Royal West of England Academy

Royal West of England Academy
Queens Road
City of Bristol




0117 9735129


0117 9237874

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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The RWA Art Gallery is situated in fashionable Clifton and is open throughout the year. The building is one of the finest examples of Victorain Italianate style built in 1858 as the first art gallery in Bristol. The RWA shows contemporary art exhibitions of painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture and architecture as well as its own historic collection. Most contemporary works are for sale.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tuesday-Saturday 10.00-18.00 Sun 11.00-17.00

Closed: Mondays Easter Sunday and 24 December to 3 January

Admission charges

Main Galleries:
Adults: £5.00
Concessions: £3.50
Children: Free
Friends of the RWA: Free

The RWA collection consists of over 1000 works including paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Among the paintings in the collection are works by artists from the Newlyn, St Ives and Bloomsbury Schools. Paintings by George Swaish, Mathew Hale, Anne Redpath, Mary Fedden, Carel Weight, Bernard Dunstan and Elizabeth Blackadder are also valued additions to the collection.

Collection details

Fine Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Peter Blake

162 Annual Open Exhibition

  • 12 October — 7 December 2014 *on now

162 Years of Art -The South West’s biggest art competition returns for its 162nd year featuring invited artist Peter Blake.

The RWA ends the year in a celebratory fashion with its Annual Open Exhibition. This marks a fitting end to a year of stunning exhibitions, featuring well-known names including JMW Turner, John Constable and the brothers John and Paul Nash, alongside leading contemporary international artists such as Tim Shaw RA, Norman Ackroyd RA and Ione Rucquoi.

Now in its 162nd year the exhibition creates an opportunity for artists at any stage of their career to show alongside established names such as invited artist Sir Peter Blake, Kurt Jackson RWA, Ken Howard RWA and the HRH The Prince of Wales, an RWA Honorary Academician. Showcasing the cream of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture, this popular show provides something for everyone.

Image Credits: USA Series - Excelsior, signed limited edition of 100, silkscreen with collaged elements, glitter and glazes, Peter Blake, 2014, © Peter Blake and CCA Galleries and USA Series - James Dean, signed limited edition of 100 silkscreen with collaged elements, glitter and glazes, Peter Blake, 2014, © Peter Blake and CCA Galleries

This year over 2300 works were submitted for consideration by over a 1000 artists, nationwide, before being selected and curated by an expert panel of artists and curators. Following the success of last year’s You Choose Award, visitors will again be given the opportunity to vote for their own favourite artwork, with the artist receiving an £800 prize sponsored by The Affordable Art Fair. This year’s prizes also include the UWE Centre for Moving Image Research and RWA Bursary of £1000, the Evolver Wessex Artist Award and the New Creations Coaching Emerging Artist Award.

Last year’s show featured 560 works by 348 artists, with every piece for sale. Prices start from just £25 making this annual show an eclectic mix of work by unknown, emerging and established artists, providing the perfect opportunity for arts enthusiasts and collectors to discover the stars of the future. Promising to be bigger and better than ever before this mixed discipline show attracts art-lovers and art-buyers from far and wide.

Please note that an update version of this release will be available on the 20 October including details of selected works and prize-winners, accompanied by new images.

The British Pop Artist is known mainly for painting the sleeve for The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which he designed with his wife in 1967 since then he has had major retrospective exhibitions at the Tate and Tate Liverpool. It is Blake’s second time exhibiting as part of the Annual Open Exhibition (he was previously invited artist in 2009) making a fitting return to the RWA after being awarded the accolade of Honorary RWA Academician earlier in 2014.

Blake is one of the country’s leading artists, a pioneer of Pop art; founding member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists alongside the RWA’s own David Inshaw in 1975; elected a Royal Academician in1981 (resigning in 2005) and awarded the CBE in 1983; alongside infamy as the artist who designed the iconic album cover for the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. His work hangs in galleries around the world including the Tate, London, who staged a major retrospective of his work in 2007. He has inspired a generation of younger artists, embracing pop culture through a myriad of different mediums from print making to collage. In 2013 he showed Under Milk Wood, the culmination of twenty-five years of work at the National Museum of Wales, illustrating each of the characters from welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ celebrated radio-play in their fictional home of Llaregubb.

The RWA’s Director Alison Bevan writes that “we are beyond delighted to be showcasing the work of Sir Peter Blake; a distinguished artist who shares a long history with both the Academy and the Annual Open Exhibition. The annual show is all about encouraging diversity – from subject matter to medium and age to ambition – and Blake’s work has always embraced this philosophy.”

This year’s selection panel includes RWA Academicians Janette Kerr PRWA, Stephen Jacobson RWA, Jason Lane RWA and James Beale RWA who will be joined by David Alston, Arts Director, Arts Council of Wales, Lucy MacDonald, Associate Director of Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, and Julia Carver, Fine Art Curator, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Biographies are available on request.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s prizes include:

The Affordable Art Fair You Choose Award
£800 awarded to the public’s choice – vote for your favourite artwork

UWE The Centre for Moving Image Research and RWA Bursary
£1000 bursary which will allow the artist to produce a piece /and or series of works that will be shown at the RWA in 2015.

