibition.
- The gallery will hold personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However the gallery may provide third parties with an artist’s contact details in the course of administering exhibitions, commissions and prizes.
Liability & Indemnity
- The gallery is not responsible for any loss of, or any damage to, works entrusted to them. All goods are at artist owner’s risk absolutely and the gallery and/or their agents exclude all liability to the maximum extent permitted by law. The galleries are used for various purposes and so artists are advised to insure their works against all risks.
- The gallery endeavours to take good care of works sent for exhibition, but in the event of a work sent being lost, destroyed or damaged the gallery’s liability (if any) shall not exceed the value of the work as stated at the time of submission (less 45% plus VAT) or any altered price subsequently.
- In the event of any dispute regarding loss or damage, the dispute shall be referred for final arbitration to an independent expert valuer to be chosen by agreement between the parties, provided that the arbitrator’s award shall not exceed the gallery’s maximum liability as above.
- Artists shall indemnify and keep indemnified the gallery against any actions between the artist and any third party.
If you are unable to deliver or collect your work in person, the following art couriers may be able to do so on your behalf:
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
For a full list of Art Couriers, click here.
Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)
There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:
The Phyllis Roberts Award: An award of £2,000 for an artist aged 30 or under
Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award, First Prize: £1,000 Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials (for an artist aged 30 or under)
Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award, Second Prize: £600 Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials (for an artist aged 30 or under)
Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award, Third Prize: £400 Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials (for an artist aged 30 or under)
The Tony Merrick Memorial Prize: An award of £250 in memory of the late Tony Merrick ROI (1948-2018)
The ROI Emerging Artist Prize: A prize of £250 and the opportunity to spend a day with one of the Institute's members, for an artist aged 30 or under at the time of submission
The ROI Themed Painting Prize: £500 for the standout painting within the themed display, which for 2023 is 'Urban Life'
The Small Painting Prize: An award of £250 for the best small painting on display (maximum dimension of 30.5 cm, excluding frame)
The Alan Gourley Memorial Award: An annual prize of £1,000, awarded for a painting of outstanding merit
The Stanley Grimm Prize: Two awards totalling £700 (first prize £400, second prize £300), to the painters whose works receive the most votes from visitors to the exhibition
Winsor & Newton Non-member Award: £150 Winsor & Newton Fine Art Materials
The Le Clerc Fowle Medal: In memory of Anne Le Clerc Fowle, presented annually for an outstanding group of paintings
The Menena Joy Schwabe Memorial Award: An award of £250 for an outstanding oil painter
Frank Herring Easel Award: An award of a versatile easel
The Artist Magazine Award: The winning artist will be featured in a forthcoming issue of The Artist magazine, print and digital editions
The Dry Red Press Award: The winning work will be published as a greetings card by Dry Red Press in their 'Prize Winners' range
Art Academy London Award: A prize of a term’s worth of Life Drawing classes (worth £125) for an outstanding emerging painter