Richard Wilson Announced As Co-ordinator For Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

The 248th Summer exhibition at the The Royal Academy of Arts will be co-ordinated by the well known British sculptor and Royal Academician Richard Wilson. The hanging committee for the Summer Exhibition 2016 includes the Royal Academicians Stephen Chambers, Louisa Hutton, Bill Jacklin, Jock McFadyen, David Mach, Cathie Pilkington, David Remfry, Ian Ritchie and Bill Woodrow. The Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open submission exhibition, provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists and architects to showcase their works to an international audience.

Richard Wilson RA is internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space which draw their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction. Wilson, who has been nominated for the Turner Prize on two occasions, has exhibited for almost forty years around the world. In 2006 he was elected as a member of the Royal Academy. Wilson was one of a select number of artists invited to create a major public work for The Millennium Dome (2000) and the only British artist invited to participate in Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (2000). In April 2014, Wilson unveiled the acclaimed commission Slipstream for Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2. 

The Summer Exhibition comprises of a range of media, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture and film. This year the Royal Academy received 12,000 entries, from which a committee of Royal Academicians will make a selection to hang on the walls of the Main Galleries in Burlington House. Over 1,200 artworks will go on display, the majority of which will be for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile and up-and-coming artists. 

One of the founding principles of the Royal Academy of Arts was to ‘mount an annual exhibition open to all artists of distinguished merit’ to finance the training of young artists in the Royal Academy Schools. The Summer Exhibition has been held every year without interruption since 1769 and continues to play a significant part in raising funds to finance the current students of the RA Schools. The RA Schools is the longest established art school in the UK and offers the only free three-year postgraduate programme in Europe. 

Richard Wilson, co-ordinator of the Summer Exhibition 2016, said: 

“The Summer Exhibition 2016 will be unpredictable, stimulating, and enjoyable with 10 startling rooms of contemporary art submitted from around the world by members, non-members and honorary invitees. Each of the rooms will be hung by a member of the committee, resulting in themes of free speculation, practice or technique. It cannot be over emphasised that profits from the exhibition will go towards funding the postgraduate programme at the RA Schools.”


Over £50,000 is offered in awards and prizes for every category of work in the Summer Exhibition. The prizes are listed below:

The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award

Established in 1978, the Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award is, at £25,000, one of the largest and most prestigious art prizes in Britain. Previous winners include: Rose Wylie RA (2015), Wolfgang Tillmans RA (2014), El Anatsui Hon RA (2013), Anselm Kiefer Hon RA (2012), Alison Wilding RA (2011), Yinka Shonibare RA (2010), Jeff Koons Hon RA (2008), Gavin Turk (2007), Jake and Dinos Chapman (2003), Alan Charlton (2002), Marc Quinn (2001), Gerard Hemsworth (2000) and David Hockney RA (1999).

The Jack Goldhill Award: £10,000 for a sculpture.

Turkishceramics Grand Award for Architecture: £10,000 awarded to the most outstanding work of architecture.

The Hugh Casson Drawing Prize: £5,000 for an original work on paper in any medium, where the emphasis is clearly on drawing.

The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist: £4,000 for a painting or sculpture.

The London Original Print Fair Prize, sponsored by Towry: £2,500 for a print in any medium.

The British Institution Awards: Four prizes of £1,000 each awarded to student exhibitors for paintings, works on paper, sculpture and architecture.

The Rose Award for Photography: £1,000 for a photograph or series of photographs.



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