Evolver Wessex Cover Artist Award
Front cover of Evolver magazine’s Jan-Feb 2015 issue

Evolver Wessex Artist Award
Feature article in Evolver magazine’s Jan-Feb 2015 issue

Consumer Intelligence Watercolour First Prize
£250 cash

Consumer Intelligence Watercolour Second Prize
£150 cash

Redcliffe Press Photography Award
Selection of six art books published by Sansom & Co / Redcliffe Press from their recent catalogue.

St Cuthberts Mill Work on Paper Award
20 sheets of Saunders Waterford 300gsm worth £75

New Creations Coaching Emerging Artist Award
£240 worth of creative consulting with New Creations Coaching

Derek Balmer PPRWA Painting Prize
£250 cash prize awarded to excellence in painting

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our supporters including our prize givers.
The RWA has eight galleries within a stunning, purpose-built 19th century building. The five upstairs galleries – Sharples, Winterstoke, Stancomb-Wills, Methuen, and Milner - host the main exhibition/s, alongside the Bristol Drawing School studio. Downstairs is the Fedden Gallery and a newly completed gallery space. All gallery spaces are available for private hire for special events, such as weddings and parties, conferences and meetings. The downstairs area has a shop, and a café run by Papadeli

The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) is England’s only regional Royal Academy of Art. It is a registered charity which has been self-supporting for over 150 years and is housed within an outstanding Grade II* listed building, boasting beautiful top-lit galleries and an extensive permanent fine art collection. The RWA has HM Queen Elizabeth II as its patron and HRH The Prince of Wales is an honorary academician.

The RWA is an established venue for the fine arts and embraces an artistic awareness of the widest nature. The exhibition programme provides a showcase for one-person and mixed exhibitions in a variety of media, attracting large numbers of visitors nationwide. The Academy is situated in the academic heart of Bristol at the Clifton Triangle opposite the Victoria Rooms.

Closed Mondays
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm

Adults £5 inc. gift aid
Concessions £3.50 inc. gift aid
Under 16s, University of Bristol, UWE and SGS students FREE

Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX / 0117 973 5129 /

For more information please contact Rebecca Clay, RWA Marketing Manager / 0117 9735 129

Images are available to download at

Suitable for

  • Any age


£5 Adult, £3.50 Concessions, Free UWE/UOB/SGS students, £2 Art Fund (suggested dontaion)




  • 21 November 2014 — 8 March 2015 *on now


The Art of Trees; the Arborealists and other Artists

19 December 2014 – 8 March 2015

Arboretum follows on from the critically acclaimed and highly popular Under the Greenwood – Picturing the British Tree at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery. Reprising themes from the contemporary element of this show it explores the importance of the tree as a rich and vital subject for art, featuring work from members of the Arborealists: Jemma Appleby, Ann Arnold, Graham Arnold, Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, Joanna Barry, Philippa Beale, John Blandy, Hannah Brown, Gary Colclough, Tim Craven, Celia de Serra, Michelle Dovey, Dan Hays, Abi Kremer, Ffiona Lewis, Fiona MacIntyre, Hannah Maybank, Alex Pemberton, Julian Perry, Lesley Slight and RWA Academicians Nicola Bealing RWA, Martin Bentham RWA, Kurt Jackson RWA, Howard Phipps RWA, Michael Porter RWA, Anthony Whishaw RWA and Lisa Wright RWA.

Arboretum will be showing at the RWA in conjunction with The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014: A Celebration of British Wildlife. This launches the start of a programme of environmentally focused exhibitions at the RWA engaging with nature and landscape to celebrate the start of Bristol’s year as the Green Capital.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adults: £5.00
(includes a 50p donation)

Concessions: £3.50
(includes a 40p donation)

Under 16s/SGS, UoB & UWE students: FREE

Art Fund card holders: By donation - suggested minimum £2

GIFT AID YOUR TICKET and help us to claim up to £1.25 more


British Wildlife

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014 A Celebration of British Wildlife

  • 18 December 2014 — 18 March 2015

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014

A Celebration of British Wildlife

The British Wildlife Photography Awards proudly announce the winners for 2014. The Awards celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife.

Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in sixteen separate categories including a special film category for Wildlife in HD Video and three junior categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.

“Each year the British Wildlife Photography Awards generates an incredible catalogue of splendid, exciting, imaginative and artistic images, proving beyond doubt that we have the richest palette of life to celebrate in our own backyard. Anyone passionate about protecting and preserving wildlife will be inspired by the British Wildlife Photography Awards, which in its fifth year has done more than any other award to raise the profile of British wildlife”, Chris Packham, TV Presenter and Naturalist.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£5 Adult/ £3.50 Concession, £8 Exhibition Return Ticket, £2 Art Fund (suggested donation), Free SGS, FRWA, UWE, UOB.