Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2023

This is about how to enter the Summer Exhibition 2023 of the Royal Academy of Arts – as in

  • the summer exhibition which is the LARGEST OPEN EXHIBITION IN THE WORLD 
  • it opens on 13th June and continues until 20th August 2023
  • the Call for Entries opened TODAY
  • the Digital Submission closes on Tuesday 14 February 2023.

The following blog post covers the process for entries and “what you need to know” if you want to enter – including TIPS relating to aspects it’s important to get right.

TIP: This is an exhibition I would definitely recommend to anybody who creates original prints. The RA Summer Exhibition always has a big print room and because the exhibition has a huge number of visits you can sell lots and lots of prints if people like your print. But it has to be an ORIGINAL! Plus you have to do the delivery and you need to factor the delivery price into the sale price.

“Sleeping Mouse” by Sarah Roberts
– from a previous Summer Exhibition

The 2023 Summer Exhibition

An Important Distinction between registration, entry and details

To be able to enter you must first register for an account HOWEVER

  • registering for an account in order to enter does not mean you have entered. 
  • To be able to enter you must first purchase an entry form.
  • you do not need to complete the details when you purchase the entry form. You can do that later

Please note that the RA has indicated that the number of entries is capped at 16,500. 

That means that:

  • if you leave your entry until nearer the deadline that you may not be able to submit this year if you have not purchased an entry form
  • if you buy an entry now, you can complete the details later – but you cannot be reimbursed if you fail to submit.

BELOW you can find more details and helpful links to further information on the exhibition and “how to enter”.

The Selection and Hanging Committee

Every year, a different committee of RA member artists and architects selection over 1,000 artworks for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

TIP: It’s always worth studying the background of the selectors as it provide clues as to what they might well like. Click the links in their names to find out more them or Google their names to find their websites.

2023 Theme

The theme this year is ‘Only Connect‘ (click link to download a pdf about the theme)

“as simple as putting a plug into a socket, as meeting a friend for a coffee or the fabric of the entire cosmos” David Remfry


How to enter the Summer Exhibition

RA Summer Exhibition 2022

The webpage which provides all the details of how to enter the Summer Exhibition can be found at

BELOW I’ve highlighted the important documents that I recommend you DOWNLOAD AND READ

Timeline for the Summer Exhibition 2023

Digital Submission

  • Entry opens: Tuesday 10 January. 
  • Deadline for entries: 23:59 (GMT) on Tuesday 14 February 2023. 
  • (Late submissions are NOT ACCEPTED)

  • Digital Judging results: Wednesday 22nd March

You can also check the progress of your submission using your Summer Exhibition account whenever you like.

Submission Process

In summary, there are three steps to the Process which I summarised near the beginning of this blog post

  • Register: You first need to register for an account (or use the one you have created previously).  You will be sent a link to your account after registration.
    • If you have previously registered you can your Summer Exhibition account will still be active. Login and reset your password here.
  • Pay the (non-refundable) entry fee
    • You can enter one or two works, for a fee of £38 per work, which covers our administration costs. 
    • You can pay this online by credit or debit card. 
    • Please note that the number entries is capped at 16,500, so please purchase yours soon in order to avoid disappointment.
    • If you don’t enter one or two works you do NOT get your entry fee refunded – so think very carefully before you pay over the fee
  •  Enter the details and upload images of your artwork

Note that:

  • you don’t have to submit your form, once purchased, straight away. 
  • you cannot buy a form for a second artwork later.  You MUST decide when purchasing a form whether you’re entering one or two works.
  • you cannot change a form once submitted

Do I have to submit my Entry Form immediately?
No. You can edit and save your artwork details, but once you have submitted your Entry Form you can’t then make further changes.

Frequently Asked Questions – this has been compiled from the very many questions asked in previous years and you are recommended to read this before approaching the RA with a query.

After your entry has been submitted:

  • All works are submitted digitally for the first round of judging and you have a 25% chance of getting through to the second round when the Judges look at the actual artwork.

There are two rounds of judging. The first is made from digital images of artworks, from which the judges shortlist up to 4,000 entries to be delivered to the Academy for the final round.

If you are successful in the first, digital round, we will notify you by email and ask you to deliver your artwork to the Royal Academy for the final round.

  • shortlisted works selected by the Committee are then delivered to the Academy for the final round of judging in front of the artworks.

After the first round of judging the status of your entry will change to Shortlisted or Not Selected on your artist account. You will also receive an email notification. 

Additional Information

You can find the following on answers to on the RA website

TIP:  When pricing your artwork do not forget to add the VAT

I am not VAT registered. Do I still need to include VAT in the price?
If you are not registered, you do not need to include VAT in the full price but you must add it to our commission. The VAT rate is 20%, so our commission would be 30% plus VAT, which makes 36% of the total price. 

TIP: Three recommendations re. delivery of the artwork

  • if you can deliver it yourself, being part of the process of delivering your artwork to the RA is something which you’ll never forget
  • if you can’t, make sure you use a courier who will UNPACK IT and KEEP THE PACKING MATERIALS FOR RETURN and PACK for the return journey.
  • One further thought, if you’ve got a friend in London who is accommodating ask them whether they could deliver it for you. That way the packing issues are less of an issue – unless they’re awful at packing for the return journey if you art is not selected

If you get through to the second round

TIP: I recommend that you READ THE INSTRUCTIONS for the submission of the actual artwork very slowly and carefully. 

Then read it again and make short notes of everything you MUST DO.  For example:

  • ONLY submit an ORIGINAL print
  • attach bar codes
  • remove all hanging fixtures
  • deliver artwork UNPACKED
Then read it again after you’ve done everything you think you should do and check whether you’ve covered every angle.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget one thing – which might disqualify your artwork!

Selling artwork

It includes very prescriptive requirements of you as the seller – for example……

Responding to the buyer 

When the RA informs you that an offer to purchase your artwork has been made, you should contact the buyer immediately to accept and give them the following 

Key Information: 

— Your business name and contact details 

— A description of the work 

— The total price of the work, including all taxes 

— Details of how to pay 

— Details of the buyer’s right to cancel (distance sales only) 

— Delivery arrangements, including cost of delivery (if outside the UK) 

— The timeframe for delivery/collection 

— Your terms and conditions of sale 

— Details of who pays the cost of return (distance sales only) 

You should set out your agreement with the buyer in writing, by letter or email. If you are selling prints or casts from an edition that have not already been produced, or foresee that fulfilment will be delayed for any other reason (for example because your work is still exhibited in the Summer Exhibition), you must inform the buyer accordingly and obtain their agreement to the timeframe for delivery


  • sale of your artwork
  • deposit
  • Customer Due DilIgence (re. identify checks NOW LEGALLY REQUIRED – re money laundering legislation – for all purchasers buying artwork valued at £7,000 or more in a 12 month period)
  • Responding to the Buyer
  • Invoice
  • Right to Withdraw
  • Right to cancel (distance sales only)
  • Refunds
  • Collection and delivery
  • Shipping, Postage and Packing – including the export process

For UK sales of unframed prints, you should have included postage and packaging in
the retail price of the prints. For UK sales of any other work or, if the work is to be sent
outside the UK, the delivery costs will be variable and you should reach an agreement
with the buyer.

  • Wrapping for Prints
  • Certificate of Authenticity and Further Information

It’s also a good guide to you as an artist or other art societies for how you should be handling all the legal and contractual aspects as well as the logistics of sales.

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